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Knights Daily Update

Welcome back to first place!

July 17, 2013

It's a beautiful day at the WWHQ for the FIRST-PLACE Corvallis Knights.

Yes, you read it right. After a so-so start, we are now back on top of the South Division following last night's 14-3 thrashing of the Bellingham Bells in Bellingham.

We now hold a 1/2-game lead over the rival Bend Elks, who were thrashed 16-8 in Bend by Klamath Falls last night to fall out of first place. Bend had led the division from the start of the season before we moved ahead last night.

Our series in Bellingham concludes tonight. Washington sophomore-to-be Alex Nesbitt makes his Knights' starting debut; he's been very impressive as a reliever of late so he's earned a starting shot. He's allowed no runs and just two hits over eight innings in his last two appearances, with five strikeouts.

We'll make the long trip home after tonight's game and then face the Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team in a nonleague game at 6:40 p.m. Thursday at Goss Stadium. That game drew more than 1,400 fans last year and we're expecting another good turnout on a Block 15 Thursday.

The Knights are then idle until Wednesday (7/24), when we begin a three-game home series with the expansion Medford Rogues. It will be a homecoming for Medford coach Josh Hogan, a standout middle infielder for the Knights from 2007-09, and for Medford assistant coach Dylan Jones, an Oregon State alum and a 2009-10 Knight who was our 2010 MVP.

So, now you're all caught up, and we'll get on with today's news.

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There's been some movement by our minor-league Knights alums.

* The Boston Red Sox have promoted alum Kyle Kraus (2009-10) for the third time this season. He's now pitching for Portland (Maine) in the Class AA Eastern League. He started the season in low-A and twice was moved up to high-A before his most recent jump.

* The San Francisco Giants have promoted pitcher Chase Johnson (2011) to Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League from the Arizona Rookie League.

* First baseman Dean Green is on rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Tigers after spending nearly two months on the DL. He started the year at high-A Lakeland in the Florida State League.

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Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy was 1-for-1 with a homer, two RBIs, a run and two walks in a 6-3 win over Trenton on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Richmond (AA Eastern, Giants) pitcher Josh Osich (2008) threw two scoreless innings and had a strikeout in a 9-3 win over Binghamton.

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Good story in the Medford Mail-Tribune on Victoria HarbourCats coach Dennis Rogers, who also is a great friend of the Knights through his position as the head coach at partner school Riverside City College.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .234 (15-64) with three homers and three RBIs in 28 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .444 (4-9) with no homers or RBIs for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League. He's on the DL.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .234 (64-274) with five homers and 37 RBIs in 80 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .208 (32-154) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 45 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .287 (47-164) with three homers and 28 RBIs in 48 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .308 (82-266) with four homers and 42 RBIs in 72 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .196 (10-51) with one RBI in 16 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .235 (28-119) with one homer and 11 RBIs in 35 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .299 (20-67) with one homer and five RBIs in 23 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .265 (11-43) with one homer and two RBIs in 15 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .250 (2-8) with a homer and three RBIs with the Gulf Coast League Tigers while on rehab assignment from Lakeland, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .257 (43-167) with four homers and 18 RBIs in 45 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .250 (10-40) with one homer and six RBIs in 11 games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .225 (47-209) with seven homers and 23 RBIs in 70 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .291 (97-333) with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in 92 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .167 (4-24) with two RBIs in nine games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .265 (59-223) with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in 71 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .328 (21-64) with one homer and six RBIs in 19 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 0-1, 3.80 in eight games with Modesto, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A California League. He has 39 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, but is presently on the DL.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-2, 4.15 in four games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 15 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 0-1, 13.50 in five games with Eugene, San Diego's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

MATT BOYD (2010): Matt has signed with Toronto but has not yet been assigned to a team.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-2, 12.00 in five games with the Athletics, Oakland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has seven strikeouts in six innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-2, 4.61 in seven games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has 13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 0-0, 0.00 in one game with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has five strikeouts in four innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 3-2, 2.70 in seven games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 41 strikeouts in 40 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 0-0, 0.00 in one game with Portland, Boston's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League. He has two strikeouts in four innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 3-6, 4.35 in 18 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 91 strikeouts in 93 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 3-3, 4.87 with two saves in 17 appearances with Kane County (Ill.), the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-3, 6.26 in 36 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 36 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-2, 9.95 in five appearances with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League. He has eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 2.68 in 24 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He has 19 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

JIMMIE SHERFY (2011): Jimmie is 0-0, 0.00 in one appearance with Hillsboro, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has one strikeout in one inning.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-6, 5.91 in 17 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 46 strikeouts in 91.1 innings. ----------------------------------------------------

That's all for today. The blog is taking a little all-star break after today; we'll see you next Tuesday.


Tough loss in Bellingham

July 16, 2013

A tough loss for us last night in Bellingham. We failed to cash in on some excellent scoring chances early, and six (!!) errors led to all four runs for the Bells in a 4-3 loss at Joe Martin Stadium.

We could have tied idle Bend for first place in the South Division with a win. Instead we dropped 1/2 game and now trail the Elks by a full game.

Game 2 is tonight and starter Elliot Surrey of UC Irvine hopes to get us back on track. Game 3 is Wednesday night (Alex Nesbitt gets his first start) and on Thursday we're back home for a nonleague game against the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team.

We've got the weekend off. On Monday, South Division all-stars Dane Lund, Blake Drake, Cody Lenahan, Devon Barker and Brandon Choate and GM Bre Kerkvliet will head to Victoria for Tuesday night's WCL All-Star Game at Royal Athletic Park.

We're back home on Wednesday for a three-game series with the expansion Medford Rogues. We'll welcome back ex-Knights stars Josh Hogan (2007-09) and Dylan Jones (2009-10), Medford's head and assistant coach, respectively.

Now on to today's news.

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As we stated above, five Knights have been named to the South Division team for the West Coast League All-Star Game, set for Tuesday in Victoria. Here are full details on our all-stars from our webste, and here are details on the game and the complete ASG rosters from the WCL website.

It should be a great game. We revived the All-Star Game in 2011 after a two-year hiatus, drew more than 2,500 fans, and it's been a big success ever since.

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Broward County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) homered, singled, scored and drove in a run in a 2-1 loss to Palm Beach on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) doubled, scored and drove in a run in a 6-5 loss to Trenton.

* Vermont (A New York-Penn, Athletics) catcher Ryan Gorton (2011) was 3-for-3 with a walk in a 6-2 loss to Mahoning Valley.

* Salem-Keizer (A Northwest, Giants) pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) allowed two runs in six innings, had five strikeouts without a walk and got the win in a 6-4 victory over Eugene.


How sweep it is!

July 15, 2013

It could all change tonight if we lose at Bellingham, but right now everyone's in a pretty good mood down here at the WWHQ of the Corvallis Knights.

That's what back-to-back sweeps, an 8-game winning streak, and a 10-1 homestand will do for you. We've moved to within 1/2 game of first-place Bend in the South Division, and we can pull into a first-place tie with the Elks if we win tonight.

So now it's off to Bellingham and three games with the Bells tonight, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. We took 2 of 3 from Bellingham at Goss Stadium on July 2-4 to start the recent homestand so they'll be looking to avenge those losses.

We return home for our annual nonleague game against the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team on Thursday night. We then have the weekend off, and several of our players will then head to Victoria, B.C., for the July 23 All-Star Game at Royal Athletic Park.

Our next home West Coast League series is July 24-26 against Medford.

Now, on to today's Knights' news.

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As expected, we passed the 200,000 mark in total attendance since our move to Corvallis for the 2007 season on Friday night. Thanks to our loyal fans for making that possible.

For the season, we're at 26,392 for 21 openings, an average of 1,257 per game. We slightly ahead (+ 81) of last season through a corresponding number of dates.

We can still hit our preseason target of 45,000, as we've got some great promotions and possible playoffs remaining. So we'll see you at the ballpark.

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The Toronto Blue Jays still have not assigned recent pro signee Matt Boyd (2010), a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, to a minor-league roster. When they do, we'll include him in our weekly stats update of our minor-league alums.

That's also the case with pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011), an Oregon alum who signed with Arizona. He's in Hillsboro with the Hops of the short-season Class A Northwest League, but he's not yet on their active roster and has not yet appeared in a game.

Here's a complete list of all WCL alums in affiliated baseball as of July 7.

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Here's a link to a Bellingham radio interview with new WCL President Dennis Koho on KPUG 1170 AM. It's interesting and informative about his plans in his new job.

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The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League returned pitcher Matt Way (2007) to the active list on July 12, He had been inactive since July 2. He is 3-4, 4.60 in 12 starts, with 56 strikeouts in 58.2 innings.

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Springfield (AA Texas, Cardinals) outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09), the Knights' original Melkman, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Sunday in a 6-3 win over Arkansas to earn Corvallis Knights Player of the Day honors. His younger brother, Grant Melker, now plays for the Knights.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) was 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI in a 7-5 loss to New Hampshire.

* Broward County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 2-for-4 with a run and a triple in a 5-3 win over Palm Beach.

* Augusta (A South Atlantic, Giants) shortstop Matt Duffy (2010)was 3-for-4 with a triple and a run in a 5-4 loss to Charleston.

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The new Miss Oregon, Allison Cook, will appear at Medford's game on Saturday to help fund-raise for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Here are more details from the Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper.

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


We should hit a milestone tonight

July 12, 2013

Good morning, everyone. Another great one at the WWHQ, since we defeated Walla Walla 2-0 last night for our fourth West Coast League win in a row.

Last night's game drew 1,244 fans and brought us to the verge of a milestone. We've drawn 198,918 fans in the 6-plus years since we moved to Corvallis from Gresham, so sometime tonight (we expect) the 200,000th Knights fan will enter Goss Stadium to watch Game 2 of the series against the Sweets.

Here's more on that topic from Corvallis Gazette-Times reporter Brad Fuqua, who covered last night's win and who will be there again tonight for what we hope is a series-clinching victory.

Anyways, thanks to all the Knights fans out there who've helped make our team so successful, and by extension our jobs so fun.

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One thing mentioned in Brad's blog that we linked in the above segment was creative sound effects. And he's right, we do try to have a little tasteful fun with our music.

Our press box crew also includes music maestro Zach Zaremba of Crescent Valley and UMass; graphics coordinator Amanda Carraway of Oregon State; PA announcer Doug Blair and assistant to the president JK Dykes of Washington State. Everyone makes suggestions for the frequent musical and video interludes that help spice up the dead air between batters, innings and pitches.

Sometimes fans might wonder what we're doing (we do too). So here's a primer so you'll be informed and not have to scratch your head when you hear something that doesn't sound quite right.

* Every player and pitcher has a walkup song that's played each time he comes to bat, or goes in to pitch. The players request their music and as long as there are no explicit lyrics, we'll accommodate them.

* We try to get creative. For example, when the catcher and the pitcher confer, you'll sometimes hear this classic from "The Godfather" played. Last year we played this Godfather classic line.

* Sometimes when the coach and the catcher come out to the mound we'll play the "Three Best Friends" song from the movie "The Hangover."

* Last night we broke out "Kumbaya" when Walla Walla's entire infield, the catcher and a coach held a conference on the mound. We'd been waiting to do that one but Wenatchee never called that big a conference during the previous series.

* Every time outfielder Grant Melker gets a hit, steals a base or makes a great catch, we play this gem we discovered. Gotta love "The Melkman."

* We played the "Can I buy a vowel?" line from "Wheel of Fortune" when Walla Walla infielder John Skrbec came to bat.

* Last night we also Rick-rolled catcher Dane Lund's walkup song on his second at-bat.

We're always trying to think of more fun stuff, so don't be shy. If you've got any ideas, come on up to the press box and let us know.

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Knights alums Ben Wetzler and Scott Schultz of Oregon State, two key members of our 2011 WCL championship team, did not sign pro contracts and they will return to OSU for their senior seasons.

Wetzler was draftxed by Philadelphia in the fifth round; Schultz was a 17-round pick of the Miami Marlins.

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Great Falls (A Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) was 3-for-4 with a homer and an RBI in a 6-4 win at Orem on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Jupiter (A Florida State, Marlins) outfielder Alex Burg was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in a 6-1 win over Fort Myers.

* South Bend (A Midwest, Diamondbacks) third baseman Carter Bell (2009) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 6-1 win over Kane County.

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Here's a report of the West Coast League's weekly highlights for each club. And here's a good story from The Wenatchee World newspaper on Wenatchee owner Jim Corcoran's attempts to upgrade his team's venue, or build a new, bigger ballpark altogether.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .246 (15-61) with three homers and six RBIs in 27 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .444 (4-9) with no homers or RBIs for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League. He's on the DL.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .240 (63-262) with five homers and 36 RBIs in 77 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .207 (31-150) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 44 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .311 (47-151) with three homers and 26 RBIs in 44 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .304 (77-250) with four homers and 40 RBIs in 68 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .196 (9-46) in 14 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .231 (25-108) with 10 RBIs in 32 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .303 (20-66) with one homer and five RBIs in 22 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .194 (7-36) with one homer and two RBIs in 13 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .333 (25-75) with a homer and six RBIs in 18 games with Lakeland, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He's currently on the DL.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .243 (37-152) with three homers and 17 RBIs in 41 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .310 (9-29) with one homer and five RBIs in eight games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .226 (45-199) with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 66 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .287 (91-317) with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 88 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .190 (4-21) with two RBIs in eight games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .265 (58-219) with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 70 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .300 (15-50) with one homer and five RBIs in 15 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 0-1, 3.80 in eight games with Modesto, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A California League. He has 39 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, but is presently on the DL.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-1, 2.50 in three games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 14 strikeouts in 18 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 0-1, 13.50 in five games with Eugene, San Diego's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

MATT BOYD (2010): Matt has signed with Toronto but has not yet been assigned to a team.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-2, 10.13 in four games with the Athletics, Oakland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has five strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-2, 4.26 in six games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has 11 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 0-0, 1.69 in three games with the Giants, San Francisco's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 2-2, 2.65 in six games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 36 strikeouts in 34 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 1-2, 4.84 in five games for Salem, Boston's affiliate in the single-A Carolina League. He has 12 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 2-6, 4.62 in 17 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 88 strikeouts in 86 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 3-3, 4.87 with two saves in 17 appearances with Kane County (Ill.), the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-3, 6.37 in 35 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 36 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-1, 10.80 in three appearances with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the AA Eastern League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 2.82 in 23 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 19 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-6, 5.91 in 17 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 46 strikeouts in 91.1 innings.

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That's all for today. See you on Monday, or at the ballpark tonight and Saturday night.


Sweets next after our sweep

July 11, 2013

Happy Thursday, everyone.

And a happy one it is at the WWHQ, in the wake of our sweep of the defending WCL champion Wenatchee AppleSox this week. We're finally playing well (5-1 in our last 6), have a nice grip on second place in the South Division, and are now just two games behind first-place Bend.

There's another tough assignment coming up, though. We open a series with Walla Walla tonight and the Sweets are now in first place in the North Division following their sweep at Victoria this week. They are 8-2 in their last 10 WCL games to improve to 19-11 in the WCL; they're two games ahead of Wenatchee in the North.

So come on out to the ballpark tonight through Thursday for a good series, and help us reach another milestone (see next blog item).

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The Knights will reach a significant attendance milestone sometime during this weekend's series with the Sweets.

The 200,000th fan in franchise history will enter Goss Stadium, most likely on Friday night. Entering the series the Knights have drawn 197,674 fans in our six-plus seasons since moving to Corvallis in 2007, so the milestone will be reached Friday if the season average is maintained.

No special ceremony is planned to mark the occasion and the exact identity of the 200,000th fan will never be known. But he or she represents a major accomplishment for us. Here's the complete story, from corvallisknights.com

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Don't know how we missed this, but the Chicago White Sox recalled third baseman Brent Morel from triple-A Charlotte on July 3 to fill a roster opening created when Paul Konerko went on the 15-day DL.

BeMo had been up with the big club from June 26-29 while another player was on peternity leave, but had been sent back to Charlotte. Here's more from csnchicago.com.

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First baseman Jim Murphy (2007) of Reading was 0-for-2 for the East Division and catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Richmond was 0-for-1 for the West on Wednesday at the Eastern League All-Star game at New Britain, Conn.

The West won 5-0. Susac wasn't scheduled for play because of a finger injury but he did appear as a pinch-hitter.

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Nice story on Corvallis native Thomas McCarty in today's Corvallis Gazette-Times. There's no mention of it, but he played for the Knights in 2010 before heading off to Kentucky for his breakout junior season.

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Clinton (A Midwest, Mariners) first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a 6-1 win over West Michigan on Wednesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Colorado Springs (AAA Pacific Coast, Rockies) second baseman Drew Garcia (2007)was 2-for-4 with two runs in an 8-3 win over Sacramento.

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Short and sweet today

July 10, 2013

We'll be brief, as it's already been a busy morning and we've still got a game tonight.

Great win last night over Wenatchee to clinch the home series, and to guarantee nothing worse that a season split with the AppleSox, the defending WCL champions. We're now 4-1 in our last five WCL games, have won two series in a row, and are 6-1 overall in our last seven games.

Tonight's series finale starts at 6:40 p.m. and matches lefty Devon Barker (2-1, 3.41) for the Knights and righty Jake Bruml (2-1, 3.22) for Wenatchee. The fifth annual Heart of the Valley Runners Take Me Out to the Ballgame 5K Run and Walk precedes the game, starting and finishing at Goss Stadium.

So, see you there. We've had great weather throughout our ongoing 11-game homestand and it looks super for the rest of the week, so we'll see you at Goss!

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Last night's crowd of 1,136 raised our season total to 21,293 in 17 dates, an average of 1,253 per opening. We're 610 fans ahead of last year's pace through a corresponding number of home games.

That's great but we'll need your help to crack our all-time record of 42,447, set in 2011, and to reach our target goal of 45,000. So come on out to Goss Stadium through the rest of the week. We host Walla Walla this Thursday through Saturday.

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Remember, first baseman Jim Murphy of the Reading (Pa.) Fightin' Phils, our 2007 MVP, plays in the Eastern League All-Star Game tonight in New Britain, Conn. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Richmond was also selected but he can't play because of an injury.

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Vermont (A New York-Penn, Athletics) catcher Ryan Gorton (2011) homered, singled and had a sacrifice bunt that led to the winning run in a 2-1, 10-inning win over Hudson Valley on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

Greensboro (A South Atlantic, Marlins) pitcher Scott Lyman allowed three hits and two runs over eight innings and got the win in a 7-2 victory over Lexington. He had seven strikeouts.

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


Boyd signs with Jays; Heck to Mississippi State

July 9, 2013

Good morning everyone.

It's always a wonderful morning after a nice win against a quality opponent in a series opener. So our 8-5 victory over the Wenatchee AppleSox at Goss Stadium last night put a little spring in our step as we headed off to the WWHQ this morning.

We held on to second place in the South Division with the victory, our third in our last four West Coast League games and our fifth in our last six games overall. We lead Cowlitz by 1/2 game in the race for second, and are just three games behind first-place Bend in the South Division pennant race.

Game 2 is at 6:40 tonight and it matches lefty Trevor Lubking of the AppleSox and Pacific Lutheran, and Elliot Surrey of the Knights and UC Irvine. Should be a good one.

Remember, it's a Bi-Mart $2 Tuesday; GA tickets are available for $2 by showing your Bi-Mart card. Coors Light will also be available for $2. So head on out to the ballpark and help us reach of quest of 45,000 in attendance this summer.

Now, on to the news.

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Alum Matt Boyd (2010), a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, announced he has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. They selected him in the sixth round of the recent MLB draft.

He hasn't been assigned to a minor-league affiliate yet. His possible destinations are Vancouver in the Class A short-season Northwest League; Bluefield (WVa) in the rookie Appalachian league, or the Gulf Coast League (Fla.) Blue Jays, another rookie league. We should know soon.

We'll be following him wherever he ends up.

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Knights' infielder Seth Heck of Tacoma Community College will play at Mississippi State next season. The Bulldogs recently finished second behind UCLA at the College World Series.

Seth hit .330 (62-188) in 51 games at TCC in 2013, with a homer and 32 RBIs. He was named a NWAACC West Division all-star, a second-team NWAACC all-star, and the Gold Glover winner for shortstops.

In 2012, Seth hit .355 (59-166) in 44 games, with 22 RBIs. He was a NWAACC West Division all-star, a second-team NWAACC all-star, and the Gold Glover winner for shortstops.

He's a graduate of Kamiak High School in Edmonds, Wash., who originally joined us as a 10-day signee. He's hitting .289 overall this summer, with a homer and 12 RBIs in 26 games.

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Pitcher Devon Barker of Central Washington has 62,201 votes (as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday) and leads the voting to represent the Knights at the West Coast League All-Star Game, set for July 23 in Victoria, B.C. You can vote by clicking here. Voting concludes this Saturday.

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First baseman Jim Murphy of the Reading Fightin' Phils, our 2007 MVP, will play for the Eastern Division in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday night in New Britain, Conn.

A Washington State alum, Murphy is hitting .289 in 87 games, with 15 homers and 54 RBIs. Reading is the double-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Former Oregon State catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was selected but cannot play because of a finger injury. He is hitting .265 in 70 games, with 11 homers and 38 RBIs, for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, San Francisco's affiliate.

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Interesting story on the Northwoods League and its owner, Dick Radatz Jr., from The Boston Globe via Ballpark Biz. Click here for a good read.

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Walla Walla right-hander Cody Poteet of UCLA and Medford lefty Justin Jacome of UC Santa Barbara delivered masterful pitching performances in combined shutouts on July 5 to earn co-WCL Player of the Week honors. Click here for full details.

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Brevard County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 2-for-5 with two doubles, a run and an RBI on Monday in a 4-3, 10-inning win over Tampa to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) was 1-for-1 with a run, two RBIs and two walks in a 10-6 loss to Trenton.

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


Sherfy signs with Arizona

July 8, 2013

We're back in the office this morning after a successful weekend that featured easy wins over the WCL Portland Toros and Lobos in a couple of nonleague games at Goss Stadium.

The work load gets much tougher this week, though, as Wenatchee (tonight-Wednesday) and Walla Walla (Thursday-Saturday) come to town for a couple of West Coast League series. The AppleSox and Sweets are 1-2 in the North Division.

We are now in second place in the South Division at 14-13, one-half game ahead of Cowlitz. The top two teams in each division advance to the playoffs, which start on Aug. 13, and we plan to be there for the seventh year in a row. We took 2 of 3 against Bellingham in our most recent WCL series and if we keep playing .667 ball we'll make it just fine.

Now, on to today's Knights news.

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Oregon closer Jimmie Sherfy, a key member of the bullpen on our 2011 WCL champions, has signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks. He's been assigned to the Hillsboro Hops, their short-season Class A Northwest League affiliate. Here's more on the story from The Oregonian.

Jimmie was selected in the 10th round of the recent MLB draft. Best of luck to him in pro baseball and we'll be following his career closely.

The other three four Knights alums who still haven't signed - Oregon State pitchers Matt Boyd, Ben Wetzler and Scott Schultz, and Cal Poly infielder Jimmy Allen - have until Friday to sign. Boyd (Toronto) has no eligibilty remaining, so he will sign (he may have already but MLB.com lists him as unsigned), but Wetzler (Philadelphia), Schultz (Miami) and Allen (Boston) still have a tough decision to make as they still have one more year of eligibility.

We don't know anything on Wetzler and Schultz, but the cal Poly grapevine tells us Allen isn't signing and will return to San Luis Obispo for his senior year.

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Alum Jim Murphy (2007) of the Reading Fightin' Phils made the East team for the Eastern league All-Star Game, to be played Wednesday at New Britain, Conn. Here's more from MILB.com. Congrats to Jim, our 2007 MVP.

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The AppleSox went 9-1 in their last 10 games to move into first place in the North Division. They swept the Kitsap BlueJackets in Silverdale this past weekend to pass Walla Walla in the North Division pennant race.

Wenatchee infielder Connor Spencer of UC Irvine is sixth in the WCL with a .343 average; he has no homers and 16 RBIs in 19 games. Outfielder Brett Stephens, a UCLA signee from Moraga, Calif., is 10th at .333, with two homers and 12 RBIs in 23 games.

Wenatchee and Corvallis have combined to win the past five WCL championships. Corvallis prevailed in 2008 and 2011, Wenatchee in 2009, 2010 and 2012. Corvallis defeated Wenatchee for the 2008 crown; Wenatchee topped Corvallis for the 2009 and 2012 titles.

The AppleSox took 2 of 3 from the Knights in Wenatchee this past June 5-7, and they lead the all-time regular-season series 26-22. Wenatchee also leads the all-time playoff series 4-3.

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Our attendance continues to trend upward. We've drawn 19,154 fans through 15 games, an average of 1,276 per opening. We're 991 fans ahead of last year's pace through a corresponding number of dates.

We've got some good promotions this week (Baseball giveaway, Block 15, Bi-Mart $2 Tuesday, etc.) also and that should help us headed in the right direction. Click here for complete promotional information.

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Great Falls (A Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) was 1-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs on Sunday in a 9-6 loss to Helena to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

No honorable mentions today.

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That's it for today. See you at the ballpark this week!


The homestand continues

July 5, 2013

Tough loss to Bellingham last night in Game 3 of our 11-game homestand. But we won the series 2-1 and if that trend continues and we keep playing .667 baseball we'll be safely into the plahoffs for the seventh year in a row.

We resume action tonight with a 6:40 p.m. nonleague game against the Toros of WCL Portland. It's Les & Bob's Cardinal Out Night and Papa's Pizza Singles Night; the first 150 fans will receive a free cardinal Knights tee shirt and the first 250 fans will receive a free slice of Papa's Pizza.

And everyone is encouraged to wear cardinal, our team color. Let's turn Goss Stadium into a sea of cardinal!

Saturday is Rocky Night. It's Sylvester Stallone's birthday so we'll celebrate all things Sly.

We've had a few days off, because of the busy Fireworks Night and the July 4 holiday. But the blog is back in business, so let's get started on today's Knights news.

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Our attendance, aided by this spectacular early July weather, continues to trend upward. We've drawn 17,156 fans for 13 home dates, an average of 1,320 per night. We're 2,806 fans ahead of last year's pace through a corresponding number of home dates.

That number will take a hit today, as the corresponding 2012 date to tonight is Fireworks Night. But we'll still be ahead, and on track in our quest to set an all-time record and to even hit 45,000 for the season.

We can't do it without you, so come on out to Goss tonight and this weekend, and next week, when we host Wenatchee on Monday-Wednesday and Walla Walla on Thursday-Saturday.

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Good news to report on the alumni front.

* The San Francisco Giants have promoted left-handed pitcher Josh Osich (2008) to double-AA Richmond in the Eastern League. Josh was 3-1 with a .2.45 ERA and 12 saves in 34 games at advanced-A San Jose, with 48 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 40.1 innings. He was also a California League All-Star.

He pitched a scoreless inning at Richmond in his AA debut. He joins another Knights/Oregon State alum, catcher Andrew Susac (2009) on the Flying Squirrels.

So congrats to Josh. As a former Richmonder during my days at the University of Richmond, I hope he likes it, but that he keeps moving up in the organization and doesn't have to spend a lot of time there. Richmond's heat and humidity can be a bear in the summer.

* The Padres have promoted pitcher Matt Andriese (2009) to triple-A Tucson, where he is 1-0, 1.50 in 12 innings in two starts. He was at San Antonio, where he was a Texas League all-star. Congrats to Matt! Maybe a September callup to the Padres is in his future too.

* Pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) is back with Salem in the A-advanced Carolina League after the Red Sox promoted him from Greenville of the low-A South Atlantic League for the second time this season. Way to go Kyle!

* The Padres also prompted pitcher Max Beatty (2010-12) to the Eugene Emeralds in the Class A Northwest League from the Arizona Rookie League Padres.

* The Giants have assigned pitcher Chase Johnson (2011) to the Arizona Rookie League.

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Speaking of alums, former intern Mickey Godfrey (2009-10) stopped by the press box during yesterday's game to catch up. He graduated from Oregon in 2012 and is now working for the Hood to Coast Relay, and is living in Porttland. Congrats to Mickey, a former player at Corvallis High and video screen operator deluxe!

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Beloit (A Midwest, Athletics) outfielder Dayton Alexander (2011) was 3-for-4 with a run on Thursday in a 3-2 win over Peoria to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Salem-Keizer (A Giants, Northwest) pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) allowed four runs and had seven strikeouts in five innings in an 8-5 win over Everett, but got a no-decision.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .256 (15-56) with three RBIs in 24 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .444 (4-9) with no homers or RBIs for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .256 (62-242) with five homers and 34 RBIs in 71 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .206 (28-136) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 40 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .316 (42-133) with three homers and 26 RBIs in 38 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .312 (74-237) with four homers and 40 RBIs in 64 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .182 (6-33) in 10 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .239 (22-92) with eight RBIs in 28 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .291 (16-55) with one homer and four RBIs in 18 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .074 (2-27) with one RBI in 10 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .333 (25-75) with a homer and six RBIs in 18 games with Lakeland, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He's currently on the DL.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .264 (34-129) with three homers and 15 RBIs in 35 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .429 (3-7) with no homers or RBIs in two games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .220 (42-191) with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 63 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

BRENT MOREL (2006, 2007): Brent is hitting .283 (71-251) with five homers and 40 RBIs in 68 games for Charlotte, the Chicago White Sox's affiliate in the triple-A International League.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .287 (87-303) with 15 homers and 51 RBIs in 83 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .222 (2-9) with two RBIs in four games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .265 (58-219) with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 70 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .306 (11-36) with no homers and two RBIs in 11 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 0-1, 3.80 in eight games with Modesto, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A California League. He has 39 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, but is presently on the DL.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-0, 1.50 in two games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 10 strikeouts in 12 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 0-0, 8.10 in three games with Eugene, San Diego's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-2, 10.13 in four games with the Athletics, Oakland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has five strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-1, 1.35 in four games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has seven strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 0-0, 3.00 in two games with the Giants, San Francisco's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has one strikeout in three innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 2-1, 2.17 in five games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 25 strikeouts in 29 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 1-1, 3.00 in four games for Salem, Boston's affiliate in the single-A Carolina League. He has 12 strikeouts in 18 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 2-6, 4.62 in 16 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 81 strikeouts in 78 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 3-3, 4.87 with two saves in 17 appearances with Kane County (Ill.), the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-2, 6.29 in 33 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 35 strikeouts in 48.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-0, 0.00 in one appearance with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the AA Eastern league. He has no strikeouts.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 3.00 in 22 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 15 strikeouts in 36 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-5, 5.94 in 16 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 44 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.

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That's it for today, See you on Monday, and see you at the ballpark this weekend!


All-Star voting now underway

July 2, 2013

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

The WWHQ has been jumping today as fans are snapping up the remaining tickets for Wednesday's Fireworks Night game against Bellingham. We still have some left, but they're going fast and we will sell out. So, act now so you don't get left behind.

Tonight's game starts our 11-game homestand. We have nine league games in that span so it's important we get off to a fast start and make some hay at Goss Stadium and climb back into the WCL's South Division race. We're presently tied with Cowlitz for third place at 12-12, three games behind Bend.

Bellingham lost a doubleheader at Kitsap on Monday and is in third place in the North Division. The Bells advanced to the playoffs last year and lost a tough 2-1 playoff series to Wenatchee, which then edged us 2-1 to win the WCL championship.

So, we expect a tough series and the Bells have won three in a row, and four of the last five games, against us. We lead the all-time series 33-21 and are 17-4 at Goss Stadium.

Now, on with the news.

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Fan voting for the West Coast League All-Star game starts today. In Corvallis, it's sponsored by the Willamette Valley Bottling Co.

Fans from each WCL team select a player to compete in the 2013 WCL All-Star Game, scheduled for Tuesday, July 23, at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria, British Columbia. So vote early, vote often for who you feel is the most deserving Knight by clicking here or by voting at Goss Stadium or at Willamette Valley Bottling Co.

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We enter this homestand on a downturn after going 2-4 on a road trip to Bend and Kitsap last week.

Catcher/outfielder Dane Lund is our hottest hitter. The three-year veteran went 4-for-8 (.500) in the Kitsap series and is batting .538 (7-13) in his last five games, with four runs and an RBI, to raise his average to a team-high .338. Outfielder Grant Melker is hitting .545 (6-11) in his last five games, with a double and an RBI, to raise his average to .302.

Righty Chris Bishop (0-2, 2.45) starts tonight's game and righty Casey Bloomquist (2-0, 3.75) starts Wednesday's game. Thursday's starter, Andrew Naderer, has allowed just one earned run and six hits in 14 innings. The lefty from Grand Canyon University has been on a pitch count because of a heavy workload this spring, when the Antelopes advanced to the Division II College World Series.

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Here's an update on rising OSU junior Jace Fry, a member of our 2011 WCL championship team, and his recovery from elbow surgery.

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Brevard County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 2-for-3 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs in an 8-0 win over Lakeland on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Charlotte (AAA International, White Sox) third baseman Brent Morel (2006-07) was 2-for-4 with a double and a run in a 3-0 win over Buffalo.

* Clinton (A Midwest, Mariners) first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was 2-for-2 with two runs, two RBIs and a double in a 9-8 loss to Quad Cities.

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