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Dylan Hecht on preseason watch list for top closers

February 11, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Our snow is finally going away as the weather heats up, and school is back in session today as Corvallis returns to normal. Or, as it returns to whatever passes for normal in Corvallis.

We're now down to 113 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metropolitan area. Former Oregon State star Kevin Gunderson, who played for the old Aloha Knights in 2004, will be their starting pitcher.

It's getting closer. Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Alum Dylan Hecht (2013), a sophomore closer at UC Santa Barbara, has been named to the preseason watch list for the 10th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Here's more, from the College Baseball Daily website.

Congrats to Dylan. And, quite frankly, we're surprised at the omission of Oregon State senior Scott Schultz (2011), who had 10 saves for the Beavers in 2013. Maybe it's because his role for 2014 hasn't been 100 percent identified yet. BTW, we'll have more on Schultz and OSU teammates/2011 Knights Ben Wetzler and Jace Fry on our website later this week.

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Alum Cody Lenahan (2013) of the University of Portland is a second-team preseason West Coast League all-star at utility, as selected by the College Sports Madness website. Here's the complete WCC team, from the College Sports Madness website.

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It's on the homepage of our website, but just in case you missed it, we've got a question-and-answer feature with alum Chris Stewart of the Pittsburgh Pirates ready for your enjoyment. Chris was a special guest at Hot Stove Night II in 2013, when he was with the New York Yankees.

Please click here for the whole story. Stewie is a great guy, we're very proud to have him as an alum and we thank him for all he does for the Knights and for baseball.

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Some of our NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior-college players have already started their seasons. We'll have an update on their stats every Tuesday; here's the first installment, where possible (some teams have started their seasons but not yet updated their stats):

JIMMIE CLEARY (Linfield): The 10-day signee from Corvallis has not yet appeared in a game.

JOE DUFFIN (Cypress CC): A transfer from UC Santa Barbara who also played for us in 2013, Joe is hitting .417 (5-12) in four games, with no homers and two RBIs.

KEVIN KLINE (Dixie State): Another returnee from 2013, Kevin is hitting .091 (1-11) in three games, with no homers or RBIs.

TIM RAUSCH (Western Oregon): Tim is hitting .333 (5-15) in six games, with no homers and three RBIs.

JACKSON RUCKERT (Linfield): A 10-day signee from Albany, Jackson is hitting .500 (1-2) in three games, with no homers or RBIs.

CHRIS BISHOP (PLU): A two-time returnee, Chris is 0-1, 0.00 in 10.1 innings over two games, with eight strikeouts.

SEAN EBERHARDT (George Fox): Another returning vet, Sean is 0-0, 4.50 in two innings over two games, with one save and one strikeout.

CHRIS HADDELAND (Linfield): Chris is 0-0, 1.50 in one game, with seven strikeouts in six innings.

ZACH KAYSER (WOU): Zach is 1-0, 3.00 in three appearances, with one strikeout in three innings.

DERRICK MAHLUM (PLU): Derrick is 2-0, 0.00 in two starts, with 16 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

MIKE NOWAK (Dixie State): Mike is 0-0, 109.90 in 1/3 of an inning in one appearance.

We'll update our Division I Knights next Monday, and on Monday's thereafter. The Division I season starts on Friday.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed University of Maine pitchers Burk FitzPatrick and Scott Heath for the 2014 season. Click here for more info, from the Bellingham website.

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That's it for today. See you on Wednesday.


Andriese, Torres named preseason Big West all-stars

February 10, 2014

Happy Monday, everyone.

We trust you all had a safe, quiet weekend, and didn't try to fight Mother Nature, which pounded Corvallis with some more chin music this past week. There's no school again today and the side streets in town are still covered with slush and still pretty miserable to drive on.

Be that as it may, we're down to 114 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metropolitan area. Former Oregon State star Kevin Gunderson, who played for the old Aloha Knights in 2004, will be their starting pitcher.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Alums David Andriese (2010-11) of UC Riverside and Nick Torres (2012) of Cal Poly have been named first-team preseason Big West Conference all-stars by College Sports Madness. Here's the complete team, from the College Sports Madness website.

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The Chicago Cubs have released alum pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) of UC Riverside after two seasons in their system. Eddie was 6-5, 3.27 in 50 career appearances with the Arizona Rookie League Cubs, with Boise in the Northwest League and with Kane County in the Midwest League. He had 11 saves and 72 strikeouts in 63.1 career innings.

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Alums Ben Wetzler and Scott Schultz of Oregon State, key members of our 2011 pitching staff, were named the No. 1 and No. 13 pro prospects among returning seniors by Perfect Game. It's a pay article, but you can read a preview by clicking here. Congrats to Scott and Ben.

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Some of our 2014 Division III players were in action this past weekend:

* Linfield pitcher Chris Haddeland allowed two hits and one run and had seven strikeouts over six innings and left with a 6-1 lead against La Verne. However, the bullpen blew the lead and he got a no-decision in an eventual 8-7 victory at the Arizona Desert Classic. Ten-day signee Jackson Ruckert (2014) was 1-for-2 (.500) in three games and scored twice.

* George Fox pitcher Sean Eberhardt (2013-14) got a bases-loaded strikeout and a save in preserving an 11-10 win over Whitworth at the Arizona Desert Classic.

* Pacific Lutheran pitcher Derrick Mahlum (2014) pitched six shutout innings and got the win in a 5-4 victory over Whittier and Chris Bishop (2012-14) pitched seven innings and allowed one run on four hits with five strikeouts in a no-decision in a 4-3 win over Redlands, also at the ADC.

* First baseman Kevin Kline (2013-14) of Dixie State was a combined 1-for-11 (.091) in a three-game series loss at Cal Poly Pomona. Reliever Mike Nowak (2014) gave up four runs in one-third of an inning in his lone appearance. Alum David Armendariz (2011) of CPP had six hits and drove in four runs in the series.

* Outfielder Tim Rausch (2014) of Western Oregon is hitting .333 (5-15) with three RBIs in six games and pitcher Zach Kayser (2014) is 1-0, 3.00 in three innings over three games, with one strikeout. WOU split a series at Sonoma State on Thursday and was rained out over the weekend.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have added Emily Embree as their new Director of Ticketing. click here for more info, from the Our Sports Central website. Also, the Gems list of local business partners continues to grow. For more on that story, click here, also from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. See you on Tuesday.


Enhanced role for Jordan Spencer?

February 7, 2014

Happy Friday, everyone.

Another winter wonderland in Corvallis this morning, with more snow last night and today on top of the 7-9 inches were received on Thursday.

With all this white stuff around, it's hard to believe baseball season is coming, but it is! We're down to 117 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metro area. Former Oregon State star Kevin Gunderson, who played for the old Aloha Knights in 2004, will be their starting pitcher.

And, just in case you missed it, here's a wrapup of our Hot Stove Night III event, from the Knights' website. It was a fun night.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Knights' signee Jordan Spencer of Oregon is one of the names mentioned as a possible replacement for the injured Cole Irvin in the starting rotation. Irwin will miss the season after undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.

Please check out GoDucks.com editor Rob Moseley's blog for more on the story. Jordan's a junior from Beaverton.

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Former Knights' star first baseman David Armendariz (2011) has transferred to Cal Poly Pomona from Cal Poly for his senior season. David's hitting .143 (2-14) through three games, with two runs, a double and three RBIs. Ex-Knights teammate Kyle McNutt (2011) also plays for the Broncos but has not pitched yet.

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Partner school Oregon State is picked to repeat as Pac-12 champions in the annual preseason poll. The Beavers received nine of a possible 10 first-place votes, and 98 of a possible 100 points. Voting was done by the coaches, who were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Partner school Oregon (86) was picked to finish second, followed by national-champion UCLA (84), Arizona State (73), Arizona (61), Stanford (60), California (38), partner school Washington State (35), USC (33), partner school Washington (22) and Utah (14).

You can find more details on that story from OSUbeavers.com by clicking here.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have signed right-handed pitcher Riley Barr of New Mexico State for the upcoming season. He formerly played at Mt. Hood CC before heading off to Las Cruces. You can click here for more info, from the Falcons' website.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats are looking for a radio broadcaster for the 2014 season. More details can be found right here, from the Victoria website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed three more players for the 2014 season, season. Please click here for more details, from the Sweets' website.

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That's it for today. Have a safe weekend and we'll see you on Monday.


Wetzler ranked No. 17 by College Baseball Daily

February 6, 2014

Happy Thursday, everyone.

We had a great time at Hot Stove Night III night last night. Thanks to everyone who came, and from the looks of things outside today, where Corvallis is covered in a thick blanket of snow, we lucked out by having it on Wednesday night.

And very special thanks to our special guests,

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie for their informative, entertaining remarks and answers. It was also nice to (unexpectedly) see head coach Brooke Knight, looking tanned, rested and ready after several months in Australia.

And now we're down to 118 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against the independent Portland Sea Dogs, a team of former college players from the Portland metro area. Knights' president Dan Segel revealed last night that ex-Beavers star/Knights alum Kevin Gunderson will be their starting pitcher.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Alum Ben Wetzler (2011), a senior left-handed pitcher at Oregon State, has been named the 17th-best player in college baseball by the College Baseball Daily website. Benny was outstanding for our 2011 WCL championship team has a supreme setup many for closer Mark Trentacosta, and as a team leader.

For CBD's complete evaluation of Wetzler, please click here. He's our fourth alum in the Top 100; pitcher Dylan Hecht (2013) of UC Santa Barbara, pitcher Jorge Perez (2012-13) of Grand Canyon and center fielder Blake Drake (2013) of Concordia also made the cut.

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The Our Sports Central website has added reporter/columnist Bruce Baskin to cover the West Coast League. Please click here to read his first analysis piece on the WCL. It's good stuff, from a website that does a great job with WCL news.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: Oregon State freshman pitcher Mak Fox of New Zealand is one of two new signees for the Elks. More information is available here, from the Elks' website.

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed three players from Lower Columbia CC, and another from the University of Portland, for the upcoming season. Please click here for more details, from the Cowlitz website.

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That's it for today. See you on Friday.


Knights sign Leopold to 10-day contract

February 5, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

It's Hot Stove Night III night, and time for our premier offseason attraction.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 o'clock tonight in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

And we're down to 119 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. It's coming fast, so get your season tickets now!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Knights have signed outfielder/infielder Phillip Leopold of Bellarmine University to a 10-day contract for the 2014 season.

He's a 6-foot, 190-pound junior who graduated from Trinity High in Louisville. He hit .261 (52-199) in 56 games as a sophomore, with two homers, 41 RBIs and seven steals in nine attempts.

Phillip hit .308 as a freshman with four homers, nine steals and a season-ending 15-game hitting streak. He also led the team in slugging percentage (.472), triples (5), and total bases (75) and was a Great Lakes Valley Conference academic all-league.

He was also all-league and all-district at Trinity before enrolling at Bellarmine, a NCAA Division III school in Louisville. Welcome to the club!

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Lots of Knights will be involved in Cal Poly's alumni game this Saturday. Among the alums expected to participate are Baltimore pitcher Bud Norris (2005); Toronto third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07); Milwaukee outfield prospect Mitch Haniger (2010) and St. Louis outfield prospect Adam Melker (2008-09).

Plus, there's a ton of alums and future Knights on the current CPU club. So it should be a Knightsapalooza! Here's more on that story from the Cal Poly website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have signed five more players for the 2014 season. Here's a complete rundown from the Victoria website.

YAKIMA VALLEY: The Pippins have signed Virginia Military Institute juniors Andrew Woods, Reed Garrett and Brandon Angus for the 2014 season. Woods and Garrett are pitchers; Angus is an outfielder. Please click here for more on that story from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. See you at Hot Stove Night tonight!


Knights name 2014 College of Business interns

February 4, 2014

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Just one more day until Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

And we're down to 120 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. It's coming fast, so get your season tickets now!

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Knights have hired our Oregon State University College of Business interns for the 2014 season, and it's another bumper crop. These are the people who will run our promotions, act as our spirit leaders, and generally be the guys you fans will interact with all summer.

For more information on our newest Knights, please click here and read all about them. Welcome to the team, guys, we're thrilled to have you! We'll announce our 2014 OSU merchandise interns shortly.

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Partner schools Concordia and Pacific Lutheran hooked up for a season-opening doubleheader at PLU on Monday. Concordia won the opener 5-3; PLU took the nightcap 1-0 and several Knights were involved.

Center fielder Blake Drake (2013) went 2-for-4 with a steal in each game for Concordia. PLU pitcher Chris Bishop (2012-13) allowed one earned run and had two strikeouts in 3.1 innings and took the loss in the opener. Pitcher Derrick Mahlum (2014) got the win in the nightcap by allowing only four hits, with seven strikeouts, in 6.2 scoreless innings. Here's more, from the PLU website.

Outfielder Tim Rausch (2014) was 0-for-4 with an RBI and pitcher Zach Kayser (2014) got the win in the nightcap as Western Oregon swept a doubleheader from CSU-Monterey Bay 7-1 And 7-5 on Monday to win the series 3-1. Here's more, from the WOU website.

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Alum Eric Massingham (2006-07) and his Canberra Cavalry teammates have advanced to the Australian Baseball League finals, where they will play the Perth Heat in a three-game series that starts Friday (in Australia) in Perth. Massingham is a pitcher from Cal Poly. Canberra, which eliminated Sydney in the semifinals, is the defending champion. Here's more on that story from the ABL website.

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Three partner schools are ranked in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) preseason Top 40 poll. Oregon State is No. 3, Oregon is No. 11 and Cal Poly is No. 29. Partner schools San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara and Washington State were in the "also receiving votes" category. Here's the poll, from the College Baseball Daily website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed freshman infielder Chris Baker and freshman left-handed pitcher Henry Baker of Washington for the 2014 season. Here's more on that story from the Bellingham website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Jesse Houser from Walla Walla Community College and Jacob Sanders from Murray State College for the upcoming season. Please click here for more on that story from the Sweets' website.

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That's it for today. See you on Wednesday.


Lots of Knights' news on a Monday

February 3, 2014

Happy Monday, Knights fans!

We hope you all had as great a weekend as the Seattle Seahawks, or at the very least a better weekend than the Denver Broncos. We were gone most of the day, got home during halftime and watched exactly one play of the Super Bowl, the second-half kickoff. After that, there wasn't much reason to keep watching.

We've got plenty of reasons for you to pay attention to the Knights, however. We're down to 121 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium, and the countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at two more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Knights' shortstop Marc Gallegos (2012, 2014) of Corban was a combined 4-for-9 with four runs and two steals on Saturday as the Warriors split a season-opening doubleheader with Whitman at Wilsonville High. That's a great start for Marc, who missed the second half of the 2013 season with a shoulder injury.

Western Oregon outfielder Tim Rausch (2014) was a combined 2-for-5 as the Wolves split a season-opening doubleheader at CSU-Monterey Bay on Saturday. Zach Kayser (2014) pitched a scoreless inning in the nightcap. Former Knights infielder Austin Hamilton (2012) is also playing at WOU.

And Cypress College catcher-infielder Joe Duffin (2013-14) is 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and an RBI in two games.

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Partner school Grand Canyon is picked to finish fifth and partner school Seattle University is picked to finish seventh in the Western Athletic Conference preseason poll. Pitchers Joey Wise of GCU and Ted Hammond of SU will join us this summer. Pitchers Jorge Perez (2012-13) and Andrew Naderer (2013) were our previous two Antelopes; shortstops Trent Oleszczuk (2011) and Nate Roberts (2011, 2012) were our previous two RedHawks. Here's more on that story from College Baseball Today.

Also, partner schools Linfield, George Fox and Pacific Lutheran are picked to finish 1-2-3 in the Northwest Conference this year. Here's the complete poll, from the George Fox website.

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The Knights have released 10-day signee Ray Ayo, who left the Lane CC team this past fall. A former Westview High standout, he was a Metro League all-star, a second-team 6A all-state selection, and played in the Reser's Oregon All-Star Series in 2013. His father is Keke Ayo, a 1983-84 Oregon State letterman who coached Knights' head coach Brooke Knight at Crescent Valley High School in 1989 and 1990.

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Former Kelowna lefty James Paxton (2007) is No. 2 on the Seattle Mariners' prospect list, as compiled by Baseball America. The Ladner, British Columbia, native is the lone Canadian-born player to make any of BA's top 10 prospect lists of all the teams. Here's more on that story from the Kelowna website.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed freshman infielder Gunnar Buhner and pitcher Kevin Sheets of Abilene Christian for the 2014 season. Buhner, from Issaquah, Wash., is the son of former Seattle Mariners star Jay Buhner. Here's more on that story from the Bend website; it's the top item on the menu.

MEDFORD: The Rogues have signed LHP Trent Shelton of Oregon State) and RHP Zack Ortiz of San Diego State to full-season contracts, and 1B Jake Herklotz of Chemeketa JC and infielder Stefano Speracino of Concordia to 10-day deals. Here's more on that story from the Medford website.

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That's it for today. See you on Tuesday.


Blake Drake ready for big season at Concordia

January 31, 2014

Happy Friday, Knights fans!

It's only 124 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent (yes, we do have someone lined up, it's just not official yet) on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at 5 more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 5) in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Nice story today in College Baseball Daily on Concordia junior center fielder Blake Drake, a standout on the 2013 Knights. Blake earned all-WCL honors and was ranked as one of the league's top pro prospects by Baseball America and by Perfect Game. Just click here for the complete story.

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Partner schools Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine are picked 2-3-4 and UC Riverside was picked No. 7 in the Big West Conference preseason poll. Voting was done by the coaches. Here's the complete story, from the Big West Conference website. Lots of Knights alums get mentioned.

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It's Friday, so it's time to update the stats of our Knights alums playing and coaching in the Australian Baseball League. The regular season has been completed.

BROOKE KNIGHT: The Adelaide coach led the Bite to a 21-25 record and a fifth-place finish in the six-team league. They did not make the playoffs.

ERIC MASSINGHAM (2006-07): The Canberra pitcher, from Cal Poly, was 4-2, 5.75 in 19 games, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings. The Cavalry made the playoffs and face the Sydney Blue Sox for the right to play first-place Perth for the championship.

LIAM BARON (2008-09): The Perth reliever, from Linn-Benton and Gonzaga, appeared in one game and did not allow an earned run, but did not have an ERA yet because he didn't record an out. He was on the reserve roster for most of the season.

DEAN GREEN (2008): The one-time Oklahoma State/Barry University slugging first baseman was on the reserve list with the Sydney Blue Sox and did not play in the regular season.

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This story from MLB.com on the possibility of major-league baseball in Portland doesn't directly impact the Knights or the WCL, but I bet you fans will find it interesting to read. So please click here for the rest of the story.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Justin Erlandson, a freshman outfielder at Scottsdale Community College; Zack Close, a junior outfielder at ABI; Landon Frost, a sophomore outfielder at Corban College, and sophomore RHP Nick Bland of Northwest Nazarene University, for the 2014 season. Please click here for more details from the Bend website; it's the top item on the menu.

YAKIMA VALLEY: Here's more on the Pippins' two recent signings, from the Yakima Herald newspaper.

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That's it for today. Have a great weekend and we'll see you on Monday.


Kline, Rausch named preseason all-league

January 30, 2014

Happy Thursday, Knights fans!

We're down to 125 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at 6 more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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Two 2014 Knights were honored on Wednesday by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association in their West Region Division II preseason preview.

Returnee Kevin Kline of Dixie State, a junior first baseman, was named a first-team all-star by the NCBWA's regional membership. They also ranked DSU No. 5 in the preseason regional poll. Please click here for full details, from the DSU website.

Western Oregon junior outfielder Tim Rausch was named a first-team outfielder. He had a team-high .552 slugging percentage, four home runs and 38 RBIs and was a second-team GNAC all-star in 2013. WOU was ranked ninth. Here's more, from the WOU website.

Congrats to both players.

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We're thrilled that this is the 25th year of the Aloha/Corvallis Knights but we're not the only West Coast League team to be celebrating a major anniversary this summer.

It's also the 15th year for the Wenatchee AppleSox, a great rival and the other dominant power since the WCL's inception in 2005, and they've released a 15th anniversary logo to celebrate that accomplishment. You can click right here to access the Wenatchee website for more information, and to view the logo.

The AppleSox and Knights have played in the past two WCL Championship Series, and in four of the seven finals since the WCL adopted divisional play in 2007. This year we travel to Wenatchee on June 23-25, and then host the AppleSox on June 27-29 in what should be an exciting six-game showdown.

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Partner school San Diego, which will provide outfielder Grant Melker and incoming infielder Kevin Padlo to this year's club, is the preseason pick to win the West Coast Conference championship. The defending WCC Tournament-champion Toreros earned 6 of 10 possible first-place votes and 76 overall points in the poll; voting was done by the coaches.

Partner school Portland, which will send us infielder Mike Lucarelli and pitcher Jackson Lockwood this year, was picked seventh. There are 10 teams in the WCC; for more details from College Baseball Daily, click right here.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets are seeking host families for the upcoming season. If you live in the area and are interested, or know someone who does and may be interested, check out this link from the Walla Walla website for complete details.

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That's it for today. See you on Friday.


Jimenez, Jones to coach for Kelowna

January 29, 2014

Happy Wednesday, everyone.

We're down to 126 more days until our June 4 nonleague opener against a soon-to-be-named opponent on Science, Engineering & Art Day at Goss Stadium. The countdown for Hot Stove Night III, our premier offseason attraction, is at seven more days.

West Coast League president Dennis Koho and OSU pitching coach Nate Yeskie are the special guest speakers for HSN III, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Knights' president Dan Segel and general manager Bre Kerkvliet will also speak, and all four will be available for questions.

Seating is limited and reservations are still coming in, so you better hurry. Admission is free for Olufson Designs Diamond Club members, for host families and sponsors, and just $5 for others. If you purchase a season ticket or 10-game punch card ($50) at the gate, you also get in free of charge. Reserve your seat by e-mailing justine.ekman@corvallisknights.com.

Now, on with the rest of the news.

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The Kelowna Falcons will have a definite Corvallis Knights feel to them this season. All three of their coaches will be Knights alums, and three of the greatest players in our franchise history.

Former Knights' player (2006, 2008-09) and assistant coach (2010-11, 2013) Billy Clontz was announced as the Falcons' new head coach last October. On Wednesday, Kelowna announced that former Knights Richie Jimenez (2008-09), our 2009 MVP and the MVP of the WCL that season, and alum Dylan Jones (2009-10), our 2010 MVP, would be the assistant coaches.

Dylan, who played at Mt. Hood CC and at Oregon State, is presently helping out with the OSU baseball team. Richie played at Riverside City College and at UNLV, and then spent the 2012 season with the Gateway (Ill.) Grizzlies in the independent Frontier League. Here's more on the story, from the Kelowna website. Congrats to both guys! We host Kelowna on June 20-22, so it will be nice to catch up.

Former Knights' standout Josh Hogan (2007-09), a former teammate of Clontz, Jones and Jimenez, is in his second year as the head coach of the Medford Rogues. He also coached Klamath Falls in 2012.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed freshman pitcher Jordan Kron of UC Riverside and freshman catcher Tyler Boxwell of Central Arizona CC for the 2014 season. Click right here for more information, from the Klamath Falls Herald and News newspaper.

YAKIMA VALLEY: The Pippins have signed freshman pitcher Vince Fernandez of UC- Riverside and freshman catcher Alex Guenette of UC-Irvine for the upcoming season. Here's the complete story, from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. See you on Thursday.