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Knights Daily Update

More local flavor for the Knights

January 2, 2013

We are back, after a long day of watching football on Tuesday while celebrating the New Year's holiday, and after some vacation and an extended holiday break.

So now we're rested and ready for the home stretch leading up to Year VII (7) in Corvallis. According to the brand-new 2013 calendar I hung up on the office wall this morning, it's just 153 more days until our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos on Science & Art Day II at Goss Stadium.

And remember, we've got lots going on in Knights Nation before the opener. Coming up next is Hot Stove Night II, set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. It will feature catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees.

It's free for season-ticket holders and host families, only $5 for everyone else, and free with the purchase of a 10-game punch card or season ticket at the event. Reservations are available by e-mailing brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

See you there!

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Now, for that local connection we heralded in the headline.

The Knights have signed Scott Stone, a junior third baseman and first baseman at Central Washington University, to a 10-day contract. He starred at Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis from 2009-10, and his parents (Jane and Bill) are a Knights' host family.

Scott played at Mt. Hood CC in Gresham the past two years. He hit .243 (18-74) with 15 RBIs in 37 games in 2012, and .250 (13-52) with a homer and five RBIs in 27 games in 2011. He's a 6-foot-5, 205-pound first baseman who bats and throws right-handed.

Scott was a Mid-Willamette Conference all-star and a 2010 first-team 5A all-state selection at CV. He also played in the 2010 Oregon All-Star Series.

Welcome to the club!

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The 2012 Black Bears were ranked as the No. 6 sports story in the Kelso-Longview area by The Daily News newspaper of Longview. Here are the details from the paper.

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have signed New Mexico outfielder Austin O'Such. He played at Yavapai CC in Prescott, Ariz., and also played for the Blue Jackets in 2011.

MEDFORD: The addition of the expansion Medford Rogues to the WCL was rated as the No. 10 sports story in Southern Oregon by the Medford Mail and Tribune newspaper. Here are the details.


So long, 2012!

December 31, 2012

It's time to say goodbye to 2012, which was a great year for the Corvallis Knights.

We won the West Division regular-season and playoff championships, came within one win of repeating as West Coast League champions, had the MVP of the WCL All-Star Game (Connor Hofmann), and drew nearly 42,000 fans, despite having terrible weather in June and not having a premier attraction like the WCL All-Star Game.

So, thanks to our fans, our players and our coaches, our interns and our staff!

And, with the end of the calendar year we're just 155 days away from our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos at Goss Stadium. It will be here before you know it, so get your season tickets, punch cards and merchandise now!

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Speaking of the upcoming 2013 season, our schedule and player roster are now up on corvallisknights.com. Check them out!

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Remember, Hot Stove Night II, featuring catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. Space is limited; make your reservations by e-mailing Knights' director of public relations Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

Admission is free for Host Families and season-ticket holders, and $5 for everyone else. Admission is also free if you buy a punch card or season tickets at the gate. See you there!

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Here'a an update from the Summer Ball on former Kelowna/Bend standout Royce Bolinger, now in the Texas organization.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: Four former Falcons have been named first-team All-Canadian for the 2012 college season by the Canadian Baseball Network (CBN). Here are the details from the team's website

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed UC Irvine infielder Kris Paulino and right-handed pitcher Josh Bornstein for the 2013 season. Paulino also played for the Sweets in 2012. Here are the details from the team's website.

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That's all for today. Have a happy, safe New Year's Eve and New Year's Day and we will see you on Wednesday!


A great way to end the week

December 21, 2012

We are back, after a day up in Portland as your Knights brain trust attended to some company business and then had its annual Board of Directors meeting at the Rose Garden, prior to the Trail Blazers-Denver Nuggets game.

It was great re-connecting with the guys who formed our franchise more than 20 years ago, and with some great players from our past.

I'm probably forgetting someone here, so please forgive any oversights, but among the honored guests at the meeting/party were former player/team co-founder Joe Segel;; ex-coaches Matt Dorey, Randy Rutschman and Gabe Sandy, and players Joe Gerber, Eric Gunderson, Brett Smith, Don Nichols, Doug Nichols and Jeff Moore, among others. Unfortunately one of my personal favorites, ex-Beavers/Knights star pitcher Jeff Post, had a prior engagement and couldn't attend.

Those guys were the heart and soul of the club back in the 1990s and early 2000s, when we were known as the Aloha Knights, before the 2005 formation of the West Coast League and the 2007 move to Corvallis from Mt. Hood CC.

New Victoria HarbourCats general manager Holly Jones, a former Knights' intern, was also on hand. A good time was had by all.

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We've got some great news to report today. Former Knights' pitchers Jimmie Sherfy of Oregon and Ben Wetzler of Oregon State, bullpen mainstays on our 2011 West Coast League championship team, were named preseason All-Americans on Friday by Louisville Slugger.

Both are juniors at their respective schools. A right-handed closer, Sherfy was a first-team selection. A left-handed starter, Wetzler was a third-team choice.

The Louisville Slugger preseason All-American team was selected by the Collegiate Baseball newspaper, features a who's who of NCAA Division I baseball players.

So, congrats to Jimmie and Ben, who helped us field one of the greatest bullpens in WCL history in 2011.

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Former Knights slugger Mark Samuelson (2006-07) of UC Riverside, a first baseman, has re-signed with the Washington Wild Things in the independent Frontier League for the 2013 season. He played for the now-defunct London Rippers and the Wild Things in 2012.

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We've gotten great coverage from the Corvallis Gazette-Times over the years. Here's some recent Knights news from reporter Brad Fuqua's blog.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

MEDFORD: The expansion Rogues have signed 2012 WCL All-Star third baseman of Nevada and first baseman/outfielder Billy Hansen of Regis (Colo.) University for the 2013 season. Byler, a sophomore, starred for the Klamath Falls Gems in 2012 and was named a West Division All-Star. Hansen, a freshman, is a native of Ashland and signed a 10-day contract. Here are all the details from the Our Sports Central website.

And here's more on the signings from the hometown Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper.

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


Happy Hump Day

December 19, 2012

We're already halfway through the week. Times flies, yada, yada, yada.

The blog will be off on Thursday; we'll be up in Portland for the Knights' annual Board of Director's meeting/holiday party at the Rose Garden. We'll be in a suite while the Trail Blazers are hosting the Denver Nuggets but since I haven't watched more than two minutes of an NBA game in about 25 years I'll probably be checking out BYU and San Diego State in the the Poinsettia Bowl on the suite's TV instead.

That's also another way of saying Thursday is a mental health day and there will be no blog. We're staying overnight in PDX so I'm not sure when we'll be back, therefore I'm not making any promises about Friday, either.

We'll make up any lost time during the season, trust us on that one.

Remember:

* Current season-ticket holders have until Dec. 31 to renew their existing seats. After that, they're up for grabs.

* We have merchandise and 10-game punch cards for sale at the WWHQ, in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. They make for excellent gifts or stocking-stuffers.

* Hot Stove Night II, featuring catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. Space is limited; make your reservations by e-mailing Knights' director of public relations Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

Admission is free for Host Families and season-ticket holders, and $5 for everyone else. Admission is also free if you buy a punch card or season tickets at the gate. See you there!

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Usually we have our Australian Baseball League update on Friday. But since we're not sure of our status on Friday, we'll do it today.

Former Knights Adam Melker (2008, 2009), Carter Bell (2009) and Liam Baron (2008-09) are playing for the Perth Heat.

Melker is hitting .247 (20-81) in 22 games, with a homer and six RBIs. Bell is hitting .216 (19-88), with two homers and 13 RBIs in 22 games. Baron is 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA and five strikeouts in seven innings in seven appearances, all in relief.

The Heat are 14-8 and lead the Canberra Cavalry by 1/2 game in the ABL pennant race.

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WCL all-star and postseason first-team all-league selection Rob Dittrick of Pacific University, our 2012 Pitcher of the Year, gets mentioned prominently in this story on Pacific's 2012 season from the school website.

Originally a 10-day signee, Rob made the club on a full-time basis and was a great surprise for us in 2012. Hopefully his performance can be emulated by our 2013 10-day signee from the Boxers, sophomore pitcher Kyle Treadway.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: Coach Dennis Rogers and the HarbourCats have signed their first six players, three of whom - Austin Russell, Nick Pivetta and Connor Russell - are Victoria natives. Here are all the details, from the Our Sports Central website. And here's more on the story, from the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper.

WALLA WALLA: Attention any blog readers in southeast Washington, or from anywhere who want a summer job in baseball: The Sweets are looking for interns for the upcomimng season. Here are the details, also from Our Sports Central.

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That's all for today. Have a great Thursday, and we'll see you again, possibly on Friday.


Greetings from snowy Corvallis

December 18, 2012

Wow, Mother Nature sure threw us a curve last night.

We went to bed in Oregon, and woke up in Wyoming or North Dakota, with 2-3 inches of snow on the ground in lower Timberhill (not enough to cancel school, however, much to the chagrin of the youngest member of the household).

So, although baseball season may seem a million miles away, it's not. It's only 168 more days until our June 4 home opener with the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium, and we've already had some elementary schools commit to attending!

In the meantime, we'll repeat the reminders we issued in Monday's blog, because 1, we're too lazy to write some original copy, and 2, they still apply.

* Current season-ticket holders have until Dec. 31 to renew their existing seats. After that, they're up for grabs. Some of you have already renewed, but some haven't and you don't want to lose your seat!

* We have merchandise and 10-game punch cards for sale at the WWHQ, in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. They make for excellent gifts or stocking-stuffers.

* Hot Stove Night II, featuring catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. Space is limited; make your reservations by e-mailing Knights' director of PR Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

Admission is free for Host Families and season-ticket holders, and $5 for everyone else. Admission is also free if you buy a punch card or season tickets at the gate. See you there!

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Our 2013 roster is almost finalized. Here's what it looks like (* = 10-day signee):

PITCHERS: Casey Bloomquist (Cal Poly); Dylan Hecht (UCSB); Elliot Surrey (UCI); Kellen Camus (WSU); Jacob Schroeder (WSU); Andrew Moore (OSU); Stephen Nogosek (UO); Chris Bishop (PLU); Devon Barker (Central Washington); Alex Nesbitt (Washington); Andrew Naderer (Grand Canyon); Colin Feldtman (Portland); Jared Priestley (UO); Sam Johnson (UO); Brandon Choate (Tacoma CC); Kevin Kline (Dixie State); * Jake Otness (PLU); * Tom Zarosinski (George Fox); * Kyle Treadway (Pacific U.); Kody Watts (Portland); Jorge Perez (Grand Canyon); Eric Huson (Mt. Hood).

CATCHERS: Brian Mundell (Cal Poly); Dane Lund (San Jose State); Chris Rabago (UCI); * Chad Michaud (Tacoma CC).

INFIELDERS: Gabe Clark (OSU); Kevin Kline (Dixie State); Cody Lenahan (Portland); * Eddie Malone Jr. (Central Washington); Marc Gallegos (Corban); Peter Van Gasen (Cal Poly); Michael Lucarelli (Portland); Chris Rabago (UCI).

OUTFIELDERS: Joe Duffin (UCSB); Grant Melker (San Diego); Gus Craig (Columbia); Nick Ruppert (Dartmouth); Nate Blackham (WSU).

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Here's a good Q&A with 2013 Knights pitcher Brandon Choate of Tacoma CC from the University of Washington website. Choate has signed with the Huskies for the 2013-14 season.

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


Knights sign TCC catcher Chad Michaud

December 17, 2012

It's a Monday that's had a little bit of everything - driving rain, wind, showers, and even some blue sky and sunshine. Who says you can't please everyone?

We're down to a mere 169 days until our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos on Science and Art Day II at Goss Stadium. And we start getting more minutes of daylight on Saturday, so can baseball season really be far behind?

First, a few reminders:

* Current season-ticket holders have until Dec. 31 to renew their existing seats. After that, they're up for grabs.

* We have merchandise and 10-game punch cards for sale at the WWHQ, in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. They make for excellent gifts or stocking-stuffers.

* Hot Stove Night II, featuring catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. Space is limited; make your reservations by e-mailing Knights' director of PR Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

Admission is free for Host Families and season-ticket holders, and $5 for everyone else. Admission is also free if you buy a punch card or season tickets at the gate. See you there!

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The Knights have signed Tacoma Community College catcher Chad Michaud to a 10-day contract. He's a 5-foot-10, 174-pound sophomore from Prairie High School in Vancouver, Wash.

Michaud hit .299 (23-77) with no homers and nine RBIs in 29 games for the Tigers in 2012. He was a first-team Greater St. Helen's League all-star at Prairie in 2011 and played for Showtime Baseball in the summer.

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


Big honors for Jimmie Sherfy

December 14, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone.

Hope you're all ready for the weekend, and the start of the college football bowl season! I know I am, it's my second-favorite time of the year, after the summer and our season, of course.

We'll have a couple more signings to announce early next week, after we receive the necessary paperwork. That should just about complete our roster, even though we often bring in a late addition or two after some anticipated arrivals don't show because they turned pro, were sidelined by injuries, had some academic problems, etc.

In the meantime, we've got some good news to report.

Former Knights reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011), a junior at the University of Oregon was named a pre-season first-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. He had a great season for the Ducks in 2012 and they expect big things out of him again.

Here are all the details, from the Oregon website. Congrats to "the Sherf," who played a major role in our 2011 WCL championship.

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Don't forget, reservations are highly encouraged for our Hot Stove Night II, set for Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. Catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, both alums of the Knights, are the guest speakers.

Admission is free for 2013 season ticket holders, and for host families. It's $5 for everyone else, and free if you buy a 2013 season ticket or 10-game punch card at the door that night.

Space is limited, and we had a full house last year at Hot Stove Night I. To reserve your spot, e-mail Knights director of public relations Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

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It's Friday, and that means it's time for our Australian Baseball League update on former Knights Adam Melker (2008, 2009), Carter Bell (2009) and Liam Baron (2008-09), now playing for the Perth Heat.

Melker is hitting .253 (20-79) in 21 games, with a homer and six RBIs. Bell is hitting .205 (17-83), with two homers and 11 RBIs in 15 games. Baron is 0-0 with a 1.29 ERA and five strikeouts in seven innings in seven appearances, all in relief.

The Heat are 13-8 and lead the Canberra Cavalry by 1/2 game in the ABL pennant race.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Utah freshman pitcher Bret Helton and USC freshman middle infielder Reggie Southall for the upcoming season. Here are the details, from the Sweets' website.

VICTORIA: The expansion HarbourCats will announce their first six signings On Tuesday; three are from the greater Victoria area. Read more about the upcoming signings on the team's website.


Morel healthy, figures in ChiSox's infield plans

December 13, 2012

Good morning everyone. One day closer to the weekend, one day closer to Hot Stove Night II, and one day closer to our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos at Goss Stadium!

(For those of you counting at home, it's only 173 more days until Opening Night VII.)

And don't forget, we're taking reservations for aforementioned Hot Stove Night II, our premier offseason event. It's set for Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club; our special guests this year are catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, two Knights' alums who have gone on to solid careers in pro baseball.

Tickets are $5; admission is free for season ticket holders, host families and to anyone who buys a 10-game punch card or season ticket at the CCC the night of the event. We'll have light snacks, and a no-host bar.

To reserve your spot, e-mail Knights' director of public relations Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com

See you there!

And one more reminder, 2012 season ticket holders have until Dec. 31 to renew their same seats for the 2013 season. After that, they're fair game to anyone. So come see us at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis to reserve your seat for 2013!

Now, on to the news.

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Former Aloha/Corvallis Knights infielder Brent Morel, (2006-07) the first Corvallis alum to play in the major leagues, had a horrible sophomore season with the Chicago White Sox in 2012, due primarily to a back injury that bothered him all season.

Apparently his offseason rehab has gone well and he's healthy again. He might not have a starting spot with the team's recent signing of free agent Jeff Keppinger, but BeMo will be given every chance to reclaim a big-league spot in spring training.

Here's how one story in the Chicago Tribune newspaper analyzes the situation; here's more on Morel from the same source. And here's yet another viewpoint on Morel's future in ChiTown from CSNChicago, written before the ChiSox signed Keppinger to a three-year, $12-million contract earlier this week.

Whatever happens in Chicago, when healthy Brent has major-league ability and he'll find a spot someplace in the bigs, if not in Chicago.

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Former Knights outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of Cal Poly and the Milwaukee Brewers will be honored as the College Player of the Year on Jan. 22 at the 29th annual Santa Clara County Hot Stove Banquet on Jan. 22 at the San Jose Elks Club.

Haniger, a first-round selection in the 2012 draft and the 2012 Big West Conference Player of the Year, grew up in Santa Clara and played at Archbishop Mitty High in San Jose before heading down to Cal Poly. The banquet salutes athletes, from high school to the major leagues, who have played in Santa Clara County.

Congrats to Mitch, who is expected to return to action this spring at full strength after missing part of his rookie season in pro ball with a knee injury.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have selected CTV Vancouver Island as their official TV partner and C-FAX 1070 and 107.3 KOOL-FM as their official radio partners for their inaugural season in the WCL. Here are more details from the team's website.

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


Max Beatty update

December 12, 2012

Happy Wednesday, everyone. Halfway through the work week!

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First order of business today is an update on Knights' veteran pitcher Max Beatty (2010-12) of Pacific Lutheran University, who missed the 2012 college season while recovering from cancer.

He's back at PLU and getting ready for the 2013 season and the June MLB draft. He was Baseball America's No. 1 Division III pitching prospect before the 2012 season and he's confident he'll get a shot at pro ball after this spring.

Check out this video for more on Max. One of the cameramen was pitcher Jake Otness, a 2013 Knights' signee.

Go Max!

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We've already starting receiving reservations for our Hot Stove Night II, set for Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club. The special guest speakers will be catcher Chris Stewart and scout Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees, two Knights' alums who've had great success in professional baseball.

Admission is free for season ticket holders and host families. Otherwise it's $5 apiece, but that fee will be waived if you buy a 10-game punch card or season ticket at the event.

We hope to see you there. Last year's event, which featured Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel and Miami Marlins scout Gabe Sandy, two more successful Knights alums, was a big smash and we think we'll hit another homer this year.

See you there! Seating is limited and reservations are required; they're available by e-mailing Knights' director of public relations Brooks Hatch (that's me!) at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

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Former Knights' pitcher Aaron Corwin (2010, 2012) has transferred from Texas Tech to Colorado Mesa University for his senior year. He'll have immediate eligibility, as CMU is a Division II school. Here's more on the move, from KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colo.

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Here's a rundown on the state of the West Coast League from Ballpark Digest. It seems pretty sure that the former Spokane RiverHawks franchise, dark since 2009, will be revived in Coeur d' Alene and will return to the league in 2014, and that Yakima isn't a slam-dunk as a WCL expansion candidate for 2014.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: Here's much more on the hiring of new head coach Geoff White from the Kelowna Daily Courier newspaper. He succeeds Al Cantwell, who led the Falcons in 2011 and 2012.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems will open the 2013 season at home on June 1 with a Southern Oregon rivalry game against the expansion Medford Rogues at Kiger Stadium. Here are more details, from the Our Sports Central website.

WALLA WALLA: Here's an update on former Walla Walla pitcher Kyle Anderson, now in the minors in the Toronto organization.

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


Hot Stove Night II coming up

December 11, 2012

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Hope you're having a great day.

We've got some details to report on our big off-season event, Hot Stove Night II.

Franchise alumni Chris Stewart and Mike Thurman of the New York Yankees will be the guest speakers at Hot Stove Night II, set for 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Corvallis Country Club.

Tickets are $5; admission is free for Diamond Club members and host families, and for those purchasing a season ticket or 10-game punch card at the event. Light snacks and a no-host bar will be available.

Following a panel discussion, Stewart and Thurman will answer questions from the audience, and will be available for autographs afterward.

Seating is limited. For reservations, please e-mail Brooks Hatch, Knights' director of public relations, at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com. Tickets can be purchased at the door the night of the event.

It should be a great night! See you there!

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Former Knights' outfielder Jordan Poyer (2010), an Oregon State senior cornerback, was named a first-team All-American on Tuesday by the Associated Press. Here are more details, from OSUbeavers.com.

Congrats to Jordan!

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Here is today's story on our signing of University of Portland pitcher Kody Watts, from The Albany Tribune, a newcomer on the Linn-Benton county media scene.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have released their 2013 schedule. Here are more details from the Castanet.net network.

VICTORIA: The HarbourCats have released their 2013 schedule. Here are more details from the Victoria News newspaper.