Mascot | Knights Daily Update with Brooks Hatch | Gallery | SEA Day


Fan Zone

Knights Daily Update

Knights Daily Update

Happy hump day

August 29, 2012

Had a blast catching up with Tri City Dust Devils radio announcer Chris King, formerly of the Wenatchee AppleSox, last night at their game against the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes.

There were lots of WCL alums in the dugouts as well. Our own Matt Duffy (2010), who is on the DL, and Chris Johnson (2011), who is scheduled to pitch Friday night, didn't play for the Volcanoes, who won 4-3 on what quite honestly was a pretty sleepy and quiet night at the ballpark.

Chris - the guy who recommended 2012 Knights' broadcaster Kevin Burke to us - was the voice of the AppleSox in 2010 and 2011, and is just another example of the young talent in our league who has moved on to bigger and better things. He's also the radio voice of the Boise State women's basketball team in the winter.

This fall he and former Knights (2010) and AppleSox (2009) broadcaster Jason Schwartz will each broadcast high school football games in the Seattle area before heading off to their respective WBB positions. Jason, who is just finishing his year with the Lancaster (Calif.) JetHawks in the California League, is the radio voice of USC women's hoops.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Now, on to some Knights news.

Former Knights all-star pitcher Eric Massingham (2006-07) of Cal Poly has been traded from Evansville of the Frontier League to Fargo-Moorhead of the American Association.

It's considered a promotion in the world of independent-league baseball, according to this story from Evansville, where Mass has had a couple great seasons.

------------------------------------------------------------

Former Knights' shortstop Richie Jiminez, the 2009 WCL Most Valuable Player and a star on our 2008 and 2009 clubs, is wrapping up his first season in independent ball with the Gateway (Ill.) Grizzlies of the Frontier League.

The Riverside CC/UNLV alum is hitting .222 (38-171) in 56 games, with a homer and 19 RBIs. However, he also has scored 33 runs and has an outstanding .362 on-base percentage, thanks to 33 walks and five HBPs, and has struck out just 27 times.

Gateway is in first place in the West Division and should make the playoffs. The regular season ends Sunday.

-------------------------------------------------------

Ex-Knights' first baseman Mark Samuelson (2006, 2007) is playing for the Washington (Pa.) Wild Things in the Frontier League and is hitting .223 (23-103) with two homers and 15 RBIs in 31 games. He recently had two homers and five RBIs in a win over Florence.

Samuelson started the season with the now-defunct London (Ont.) Rippers and hit .278 (54-194) in 57 games, with seven homers and 33 RBIs. So for the season he's at .259 (77-297), with nine homers and 48 RBIs. Mark played at UC Riverside.

---------------------------------------------------------

Ex-Knights' outfielder Logan Lotti (2008) is hitting .360 (95-264) with 22 homers and 86 RBIs for the Las Cruces (N.M.) Vaqueros in the Pecos League, one of the more obscure independent circuits. Former Knights' pitcher Anthony Carrillo (2006, 2008) made one appearance for Roswell (N.M.) in the same league but is no longer on the team.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008, 2009) was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs and two RBI in a 9-6 loss to Tulsa on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

The former Cal Poly star is hitting .462 (6-13) in his last three games, with a homer and six RBIs, and has five multi-hit games in his last eight starts. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Elizabethton C Bo Altobelli was 2-for-4 with an RBI in a 6-4 win over Princeton. Elizabethton is Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A (rookie) Appalachian League.

-----------------------------------------------------

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


All-league teams announced

August 27, 2012

The West Coast League announced its all-league team on Saturday and the Knights were well-represented. The teams were selected by the coaches.

* Pitcher Rob Dittrick of Pacific University and pitcher/1B/DH Greg Mahle of UC Santa Barbara were first-team choices.

* Infielder/DH MaMarc Gallegos of Corban was a second-team selection.

* Catcher Nate Esposito (Oregon State), catcher Austin Barr (Camas HS/Stanford signee), and UC Riverside pitchers Trevor Frank and Dylan Stuart received honorable mention.

So, congrats to all seven honorees. Here's a story with more details, and a complete list of WCL honorees, from our website.

-----------------------------------------------------------

We still have some lost and found items from the 2012 season down at the office. They're going to Goodwill if they're not claimed by the end of the week.

----------------------------------------------------------

Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09) hit a grand slam and was 2-for-4 with a run scored and four RBI in a 9-4 victory over Arkansas on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose catcher Andrew Susac (2009) tripled, singled and had three RBI in a 10-7 loss to Rancho Cucamonga. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* Visalia 3B Carter Bell (2009) homered and had two RBI in an 11-6 win over Stockton. It was his third homer of the weekend; he also hit two on Friday night. Visalia is Arizona's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* Binghamton pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) gave up three runs in seven innings, had four strikeouts but wasn't involved inthe decision in a 5-3, 10-inning win over Altoona. Binghamton is the Mets' affiliate in the Class AA Eastern league.

---------------------------------------------------------

Some news from elsewhere in the WCL:

WENATCHEE: Third baseman Mitchell Gunsolus was named the WCL's Most Valuable Player. Here are the details from the Wenatchee website.

---------------------------------------------------------

That's it for today. We've got a newsletter to work on.


Quiet day at the WWHQ

August 24, 2012

It's a pretty quiet day down here at the WWHQ.

That's to be expected, as we're in the lull period between the end of the 2012 season and September, when we begin to announce the signings for the 2013 campaign. But we're still open for business, have merchandise to sell, and are always ready to talk some baseball.

But we always have Knights news to pass along, so let's get started.

---------------------------------------------------------

Several former Knights pitchers from Oregon State played summer league ball elsewhere in 2012. Here's an update on how they fared:

* Matt Boyd (2010) was 2-1, 4.33 with 39 strikeouts in 27 innings for Orleans in the Cape Cod League. He pitched in the CCL all-star game.

* Ben Wetzler (2011) was 1-1, 2.35 in 15.1 innings for Falmouth in the Cape Cod League, with 17 strikeouts.

* Scott Schultz was 2-1, 2.27 in 31.2 innings with La Crosse in the Northwoods League, with 30 strikeouts.

---------------------------------------------------------

Talked with former Knights broadcaster Jason Schwatz (2010) the other day. He's finishing up his season as the voice of the Lancaster JetHawks in the California League.

We'll also keep you posted on the next gig for 2012 announcer Kevin Burke. He do high school football games back in his native Northern Virginia this fall but we expect he'll be behind the mic for a college women's basketball team this winter, and he'll certainly be doing baseball someplace in 2013.

------------------------------------------------------------

Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008-2009) was 3-for-5 with a double, a run and two RBIs in a 12-8 win over NW Arkansas on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

Lots of honorable mentions today.

* Clearwater 1B Jim Murphy (2007) was 1-for-3 with a run, a double and two RBIs in a 3-0 shutout of Daytona. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

* Lakeland DH Dean Green (2008) was 2-for-5 with two runs, a double and two RBIs in a 10-2 win over Brevard County. Lakeland is Detroit's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

* Missoula pitcher Michael Blake (2010) threw two scoreless innings of relief in a 5-4 loss to Ogden. Missoula is Arizona's affiliate in the Class A (short) Pioneer League.

* Third baseman Thomas McCarthy (2010) was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI for Great Falls in a 5-3 win over Orem. Great Falls is the Chicago White Sox's affiliate in the Class A (short) Pioneer League.

* Greensboro pitcher Scott Lyman (2010) allowed no earned runs, had seven strikeouts and was not involved in the decision in five innings of relief in a 2-1 loss to Augusta. Greensboro is Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Speaking of the minors, here are the updated stats on all our Corvallis Knights minor leaguers (all stats through Thursday's games):

NICK AKINS, Dodgers (2007): The former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .245 (39-159) with seven homers and 20 RBIs for the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League.

DAYTON ALEXANDER, Athletics (2011): The former Feather River College outfielder is hitting .286 (8-28) with a homer and six RBIs for the Arizona Rookie League A's.

BO ALTOBELLI, Twins (2010): The ex-Texas Tech catcher is hitting .204 (11-54) with five RBIs for Elizabethton in the Class A Appalachian League.

TYLER ANDERSON, Rockies (2009): Now with the Asheville Tourists in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon star is 11-3, 2.45, with 76 strikeouts in 114 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE, Padres (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 9-7, 3.39, with 119 strikeouts in 135.1 innings.

TAYLOR ARD, Mariners (2009): Now with Everett in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Washington State first baseman is hitting .282 (75-266) with 10 homers and 54 RBIs.

CODY BARTLETT, Blue Jays (2007): Now playing for the Class A Gulf Coast Blue Jays, the ex-Washington State infielder is hitting .130 (6-46), with no homers and two RBIs. He is on the 60-day DL.

CARTER BELL, Diamondbacks (2009): Now with Visalia in the Class A California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .242 (58-240) with one homer and 26 RBIs.

MICHAEL BLAKE, Diamondbacks (2010): Now with Missoula in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Mt. Hood/Hawaii pitcher is 0-1, 5.40, with one save and 32 strikeouts in 20 innings.

ALEX BURG, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .269 (83-308) with 10 homers and 40 RBIs.

MATT DUFFY, Giants (2010): The former Long Beach State infielder is hitting .247 (45-182) with one homer and 16 RBIs for Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League. He's on the DL.

ROCKY GALE, Padres (2007, 2009): The former Portland catcher is with Tucson in the triple-A Pacific Coast League and is hitting .129 (13-101), with nine RBIs.

DREW GARCIA, White Sox (2007): Now with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .244 (83-340), with five homers and 47 RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO, Cardinals (2009): Now with Quad City in the Class A Midwest League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 8-8, 4.09, with 102 strikeouts in 121 innings.

DEAN GREEN, Tigers (2008): Now with Lakeland in the Florida State League, the ex-Oklahoma State/Lee University infielder/DH is hitting .304 (34-112), with three homers and 28 RBIs.

MITCH HANIGER, Brewers (2010): The the former Cal Poly outfielder hit .286 (14-49), with a homer and eight RBIs, for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

CHRIS JOHNSON, Giants (2011): Now at Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Portland pitcher is 1-3, 6.33, with 38 strikeouts in 38 innings.

D.J. JOHNSON, Diamondbacks (2008-09): Now with Visalia of the Class A California League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 2-3, 6.55, with three saves and 28 strikeouts in 22 innings. He is on the 7-day DL.

KYLE KRAUS, Red Sox (2009-10): Now with Greenville in the South Atlantic League, the former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 1.59, with nine strikeouts in 11.1 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN, Marlins (2010): The ex-UC Davis star is 2-6, 6.46 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, with 54 strikeouts in 61.1 innings.

THOMAS McCARTHY, White Sox (2010): Now with Great Falls in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Kentucky third baseman is hitting .288 (34-118) with one homer and 15 RBIs.

ADAM MELKER, Cardinals (2008-09): Now with Springfield in the double-A Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .271 (86-317), with eight homers and 28 RBIs.

BRENT MOREL, White Sox (2007): Now on injury rehab from the White Sox with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former Cal Poly star is hitting .184 (16-89), with no homers and five RBIs.

JIM MURPHY, Phillies (2007): Now with Clearwater in the Class A Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .267 (114-427), with 16 homers and 81 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN, Marlins (2009): Now with Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 6-2, 5.20, with 10 saves and 37 strikeouts in 71 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO, Cubs (2008-09): Now with the Boise Hawks in the Class A Northwest League, the former UC Riverside pitcher is 2-1, 1.16, with six saves and 26 strikeouts in 23.1 innings.

JOSH OSICH, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-2, 4.28, with a save and 28 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY, Mets (2008): Now with Binghamton in the double-A Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 7-8, 5.12, with 76 strikeouts in 130 innings.

NICK STRUCK, Cubs (2010): Now with Tennessee in the Class AA Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 13-10, 3.40, with 111 strikeouts in 143 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC, Giants (2009): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .229 (75-328), with eight homers and 43 RBIs.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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


Cleaning out the Knights notebook

August 22, 2012

Nothing specific to write about today, so we'll do some scattershooting and cover a bunch of topics, mostly with links.

So here goes:

------------------------------------------------------------

We didn't quite win the West Coast League championship. But we did play in the league's final game of the season for the fifth time in last six years, and that's something to be proud of, that's for sure.

In fact, we had a great season, and here's a story from our website detailing some of our 2012 accomplishments. Happy reading!

-------------------------------------------------------------

Former Aloha/Corvallis Knights intern/assistant to the GM Holly Jones has been named the new general manager of the expansion Victoria franchise, which begins play in 2013.

Here are all the details from the Island Sports News website. And here's a link to the as-yet unnamed club's website. And here's another story, this one from the Victoria Times-Colonist newspaper.

So, congrats to Holly! We're really looking forward to Victoria being part of the league!

-----------------------------------------------------------

There will no WCL baseball in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie. The proposal is dead, according to The Oregonian.

----------------------------------------------------------

We wrote about our attendance on Tuesday. But, being the attendance geek I am, I've found some more numbers that should be pretty interesting to anyone else out there who is also an attendance geek.

* We ranked 36th nationally in per-game average for WCL games only.

* We ranked 40th nationally in total attendance, again, for WCL-games only.

* And the West Coast League ranked fourth in total attendance by per-game average.

So all in all, a good year at the gate for the WCL, especially considering our dismal June weather in the Pacific Northwest.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Seven Knights played in the WCL All-Star Game at Walla Walla, and coaches Brooke Knight and Connor Lambert of the Knights directed the West Division club to victory. Here's a highlight video of the game, from the Walla Walla Sweets that includes interviews with coach Knight and with Knights' reliever Devon Barker.

---------------------------------------------------------

Binghamton pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) allowed four hits and struck out four over seven scoreless innings on Tuesday to get the win in a 1-0 victory over New Hampshire to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Binghamton is the Mets' affiliate in the double-A Eastern League; Peavey played at Oregon State.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Boise reliever Eddie Orozco (2008, 2009) got his sixth save with two scoreless innings in a 7-4 win over Yakima. The ex-UC Riverside star allowed one hit and had three strikeouts. Boise is the Cubs' affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

* Everett first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) had a three-run homer in a 7-5 loss to Eugene. Ard played at Washington State; Everett is Seattle's Northwest League affiliate.

* Greenville's Kyle Kraus (2009, 2010) allowed one run on four hits and had two strikeouts in four innings but was not involved in the decision is a 6-5 loss to Augusta. Kraus played at Portland; Greenville's is Boston's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Some news from around the West Coast League:

Wenatchee left fielder Taylor Sparks was the WCL's Player of the Week for Aug. 13-19 for his performance in the WCL Championship Series against the Knights. Here are the details from the WCL website.

Bellingham pitcher Adam Gunn won for Aug. 6-12, for his win over Wenatchee in the East Division playoffs. Here are the details on that award.

--------------------------------------------------------

That's all for today. We're taking a break on Thursday so we'll see you again on Friday.


We will hit a milestone next July

August 21, 2012

We don't know exactly when it will happen, but we can promise you this: The Corvallis Knights will reach a milestone sometime in July, 2013.

That's when the 200,000th Knights fan will pass through the front gates of Goss Stadium. We've drawn 175,432 fans in our six seasons in Corvallis, and I feel fairly safe in saying we'll hit that 200K milestone next summer.

After looking at the attendance figures from the past two seasons, we should hit the magic 25,000 mark, which would push us over 200,000, sometime in mid-July. We hit 25K on July 26 in 2011 (home date No. 21), and on July 19 this past season (also home date No. 21).

So who will be the 200,000th fan, and what will they win? Who knows, and quite possibly nothing.

But reaching 200K in less than seven years is a pretty neat accomplishment for a franchise that drew about 80 fans a game at Mt. Hood Community College in 2005 and 2006, and for a club that was thrilled to average just over 400 fans in 2007, our first summer in Corvallis.

----------------------------------------------------------

The WCL drew 257,074 fans in 233 openings this summer, for a per-game average of 1,103 per game.

That's down a touch from 2011, when the totals were 266,189 fans in 240 openings, an average of 1,109 per game. That decrease (I think) was attributable to the horrible June weather, which forced numerous postponements and forced some games to be played in cold conditions that are not fan-conducive.

Our attendance picked up noticably on July 3, when the weather finally turned. And we would have set a franchise record, or come awfully close to it, had the first Dash for Cash not been rained out on Friday, June 22. It was instead played on Sunday, July 22, a much worse night for attendance.

So instead of drawing 1,500 or 1,600 on a Friday night, we drew 1,011 on a Sunday.

So it goes. We can't do anything about the weather, but one of these years we'll actually have a nice June again and our crowds will be through the roof!

-----------------------------------------------------------

Greensboro pitcher James Nygren (2009) allowed no hits, no earned runs and struck out two in two innings while closing a 5-1 win over Lexington on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Greensboro is Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs in an 8-0 win over Visalia. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* Charlotte second baseman Drew Garcia was 2-for-4 with two runs and a double in a 9-6 win over Durham. Charlotte is the Chicago White Sox's affiliate in the triple-A International League.

---------------------------------------------------------

That's it for today. We'll see you on Wednesday.


Knights No. 21 in final summer college poll

August 20, 2012

Well, it's over.

Our strong finish (14-4 in our final 18) enabled us to finish 40-24 overall and to rise to No. 21 in Perfect Game USA's final Top 50 poll, compiled by reporter Allan Simpson.

West Coast League champion Wenatchee finished No. 6 and Bellingham, which lost to Wenatchee in Game 3 of the East Division playoffs, was No. 39.

So, once again were were among the country's summer-ball elite.

----------------------------------------------------------

We fell just short of defending our West Coast League championship by losing to Wenatchee 8-3 on Saturday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium in Wenatchee. The AppleSox won the best-of-3 Championship Series 2-1 to earn their fifth title in the WCL's eight years.

So, congrats to Wenatchee. The atmosphere there was outstanding, the AppleSox fans I met were friendly, informed and complimentary of the Knights, and their coaching staff and front office operated in a first-class fashion.

Here's the story on the title game from The Wenatchee World newspaper.

But we've got a lot to crow about after an outstanding season.

* As mentioned, we were ranked No. 21 in Perfect Game USA's final Top 50 summer league poll.

* We won the West Division regular-season title for the sixth year in a row, by six games.

* We won the West Division playoff title for the second year in row and for the fifth time in six years since moving to Corvallis.

* We won 40 games by going 32-22 in WCL games, 5-0 in nonconference games, and 3-2 in the playoffs.

* We drew 41,834 fans, the second-highest total in franchise history, and had three crowds of 2,100 or more.

* We had seven West Division all-stars: Austin Barr, Jorge Perez, Rob Dittrick, Caleb Whalen, Nate Blackham, Connor Hofmann and Devon Barker.

* Greg Mahle pitched the first 9-inning no-hitter in Corvallis Knights history against Cowlitz on Aug. 3.

* We led the WCL in ERA (2.81), and set a WCL record for stolen bases (105). WCL leaders are ranked by regular-season games only.

* Pitcher Rob Dittrick led the WCL in ERA (1.10).

* Marc Gallegos set a Corvallis Knights season record with 21 steals during the regular season, and 25 overall.

* The Knights are all about giving our players and interns an opportunity to learn and to grow, and we're happy that 2012 Virginia Tech graduate Kevin Burke got his first shot in professional broadcasting with us. He was prepared and passionate and you will be hearing about him in the future.

Our team honors, as determined by the coaches, will be forthcoming soon. So stay tuned for them.

And remember, the Knights' daily blog doesn't end just because the regular season is over. We'll still have news on Knights-related topics every Monday through Friday throughout the rest of the summer, fall, winter and spring.

So, thanks for reading all year, and don't forget to check in early often.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Clearwater first baseman Jim Murphy was 2-for-6 with a run, a homer and three RBIs on Sunday in a 14-13 win over Brevard County to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose outfielder Alex Burg (2008) was 2-for-4 with a run, an RBI and two doubles in a 10-6 win over Stockton. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* Great Lakes outfielder Nick Akins (2007) was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs in a 13-4 win over West Michigan. Great Lakes is the Dodgers' affiiate in the Class A Midwest League.

* Quad Cities pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009) struck out four and gave up one run on five hits over seven innings of a 6-3 win over Beloit. Quad Cities is St. Louis' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Here's some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: Here's a Sweets' season wrapup from the team's website.

-----------------------------------------------------------

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


Tough night at Goss Stadium

August 16, 2012

It was a tough game at Goss Stadium last night in our 9-8 loss to Wenatchee in the opener of the West Coast League Championship Series.

We didn't pitch or field well, and didn't take advantage of all our scorig opportunities. So, we now trail the AppleSox 1-0 in the best-of-3 series, which resumes at 7:05 p.m. Friday at Paul Thomas St. Field in Wenatchee.

If we win, Game 3 is set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday, also in Wenatchee. Greg Mahle is Friday's starting pitcher; Trevor Frank will start on Saturday if (when?) there's a Game 3.

The blog will be there until the end, be it bitter or glorious, providing game coverage and updates on Twitter and Facebook. The bus leaves at 7:30 on Friday morning and we'll reach Wenatchee by mid-afternoon.

The games will be broadcast on KEJO-AM, as usual, and available on corvallisknights.com.

And remember, it's not over until it's over. Or until we say it is.

-------------------------------------------------------

First, congrats to co-worker Bre Kerkvliet, who today was promoted to general manager. Here's a story from our website announcing her appointment; look for another story in Friday's Corvallis Gazette-Times by sports editor Steve Gress, who visited the WWHQ this morning.

Speaking of the WWHQ, it's a mess, as we move all our stuff from Goss Stadium back to our downtown offices. But fell free to stop by and purchase some merchandise, or to talk Knights baseball. We might even put you to work moving some boxes.

--------------------------------------------------------

We drew 1,149 fans last night to our final home game. I have to think the extreme heat hurt us at the box office, because our presale was very good but once people got home, they just didn't want to venture back out into the heat, and so our walkup suffered.

We drew 41,834 for the season in 33 dates, an average of 1,267. It was our second-highest total ever, and we fell just 614 fans short of establishing a new franchise records. Thanks again to the best fans in the WCL!

We'll take a short break, and then start scheming and planning for the 2013 season, which will be here before we know it!

-----------------------------------------------------------

Everett first baseman Taylor Ard was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored in a 8-3 win over Spokane. Everett is Seattle's affiliazte inthe Class A (short) Northwest League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Springfield outfielder Adam Melker hit a solo homoer in a 6-1 win over San Antonio. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

---------------------------------------------------------

Here are the updated stats on all our Corvallis Knights minor leaguers (all stats through Wednesday's games):

NICK AKINS, Dodgers (2007): The former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .265 (35-132) with six homers and 17 RBIs for the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League.

DAYTON ALEXANDER, Athletics (2011): The former Feather River College outfielder is hitting .300 (6-20) with a homer and five RBIs for the Arizona Rookie League A's.

BO ALTOBELLI, Twins (2010): The ex-Texas Tech catcher is hitting .208 (10-48) with five RBIs for Elizabethton in the Class A Appalachian League.

TYLER ANDERSON, Rockies (2009): Now with the Asheville Tourists in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon star is 10-2, 2.47, with 65 strikeouts in 102 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE, Padres (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 9-7, 3.26, with 113 strikeouts in 129.2 innings.

TAYLOR ARD, Mariners (2009): Now with Everett in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Washington State first baseman is hitting .281 (66-235) with nine homers and 47 RBIs.

CODY BARTLETT, Blue Jays (2007): Now playing for the Class A Gulf Coast Blue Jays, the ex-Washington State infielder is hitting .130 (6-46), with no homers and two RBIs.

CARTER BELL, Diamondbacks (2009): Now with Visalia in the Class A California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .240 (55-229 with one homer and 23 RBIs.

MICHAEL BLAKE, Diamondbacks (2010): Now with Missoula in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Mt. Hood/Hawaii pitcher is 0-0, 2.87, with one save and 26 strikeouts in 15.2 innings.

ALEX BURG, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .267 (75-281) with nine homers and 37 RBIs.

MATT DUFFY, Giants (2010): The former Long Beach State infielder is hitting .247 (45-182) with one homer and 16 RBIs for Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League. He's on the DL.

ROCKY GALE, Padres (2007, 2009): The former Portland catcher is back with Tucson in the triple-A Pacific Coast League and is hitting .133 (12-90), with eight RBIs.

DREW GARCIA, White Sox (2007): Now with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .242 (76-314), with five homers and 45 RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO, Cardinals (2009): Now with Quad City in the Class A Midwest League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 7-8, 4.26, with 98 strikeouts in 114 innings.

DEAN GREEN, Tigers (2008): Now with Lakeland in the Florida State League on a rehab assignement, Green is hitting .282 (24-85), with one homer and 21 RBIs.

MITCH HANIGER, Brewers (2010): The the former Cal Poly outfielder hit .286 (14-49), with a homer and eight RBIs, for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

CHRIS JOHNSON, Giants (2011): Now at Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Portland pitcher is 1-2, 6.19, with 33 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.

D.J. JOHNSON, Diamondbacks (2008-09): Now with Visalia of the Class A California League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 2-3, 6.55, with three saves and 28 strikeouts in 22 innings.

KYLE KRAUS, Red Sox (2009-10): Recently promotxed to Greenville in the South Atlantic League, the former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 1.50, with seven strikeouts in six innings.

SCOTT LYMAN, Marlins (2010): The ex-UC Davis star is 2-6, 7.22 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, with 45 strikeouts in 52.1 innings.

THOMAS McCARTHY, White Sox (2010): Now with Great Falls in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Kentucky third baseman is hitting .279 (29-104) with one homer and 12 RBIs.

ADAM MELKER, Cardinals (2008-09): Now with Springfield in the double-A Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .261 (74-283), with eight homers and 26 RBIs.

BRENT MOREL, White Sox (2007): Now on injury rehab from the White Sox with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former Cal Poly star is hitting .200 (13-65), with no homers and four RBIs. He is on the DL.

JIM MURPHY, Phillies (2007): Now with Clearwater in the Class A Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .263 (109-412), with 14 homers and 75 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN, Marlins (2009): Now with Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 6-2, 5.35, with 10 saves and 35 strikeouts in 69.1 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO, Cubs (2008-09): Now with the Boise Hawks in the Class A Northwest League, the former UC Riverside pitcher is 2-1, 1.40, with four saves and 20 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.

JOSH OSICH, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-2, 3.91, with a save and 26 strikeouts in 25.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY, Mets (2008): Now with Binghamton in the double-A Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 6-7, 5.40, with 67 strikeouts in 115 innings.

NICK STRUCK, Cubs (2010): Now with Tennessee in the Class AA Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 13-10, 3.48, with 108 strikeouts in 137 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC, Giants (2009): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .232 (71-306), with seven homers and 39 RBIs.

-----------------------------------------------------------

That's all for this week. Remember, we're at Wenatchee at 7:05 Friday with Game 2 of the WCL Championship Series (KEJO AM 1240) and again at 7:05 p.m. Saturday for Game 3 if we win on Friday night.


Game 1 of the WCL Championship Series is tonight

August 15, 2012

It all starts tonight.

The Knights play host to the Wenatchee AppleSox tonight in Game 1 of the West Coast League's Championship Series, starting at 6:40 p.m. at Goss Stadium. Left-handers Dylan Stuart (Knights) and Trevor Lubking (AppleSox) are the projected starting pitchers.

Tickets are $11 for reserved, $5 for GAs, and punch cards are still valid. They are available at the downtown offices in the Madison Plaza until about 3:30 today; they are also available online, via e-mail at tickets@corvallisknights.com, or at the stadium starting at 6 p.m.

It's our final home game of the summer; Game 2 and Game 3 (if necessary) will be played on Friday and Saturday at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium in Wenatchee.

So come cheer on the Knights. There's certainly no guarantee we'll win, but we had a team barbeque for the players and our interns after yesterday afternoon's practice and both groups sounded as if they'll be ready to go tonight.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Here's a series preview from today's Corvallis Gazette-Times, which has given us excellent coverage all summer long.

And here's a story from The Wenatchee World newspaper on tonight's game, and on the consistent success of the Knights and the AppleSox, the WCL's "signature" programs. I thought this quote from veteran Wenatchee coach Ed Knaggs summed it up perfectly:

"Part of the (reason for both teams' success) is continuity - ownership as well as the coaching side of it. Like us, they create good relationships with schools and their players. Our players have a good experience in Wenatchee, and their players have a good experience in Corvallis."

I spoke with coach Knaggs in the press box after the third game of our series against the AppleSox, and we both joked about seeing each other again in August. Turns out we were both right.

-----------------------------------------------------------

We could set a franchise attendance record with a big crowd tonight. But even if we don't, the final number will be the second-highest in franchise history, and a pretty nice accomplishment, considering the lousy June weather, our lack of weekend dates, and no WCL All-Star Game to give us a nice bump.

We've drawn 40,685 for 21 dates, a 1,271 per-game average (all games, not just league games). That's third in the WCL, behind Bend and Walla Walla. Complete WCL attendance figures can be found here.

We're a mere 116 fans behind last year's pace, when we drew a record 42,447 fans, going into tonight's game. We drew 1,646 for our 33rd and final home game in 2011 (the championship-game win over Walla Walla), so we must draw 1,763 tonight to set the record.

We drew only 12,000 in 2007, our first season in Corvallis, so our growth has been remarkable. Thank you!

-------------------------------------------------------------

Former Knights' pitcher Matt Boyd (2010) of Oregon State was named the Cape Cod League Pitcher of the Week. He plays for the Orleans Firebirds.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Clearwater first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) was 1-for-4 with a run and two RBIs in a 4-0 win over Tampa on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Major League Player of the Day honors. Clearwater is :Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Boise pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) pitched a scoreless inning and had two strikeouts to lower his ERA to 1.40 and close Boise's 5-0 win over Salem-Keizer. Boise is the Cubs' affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

-------------------------------------------------------------

West Coast League expansion continues to be a hot topic. Victoria, B.C., will join the league next year; Medford is also a go if improvements can be made at Harry & David Stadium.

There's also talk of going to Yakima, Wash., to fill the void left by the impending departure of the Northwest League's Yakima Bears, who will relocate to Hillsboro for the 2013 season. Redding and Chico, Calif., have been mentioned as possible sites of future franchises as well.

And talk continues to swirl about the possible teams in the Portland suburb of Milwaukie and in the Idaho resort city of Coeur d'Alene.

Here's more in the Milwaukie situation from The Oregonian. And here's more on Coeur d'Alene from The Spokesman Review newspaper of Spokane.

The WCL could have an entirely different look by 2014.


WCL's premier programs meet in Championship Series

August 14, 2012

The two most successful franchises in the West Coast League's eight-year history will meet in the 2012 Championship Series.

The Corvallis Knights and Wenatchee AppleSox, winners of a combined six titles, will open the best-of-3 series at 6:40 p.m. at Goss Stadium. It will be the third time since 2008 the teams have met in the finals; the Knights prevailed in 2008, the AppleSox in 2009.

Tickets are $11 for reserved, $5 for GAs and punch cards are valid. They are available at Knights offices in the Madison Plaza today and Wednesday; online at corvallisknights.com; via e-mail at tickets@corvallisknights.com, or at Goss Stadium on Wednesday, starting at 6 p.m.

Wenatchee won the regular-season series 4-2. It swept the Knights in Wenatchee on June 8-10; the Knights took 2 of 3 in Corvallis on July 9-11.

Left-hander Dylan Stuart of UC Riverside (3-2, 3.19) is Wednesday's projected starter for the Knights, who clinched their finals berth on Sunday night with a 3-0 victory over Cowlitz to sweep of the West Division playoffs. Corvallis won Game 1 on Saturday, 3-1 in Longview.

It took Wenatchee three games, but the AppleSox punched their finals ticket on Monday night with a 6-3 win over Bellingham in Game 3 of the East Division playoffs. The Bells won Game 1 Bellingham 1-0 on Saturday night, but the AppleSox prevailed 4-1 on Sunday in Game 2 to force Monday's rubber game.

Wenatchee has not announced a starting pitcher; lefty Trevor Lubking of Pacific Lutheran (2-1, 3.56) had 10 regular-season starts and pitched only one inning against Bellingham. However, he hasn't pitched more than three innings at a time since July 26.

Game 2 is set for 7:05 p.m. Friday at Paul Thomas Sr. Field in Wenatchee. Lefty Greg Mahle of UC Santa Barbara (2-1, 2.75) is the projected starter for the Knights; he no-hit Cowlitz on Aug. 3 in his last start.

Game 3, if necessary, is set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday in Wenatchee. All three games will be broadcast on KEJO-AM 1240.

Corvallis won the WCL title in 2008 and 2011, and lost in the finals in 2007 and 2009. Wenatchee won titles in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, and lost in the finals in 2008.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Here's the story on the Bellingham-Wenatchee rubber game on the game from The Wenatchee World newspaper. The AppleSox rallied from an early 2-0 deficit for the 6-3 win.

-----------------------------------------------------------

The AppleSox led the WCL in hitting with a .292 average. The hit a league-high 25 homers and scored a league-best 307 runs. The Knights ranked sixth in batting (.265), scored 251 runs (5th) and hit a league-low five homers.

However, Corvallis led the WCL in ERA (2.80), allowed a league-low 181 runs and held opponents to a .225 batting average, also tops in the league. Wenatchee was second in ERA (3.29), runs allowed (225) and opponent's batting average (.244).

Wenatchee's Taylor Sparks (UC Irvine) was second in the league batting race (.388) and hit .400 in all games. He had a league-high nine homers and 34 RBIs. Teammate Mitchell Gunsolus (Gonzaga) was third in batting (.371), and led the league in RBIs (48).

Corvallis pitcher Rob Dittrick (Pacific University) led the WCL in ERA (1.10) by nearly a full run over runner-up Arturo Reyes of Walla Walla (2.05).

-------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday's game will be a homecoming for several AppleSox. Pitchers Tony Bryant and Riley Wilkerson, and outfielder Ryan Howell all play at Oregon State.The Knights have Beavers as well (catcher Nate Esposito, pitchers Taylor Starr and Carlos Rodriguez).

Several other schools will be represented on each team.

* Wenatchee's Bryce Jackson and our Nate Blackham play at Washington State.

* Wenatchee's Trevor Lubking and Curtis Wildung and our Max Beatty play at Pacific Lutheran.

* Wenatchee's Ryan Drobny and our Nick Torres, Alex Michaels and Bryan Granger play at Cal Poly.

* And Wenatchee's Jeff Stephens and Taylor Sparks and our Chris Rabago play at UC Irvine.

--------------------------------------------------------

Some more notes of interest:

* The Knights and Wenatchee are the two winningest programs in WCL regular-season history. The Knights have 248 league wins since its 2005 inception, the AppleSox 241.

* Wenatchee leads the all-time regular-season series, 24-21. The Knights are 11-4 vs. Wenatchee at Goss Stadium, but are 8-16 at Wenatchee's Paul Thomas Sr. Field. The Knights were 2-4 vs. Wenatchee at Mt. Hood CC in 2005 and 2006 before moving to Corvallis for the 2007 season.

* Either the Knights or AppleSox have played in every WCL Championship Series. Wenatchee advanced in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010; the Knights advanced in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012.

* The teams have combined for six of the seven WCL championships. Wenatchee won in 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010, the Knights in 2008 and 2011.

* Coaches Ed Knaggs of Wenatchee and Brooke Knight of Corvallis have combined for six WCL Coach of the Year awards. Knaggs was honored in 2005 and 2010, Knight in 2008 and 2011, and they shared the award in 2009.

----------------------------------------------------

Nine alums of the programs are now playing in the major leagues.

The big-league Knights are pitchers Tommy Hanson (Atlanta), Bud Norris (Houston) and Marc Rzepczynski (St. Louis) and catcher Chris Stewart (New York Yankees). The big-league AppleSox are pitchers Jason Hammel (Baltimore), Tom Milone (Oakland) and Clay Mortensen (Boston).

Several other alums have considerable MLB experience, but are currently in AAA: 3b Brent Morel (White Sox) and 1B Matt Hague (Pittsburgh) of the Knights and OF Cole Gillespie (Arizona) for the AppleSox.

-------------------------------------------------------

Former Knights pitcher Jace Fry of Oregon State recently had Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Here's an update on his recovery from the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

----------------------------------------------------------

Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09) was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 5-2 win over Corpus Christi on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Great Lakes outfielder Nick Akins (2007) was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 5-4 win over Lansng. Great Lakes is the Dodgers' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

* Everett first baseman Taylor Ard was 1-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in a 5-1 win over Spokane. Everett is Seattle's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

--------------------------------------------------------

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


On to the Championship Series

August 13, 2012

Now, it's on the the Championship Series!

Our win over Cowlitz last night advanced us to the West Coast League's Championship Series for the fifth time in the past six summers. We'll play either Wenatchee or Bellingham at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday at Goss Stadium in Game 1 of the best-of-3 finals.

Wenatchee and Bellingham are tied at 1-1 in their best-of-3 East Division playoff series. Game 3 is tonight at Wenatchee.

It doesn't really matter who we're playing. Both opponents defeated us 4-2 in the regular-season series, but most of those games were played early in the season, before our entire club was here. We last played Bellingham on July 5, and Wenatchee on July 11.

That was long before we hit our stride. We're 13-2 in our last 15 games, are now 39-22 overall, and will be rested and ready when either the Bells or AppleSox come to town.

Thursday is a travel day; Game 2 is Friday and Game3 (if necessary) is on Saturday. Then, the season's over, we'll kick back for a few weeks and then start preparing for the 2013 season.

But right now, the first order of business is winning on Wednesday. And we'd love to have you at the ballpark. Tickets are $11 for reserved, $5 for GAs, and it's the final time this summer to use any remaining inventory on punchcards.

The downtown ticket office is open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; tickets are available online, and the stadium ticket office opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

------------------------------------------------------------

Wenatchee defeated Bellingham 4-1 on Sunday night to even their East Division playoff series at a game apiece. Here are the details from The Wenatchee World newspaper.

-------------------------------------------------------

Our Sunday night crowd of 889 was a franchise record for a first-round playoff game. They've traditionally been tough draws, as they are played on short notice on weekend nights when people may already have plans because they're not regular-scheduled games.

That crowd boosted our season total to 40,685, the second-highest total in team history. We're just 116 fans behind last year's record pace and can still set a record for the sixth year in a row with a great turnout on Wednesday.

So get on down to the ballpark, and bring a friend for a great night of affordable family fun.

------------------------------------------------------

Everett 1B Taylor Ard (2009) was 2-for-5 with a homer, an RBI and a run scored in a 7-6 win over Spokane on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Everett is Seattle's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Visalia 3B Carter Bell (2009) was 2-for-5 with two runs in a 13-11 loss to Inland Empire. Visalia is Arizona's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* San Jose OF Alex Burg (2008) was 1-for-3 with a solo homer in a 3-2 loss to Lancaster. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in tdhe Class A (advanced) California League.

* Clearwater 1B Jim Murphy (2007) was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in a 4-3 win over Lakeland. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

* Tucson C Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 20-3 loss to Omaha. Tucson is San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A International League.

----------------------------------------------------------

Some news from around the WCL:

KITSAP: The BlueJackets were last in the WCL in attendance this season and they plan to do something about it in 2013, according to The Kitsap Sun newspaper.

-------------------------------------------------------

That's all for today. See you on Tuesday on the Blog, and see you at the ballpark on Wednesday!