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Knights Daily Update

Knights sign UCSB's Joe Duffin

November 19, 2012

Happy Monday, everyone; hope you all had a great weekend. The Beavers winning 62-14 over California sure makes things better, even if it was a bit wet and windy!

We've got another signing to announce!

UC Santa Barbara freshman Joe Duffin, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound outfielder from Santa Ana, Calif., who played at Villa Park High as a senior after playing the previous three seasons at Orange Lutheran High School, will play for the Knights next summer.

Duffin hit .407 overall and .691 in league play as a high school senior. He also has played for the Yankees and White Sox scout teams, and was a 2011 Perfect Game honorable-mention All-American.

"We have high expectations for Joe's bat," USCB coach Andrew Checketts said in Nov., 2011, in announcing Diffin's signing. "He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order bat with big power.

"He has bounced around defensively this fall, but most likely will land at first base and left field. His bat is special."

He's scheduled to report on June 17. Welcome aboard, Joe!

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Incoming Knights' right-handed pitcher Brandon Choate, a sophomore at Tacoma Community College, has signed a letter of intent to play at Washington in 2013-14. His coach at TCC is third-year Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert.

He's a 6-5, 215-pounder from Mountlake Terrace High in Lynnwood, Wash. He was 0-0, 6.54 in 11 innings at TCC in 2012, with 12 strikeouts.

Congrats to Brandon!

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


It's a TGIF down at the WWHQ

November 16, 2012

Friday at last! Short week or not, it's always nice to be one small step away from the weekend!

We've got another signing to announce, and he sounds like a good one (of course, they all are). The newest Knight is sophomore right-handed pitcher/infielder Kevin Kline (6-3, 200) of Dixie State College in St. George, Utah.

He's a transfer from Southern Utah University, where he hit .280 (30-107), with three homers and 15 RBIs in 33 games as a freshman in 2012. In six appearances as a pitcher, he was 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA and four strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

Kline was a four-year letterman at Rancho High in Las Vegas and hit .541 as a senior, with 11 homers, 20 doubles and 74 RBIs in 39 games. He was all-region, all-state and earned Louisville Slugger High School All-American honors. He ranked fifth in Nevada state history with 197 career hits and 184 career RBIs upon graduation.

As a pitcher, he was 5-1, 2.62 in 12 games as a senior, with 40 strikeouts in 37.1 innings.

He's scheduled to report on June 5. Welcome to the Knights, Kevin!

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The Arizona Fall League season is over and here's an update on the former Knights who played this year:

* Right-handed pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) went 1-1, 3.86, with seven strikeouts in 14 innings in nine appearances for the Surprise Saguaros. He's a N.Y. Mets' farmhand who pitched at double-A Binghamton in 2012.

* Chicago Cubs' farmhand Nick Struck (2009), a right-handed pitcher for the Mesa Solar Sox, went 1-0, 5.40 in 16.1 innings over 12 appearances, with 11 strikeouts. He played at double-A Tennessee this past season.

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

Melker is hitting .438 (7-16) in four games, with a homer and an RBI. Bell is hitting .167 (3-18), with no homers and five RBIs and Baron is 0-0, 9.00 in one inning in his lone appearance.

The Heat are 4-0 after defeating Melbourne on Friday night (in Australia). They also play the Aces on Saturday and Sunday.

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Former Knights' OSU College of Business intern Leslie Mak, one of our shining stars as a 2011 intern, was one of two winners of the 2012 Pacific-12 Conference Leadership Award.

Leadership Award winners are selected by members of the Pac-12 Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and receive a $3,000 postgraduate scholarship, recognizing their leadership and service on student-athlete advisory committees at their respective schools. Applicants were required to be in their final year of intercollegiate athletics eligibility during the 2011-12 academic year and were on track to graduate in the 2011-12 academic year when nominated.

Here's more on the story from OSUbeavers.com. Congrats to Leslie, who is now working in private business in the Portland area.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed pitchers Joe Arlt of Central Washington and Drew Christina of Walla Wala CC. Here are full details from the Our Sports Central website.

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That should do it for today. Have a great weekend, everyone!


We've got punch cards, Mike Thurman and Jorge Perez!

November 15, 2012

Big, big news today down here at the WWHQ.

* Our popular 10-game, $40 punch cards have arrived, and are now for sale at the Knights' office in the Madison Plaza building in downtown CorVegas. They make a great Christmas present, stocking stuffer, birthday gift, or just as a present to yourself!

So, stop in and see us.

* We learned this morning that New York Yankees' scout Mike Thurman, an ex-Knight and a Philomath native who later pitched at Oregon State and in the major leagues with Montreal and the Yankees, will join New York Yankees' catcher Chris Stewart (2001 Knights' MVP) as a guest of honor at Hot Stove Night II. It's set for Jan. 22 at a to-be-determined location.

* And 2012 Knights' ace Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University will return for the 2013 season too. We're thrilled about that; we'll have more details on Perez's signing elsewhere in today's blog.

So how about that, a triple-dose of good news to start your Thursday!

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As we said, pitcher Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University is returning in 2013 for another season with the Knights. He's a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander from Downey, Calif.

Jorge was 3-2, 2.48 at GCU as a freshman in 2012, and then went 3-3 in nine games, with a 2.79 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 48.1 innings, for the Knights. He was selected to the West Division squad for the WCL All-Star Game and threw a scoreless inning as the West's starting pitcher.

We now have five returnees from 2012 (Chris Bishop, Devon Barker, Chris Rabago, Marc Gallegos, Perez), with several more to come. We'll announce them when their paperwork arrives.

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Speaking of Chris Rabago, the UC Irvine sophomore drove in the winning run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly to give the Ants a 5-4 win over the 'Eaters on Wednesday in Game 2 of the best-of-3 intrasquad series that concludes fall practice. Game 3 is today.

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Here's some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets catch up with ex-standout Goose Kallunki (2011) in this story from the team's website.

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


Knights sign Tom Zarosinski of George Fox University

November 14, 2012

Happy hump day, y'all. Hope you're making it through the week OK and it's nice (thanks to Monday) to already be halfway to the weekend!

We had lots of Knights-related news on Tuesday, with the signing of returnee Chris Rabago and newcomer Elliot Surrey of UC Irvine. And we've got more signing news this morning.

Right-hander Tom Zarosinski (6-0, 220), a redshirt sophomore at George Fox University who played briefly for us in 2011, has signed a 10-day contract for the 2013 season. He'll provide much-needed depth in the early stages of the summer, before our full-time players arrive.

And there's no reason he can't land a full-time gig, if he's successful. Our top pitcher in 2012, WCL all-star and first-team all-leaguer Rob Dittrick of Pacific University, was also a 10-day signee who forced us to keep him by being so effective.

Zarosinski was 1-7, 5.56 in 12 starts at GFU in 2012, with 52 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. His biggest problem was his control; he walked 28, hit 15 and threw eight wild pitches.

That apparently was resolved in fall ball, though, where he showed the form that made him a first-team all-state selection and the Tualatin River League's co-Pitcher of the Year in 2010.

Zarosinski redshirted at Oregon State in 2011 and then was 0-0, 4.50 in his lone appearance for the Knights. He then played for the Ports in WCL Portland before transferring to George Fox.

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We reported on Tuesday that the new expansion team in Medford would be called the Rogues. It pays homage to the nearby Rogue River and Rogue Valley, and ties this team with Medford's long minor-league tradition, as a pro team there in the 1950s was also called the Rogues.

There are lots of stories on the decision. Click here for the story from the Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper, which sponsored the name-the-team contest. Click here for the story from the Summer Ball website, and click here for the Our Sports Central version.

The Rogues have already signed much of their team. Here's their early roster, from the club website, which also has a nice rendering of the new Harry & David Field on the homepage.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have signed freshman right-handed pitcher TJ Murphy of Grambling State University in Louisiana. He's a 2012 graduate of Eastside Catholic High in Bellevue, Wash., who was 3-0, 0.00 as a pitcher in 2012, with six strikeouts in eight innings.

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


Chris Rabago returning in 2013

November 13, 2012

Catcher/infielder Chris Rabago of UC Irvine will return to the Knights for the 2013 season.

A sophomore from Riverside, Calif., Rabago will be joined by left-handed pitcher Elliot Surrey of UC Irvine, a native of La Crescenta, Calif.

Rabago (5-11, 180) played shortstop, second base and catcher, hit .195 with no homers and 14 RBIs in 43 games, and won the Knights' Joe Segel Hustle Award in 2012. He hit .286 as a freshman at UC Irvine, with a homer and 12 RBIs in 35 games.

Surrey (6-0, 175) was a three-time CIF and three-time Pacific League first-team all-star at Crescenta Valley High. He was the Pacific League MVP in 2012 after hitting .350, with eight doubles, two triples, a homer and 14 RBIs as a batter and going 6-1 with a 1.11 ERA, three complete games and 73 strikeouts in 50.1 innings as a pitcher.

"Elliot brings a winner's track record from a strong high school program" to UCI, Anteaters' pitching coach Jason Dietrich said."He is confident, poised, and trusts his three-pitch mix of fastball, curveball, and change.

("His) complete command of all three pitches will enable him to pitch quickly for us in a variety of roles."

Welcome aboard, guys. They should arrive about June 17.

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Here are some funny photos of several current and former Knights from UC Irvine's annual Halloween Spooktacular event. Check out Chris Rabago, Sebastian Santos, Mark Trentacosta, Nick Hoover and Evan Brock in their costumes.

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The new expansion team in Medford will be nicknamed the Rogues, team officials announced today. Here's a link to the team's website.

There is some local history associated with that nickname. In 1950 and 1951, the Medford Rogues were a minor league baseball team in the Class C Far West League. They played at the Jackson County Baseball Park.

They were an affiliate of the New York Giants in 1950, and were unaffiliated in 1951. They disbanded in 1951 when they couldn't find a new home field after the ballpark was destroyed in a fire.

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Some other news from around the WCL:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have named D.J. Lidyard of Lower Columbia College as their new pitching coach. Here are all the details from the team's website. Coincidentally, Lidyard worked at Tacoma CC before moving to LCC and his successor at Tacoma is Knights' pitching coach Connor Lambert.

MEDFORD: The team's games will be broadcast on ESPN AM 580, Radio Medford, according to this story on the Summer Ball website.

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That's all for today. See you Wednesday.


Yankees catcher Chris Stewart to headline Hot Stove Night II

November 9, 2012

Big news to report today.

New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart, a 2001 Knights alum, will headline this year's Hot Stove Night, planned for Jan. 22 at a location to be determined.

Stewart played for us following his sophomore season at Riverside City College and was our 2001 MVP. Traded to the Yankees from San Francisco just before opening day, he responded with his best season in the bigs (.241, 1-13, in 55 games) and was outstanding defensively.

He's played for five different teams in a lengthy MLB career, yet he's only 30 years of age. You can read more about Stewart by clicking right here.

Knights' president Dan Segel will also speak at HSN II, and we're also lining up a third guest with strong ties to the Corvallis area/Knights. So, it should be a great evening.

We'll have a lot more details as the date approaches. Last year's event, which featured Chicago White Sox 3B Brent Morel, a 2006-07 Knights alum, was at the Omaha Room and there's a good chance we'll return there this year.

So save that date.

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Here's an update about the two former Knights pitching in the Arizona Fall League:

* Righty Greg Peavey (2007) is 0-1, 3.27, with six strikeouts in 11 innings in seven appearances for the Surprise Saguaros. He's a N.Y. Mets' farmhand who pitched at double-A Binghamton in 2012.

* Chicago Cubs' farmhand Nick Struck (2009) of the Mesa Solar Sox is 1-0, 5.40 in 13.1 innings over 10 appearances, with nine strikeouts. He played at double-A Tennessee this past season.

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The Brooke Knight- coached Perth Heat lost 7-1 to the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League on Friday and were eliminated from the 2012 Asia Series with two defeats. Ex-Knight Adam Melker (2008-09) singled for the Heat, who now return to Perth to resume their Australian Baseball League season.

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Remember, 2013 season tickets are now on sale at our office in the Madison Plaza building, located on the northwest corner of 4th Street and Madison Avenue in downtown Corvallis.

Reserved seat season tickets (sections C, D, E) are $175; Block season tickets (section A) are $150 and general admission season tickets are $115. Prices are the same as last year; 2012 season-ticket holders have until December 31 to reserve their current seats. For more ticket info, call 541-752-5656.

We expect the West Coast League to release the 2013 schedule by the end of November. Our home schedule will feature 27 league games and up to five non-league contests, and we also hope to host a playoff game or two.

Also, all 2012 Diamond Club members who did not pick up their Diamond Club gift last summer may do so at our office.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have signed sophomore infielder Yuto Kata and junior RHP Kort Christoffersen from Dixie State University and sophomore RHP Devin Smith from Olympic College for the 2013 season.

Kata (5-9, 165) hit .287 (35-122) in 52 games at Dixie in 2012, with a homer and 18 RBIs. Christoffersen (5-9, 165) is a transfer from the College of Eastern Utah, where he was 2-5, 4.63 in 18 games, with 43 strikeouts in 38.2 innings. Smith (6-3, 210) was 4-3, 4.33 in 14 games at Olympic, with 18 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have honored their top fans from the 2012 season. Here are the details from the team's website.

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That's all for this week. Have a great weekend, everyone!


Season tickets now on sale!

November 8, 2012

It's time to start thinking about next summer!

Corvallis Knights' 2013 season tickets are now on sale online, or in person at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

The prices have not changed since last season; we remain affordable family fun. Diamond Club reserved seats are $175; The Block is $150; GA seats are $115, and the popular 10-game punchcard is also available for $40.

The tentative starting date for the season is June 7. We don't have a complete schedule yet, but you can expect 27 WCL home games, two Fireworks Nights, our other usual promotional nights (cap night, etc.), and at least five non-league home games.

So come on down and see us. We fell just short of setting another franchise record for attendance last year; we drew 41,834 fans, just missing the standard of 42,447 we set in 2011. We'd like to break that record this coming summer, but we can't do it without you.

So, come see us.

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The Brooke Knight-coached Perth Heat of the Ausstralian Baseball League lost 6-1 to the Lotte Lions of South Korea on Thursday in their first hame at the 2012 Asia Series in Busan, South Korea. Former Knight Carter Bell (2009) singled and scored the Heat's lone run.

The Heat play the Lotte Lions of the Japanese League in their final game of pool play on Friday. The tournament matches the top six professional tdeams from Asia.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed former major-league veteran relief pitcher Alan Embree of Bend as an assistant coach. Here are more details from the Elks' website; just click on the first menu item.

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That's all for today, see you on Friday. BTW, your's truly is co-hosting the Joe Beaver Show on 1240 KEJO-AM on Friday, from noon until 2 p.m. The other host will be former OSU football player Tim Euhus.


Another signing for the Knights!

November 7, 2012

Happy Wednesday, everyone. We're halfway through the week, and another day closer to the weekend, which is always a good thing.

Let's get right to it. We have another signing to announce, from one of our newer partner schools.

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The Knights have signed Dylan Hecht, a freshman right-handed pitcher from UC Santa Barbara. He's a 6-foot, 195-pounder from Foothill High in Pleasanton, Calif. He was 5-3 with a 1.66 ERA in 13 appearances in 2012, with 85 strikeouts in 59 innings.

Welcome aboard, Dylan!

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Former Knights' pitcher Eric Massingham (2006-07) of Cal Poly is playing for the Canberra Cavalry in the Australian Baseball League this winter (summer Down Under). He's 0-1, 9.00 in two innings over two appearances, with two strikeouts.

Here's the Cavalry's website.

Massingham said playing in Australia is great and he's thought about it for years ever since he played for the Knights and stayed with current Knights' skipper Brooke Knight during the 2007 playoffs. Brooke was our GM at the time.

"Brooke played over here for years and obviously met his wife over here too," Massingham said in an e-mail fron Canberra. "I stayed with them at their house for a night during playoffs in 2007 and they told me all the details on how they met while he was a player/manager over here."

Massingham played in the Phillies' organization for several years after leaving Cal Poly and has spent the last two years playing independent ball in the Frontier League.

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


Happy Tuesday

November 6, 2012

Happy Tuesday, everyone.

Don't know what it's doing in your neck of the woods, but it's drizzly and cool here in downtown CorVegas at the WWHQ of your Corvallis Knights. Summer is definitely over.

The 2014 season is just more than eight months away, but the wheels are turning. Hopefully we'll have a schedule by the end of October and we can start to plan our promotional lineup, etc. And we should have announcements on our player signings for 2014 as the paperwork starts trickling back in.

In the meantime, we'll scour the world for Knights-related news, for news from other West Coast League franchises, and even some news from the many other summer leagues around the country, if it's interesting or appropriate.

So, on to today's Knights blog!

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We've got some bad news to report.

Right-handed pitcher Mike Koons (2007), an original Corvallis Knight and a 2007 WCL all-star game selection, has been released by the St. Paul Saints of the independent American Association. He was 2-2, 4.61 in 14 games (8 starts) this season, with 22 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.

A San Diego State alum, Mike signed with Houston during the 2007 All-Star break and played two years in their farm system before being released. He's subsequently played for Sioux City, El Paso and St. Paul in the American Association; for Orange County and Victoria in the defunct Golden Baseball League, and for Maui in the defunct North American Baseball League.

He turns 28 later this year. So if this is finally the end of the road, at least he played all over the country and also got to experience a season with the Saints, the premier - and maybe the most fun - franchises in independent baseball.

Best of luck to Mike, wherever he lands.

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In the waiting mode at the WWHQ

November 5, 2012

We're sort of stuck in the "waiting" mode at the WWHQ.

* We're waiting for the league to announce the 2013 schedule.

* We're waiting on the necessary paperwork so we can release the identities of all our players (we are full for 2013, for the most part).

* We're waiting for Medford to announce their new nickname.

* We're waiting to see if there will be any more expansion, possibly for 2013, more likely for 2014.

* And I think we'll be waiting for about five months before we have another nice, warm night like Saturday or a beautiful 70-degree day like Sunday.

* And you're probably waiting for me to get on to the news, which we'll do right now!

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The Knights have signed Washington State junior Kellen Camus and freshman Jacob Schroeder, a pair of right-handed pitchers from Olympia and Ferndale, Wash., respectively.

Camus (5-9, 190) was 3-1 with a 3.44 ERA in 29 appearances in 2012, with two saves and 24 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. He was also 3-1 in 10 games as a freshman in 2011, with a 5.47 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.

Camus played for Waterloo (Iowa) in the Northwoods League in 2012 and was 2-3 in 16 games, with a 2.50 ERA and five saves and 40 strikeouts in 32.1 innings. In 2011, Camus played for Winchester (Va.) in the Valley League and was 4-0, 1.41 in seven games, with 22 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.

He lettered in baseball, basketball and football at Capital High in Olympia and was second-team all-league for baseball and football. He played in the all-state baseball game, and was an academic All-American.

Schroeder is a 6-7, 205-pound freshman who was a second-team All-Northwest Conference selection as a junior and senior. He also earned four letters in basketball.

WSU coach Donnie Marbut called Schroder one of the more projectable players in Washington, as he has not reached full maturity. He was ranked 18th on Baseball Northwest's Class of 2012 Super Sixty Northwest High School Top Prospect List, and was 10th among right-handed pitchers.

"We have seen him throw multiple pitches for strikes with a fastball in the upper 80s," Marbut said. "Jacob also plays basketball and is a great student. You put all those together and you feel like there is someone special on his way to Pullman."

Welcome aboard, guys!

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

KITSAP: The BlueJackets have cncluded their signings for the 2012 season, according to this story in the Kitsap Sun newspaper.