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Knights Daily Update

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.


It's (sigh) Monday

December 10, 2012

Happy Monday, everyone. Hope you all had a great weekend and are as excited about returning to work as we are down here at the WWHQ of your Corvallis Knights!

First, we'd like to thank everyone who came down to our merchandise sale on Saturday. It was a big success, we moved some product, our fans and customers got great deals on assorted team gear, and almost everyone got a free Knights' smiley cap! Thanks again for participating.

We're at 176 days and counting until our June 4 opener against the Portland Lobos at Goss Stadium. I know it seems like a long ways off, but it will be here before you know it.

And remember, current season ticket holders have until Dec. 31 to renew their same seats for 2013. After that, they're fair game for anyone. We also have 10-game punch cards and more merchandise for sale so come on down and see us in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

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The Knights have signed University of Portland sophomore pitcher Kody Watts for the 2013 season. He's a 6-3, 185-pound right-hander from Skyview High in Vancouver, Wash.

Watts was 2-3 with a 4.97 ERA in 18 games for the Pilots in 2012, with 19 strikeouts in 29 innings. He then pitched for the Cowlitz Black Bears and was 3-2 with a 4.97 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 25.1 innings over 16 appearances.

He was a four-time letter winner at Skyview and was a St. Helens League all-star. He was then taken in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates as the 452nd overall selection, but he did not sign.

Here's more on Kody, from the Greater St. Helens League website. He also played football at Skyview.

He is the fourth member of the 2013 Pilots to sign with the Knights, joining pitcher Colin Feldtman and infielders Cody Lenahan and Michael Lucarelli.

Welcome aboard, Kody.

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Finally, we're sad to announce that Knights Director of Tickets and Player Housing Jaimie Van Vleet has resigned from her position effective Dec. 28. She has decided to pursue other opportunities out of the area.

Jaimie has worked for us in a number of positions since 2008. She's been a great teammate for those of us in the organization, and has been very instrumental in our growth as a club. We will miss her dearly and wish her the best.

We will miss you Jaimie!

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have hired Kelowna native Geoff White, the head coach at local Okanagan College, as their new head coach. He succeeds Al Cantwell, who coached the Falcons in 2011 and 2012. Here are more details, from the Our Sports Central website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed North Dakota State infielder John Skrbec and New Mexico State outfielder Mike Paulson for the 2013 season. Here are more details, from the Our Sports Central website.

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


Happy Friday; more schedule information

December 7, 2012

Happy Friday, everyone.

As we mentioned yesterday, we now have our 2013 schedule. Some game times haven't been finalized just yet, and there may be a change or two in some established starting times, but the date and opponent won't change.

So here's the schedule, taken from our website. It sure was a long time coming, but it should be a good one and our staff has already started matching our promotions with the appropriate date.

We play 54 league games (27 home, 27 away), and five home non-league games. Two of our non-league games will be against the independent Portland Lobos, a U-19 team of college players; two will be against a team from WCL Portland, and we'll host the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American legion team again.

The schedule is unbalanced because of the WCL's recent expansion. We play eight teams six times apiece (three home, three away); we don't visit Walla Walla, and Victoria doesn't visit Corvallis.

And the 11 teams have been organized in a revised divisional setup with the addition of the expansion Victoria HarbourCats and Medford Rogues. The league will now be split into North and South divisions instead of East and West.

The South Division features the Knights, Medford, Klamath Falls, Bend, Cowlitz and Kitsap. The North Division includes Victoria, Kelowna, Bellingham, Wenatchee and Walla Walla.

So, we're all ready to go. It's only 179 days until June 4, when we host the Portland Lobos at 11 a.m. on Schools Day II at Goss Stadium.

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

Melker is hitting .214 (12-56) in 15 games, with a homer and six RBIs. Bell is hitting .177 (11-62), with two homers and 10 RBIs in 15 games. Baron is 0-0 with a 1.93 ERA and three strikeouts in 4.2 innings in five appearances. The Heat are 10-5 and lead the Sydney Blue Sox by 1.5 games in the ABL pennant race.

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Remember, we're holding a super sale on select team merchandise from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday in the lobby of the Madison Plaza building, corner of 4th Street and Madison Avenue, in downtown Corvallis.

Some team clothing items will be discounted, all of our merchandise will be available, and we'll give away a free Knights' smiley hat with all purchases of $10 or more. Punch cards and season tickets will also be available.

So come see us, do some holiday shopping, and save some money!

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Some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have released their 2013 schedule, according to The Bellingham Herald newspaper.

KELOWNA: The Falcons open the 2013 season on the road at Victoria. More details are available in this story from the Our Sports Central website.

KITSAP: The BlueJackets are moving from the old West Division to the new South Division for the upcoming season, according to this story in the Kitsap Sun newspaper.

MEDFORD: The expansion Rogues will play 33 home games, according to this story in the Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper.

VICTORIA: The expansion HarbourCats will make their WCL debut at home against the Kelowna Falcons on June 5. Here are more details from the Victoria Times Colonist newspaper.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets host the Bend Elks on June 5 in their season opener. More info on the upcoming season is available here in this story from Our Sports Central.

WENATCHEE: The defending WCL-champion AppleSox open the 2013 season at home against Corvallis in a rematch of the 2012 Championship Series, according to this story in the Wenatchee World newspaper.

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


We have a schedule

December 6, 2012

It's a good news Thursday down here at the WWHQ.

We have a 2013 schedule. Yahoo! It took longer than expected, with two new teams and 11 different franchises to please, but it's done.

We'll have more info on Friday, but here it is:

JUNE: 4: Portland Lobos. 5-7: at Wenatchee. 8-10: at Cowlitz. 12-14: Kitsap. 15-17: Cowlitz. 18-20: at Medford. 21-23: Klamath Falls. 25-27: at Bend. 28-30: at Kitsap.

JULY: 2-4: Bellingham. 5-6: WCL Portland. 8-10: Wenatchee. 11-13: Walla Walla. 15-17: at Bellingham. 18: Albany Mid-Valley Rockets. 23: WCL All-Star Game, at Victoria. 24-26: Medford. 27-29: at Victoria. 30-31: at Kelowna.

AUGUST: 1: at Kelowna. 3-4: Kelowna. 5-7: Bend. 8: Portland Lobos. 9-11: at Klamath Falls. 13-15: WCL Divisional playoffs. 17-20: WCL Championship Series.

Starting times haven't been completely finalized but most of our games will still start at 6:40 p.m. The Aug. 4 date with Kelowna is a doubleheader.

Thanks for your patience! Only 180 days until opening day! Play ball!

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Remember, we're having a sale on select merchandise from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. this Saturday in the lobby of the Madison Plaza in downtown Corvallis. Some team clothing items will be discounted, all our merchandise will be available, and we'll give away a free Knights' smiley hat with all purchases of $10 or more.

Punch cards and season tickets will also be available. So come see us, do a little holiday shopping, and save some money!

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No other news today from around the WCL, so that's it. See you on Friday.