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Knights Daily Update

We closed the week in fine style

July 16, 2012

We closed the week in fine style on Sunday night with a 4-2 victory over Bend at Goss Stadium in Game 1 of a crucial 5-game West Division series with the Elks.

We now have a 3.5-game lead in the West with 19 games remaining for us (21-14) and 22 left for the Elks (16-16). If we can take care of business over the balance of the series we'll be in good shape to clinch our sixth consecutive playoff berth and make a run at a repeat West Coast League championship.

The top two teams from each division advance to the playoffs. The two best-of-3 division series starts on Aug. 11 at the No. 2 seed's stadium; the best-of-3 WCL Championship Series starts on Aug. 15 at the West Division champion's venue.

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Sundays are sometimes a tough draw but we had a great crowd of 1,375 last night, our fourth straight of 1,150 or better. That pushed our season attendance to 23,532 for 19 openings, an average of 1,239 per game.

We're averaging 1,250 fans on our current homestand, which concludes this Wednesday-Sunday after a brief two-game detour to Bend tonight and Tuesday night for Games 2 and 3 of the current series. It really makes a difference in our attendance when the sun is out and it warms up, as it finally did starting July 3.

We've got some great stuff planned for the rest of the week.

* Wednesday vs. Bend, 6:40 p.m.: Papa's Pizza Singles Night, presented by the Hilton Garden Inn. Papa's will distribute free slices of pizza before the game, and the annual Heart of the Valley Road Runner's "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" 5K road race will conclude at home plate prior to the game as well.

* Thursday vs. Bend, 6:40 p.m.: Barker-Uerlings Insurance Seat Cushion Giveaway/Block 15 Thursday. The first 250 fans get seat cushions. Block 15 beer is discounted, and hot dogs are $1.

* Friday vs. Kelowna, 6:40 p.m.: It's Olufson Design Ladies Night, presented by MOM Magazine. Lots of samples and other free stuff for the ladies.

* Saturday vs. Kelowna (2), 5:05 p.m.: First, it's bonus baseball, with two seven-inning games for the price of one. It's also our Twilight Twi-Night promotion, sponsored by Mid-Valley Dental Associates. Come dressed as your favorite "Twilight" character; the first 100 fans will receive free vampire teeth. The Red Cross Bloodmobile will be at Goss Stadium from 2-7 p.m. and all donors receive a free GA ticket to the Knights' next home game.

* Sunday vs. WCL Portland Ports, 5:15 p.m.: It's the makeup of the postponed June 22 game; just use your ticket from that night, if you already have one. It's also the Kids $1,000 Dash for Cash Night, presented by All Family Vision Care.

So, lots of reasons to get out to the ballpark. Come early, and come often!

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Pitcher Rob Dittrick of Pacific University received more than 90,000 votes and was the choice of Knights' fans to represent us at the WCL All-Star Game, set for July 24 at Walla Walla. The rest of the West Division team will be named Tuesday.

Here's a story from our website on Rob's selection. And here's another one, from the Pacific University website.

Congratulations to Rob, a 10-day signee who has made an invaluable contribution as a full-time player.

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Former Knights/Cal Poly outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09) of the Springfield Cardinals homered, doubled, scored and drove in a run in an 8-6 win 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:

* Former Knights/Portland pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) allowed one run in three innings of relief for Salem-Keizer in a 10-8 loss to Yakima. Salem-Keizer is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

* Former Knights/Oregon pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009) allowed four hits and one run in seven innings for Asheville. He left with a 5-1 lead but the bullpen imploded and Rome won 6-5 in 11 innings. Asheville is Colorado's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

WENATCHEE: Excellent story in The Wenatchee World newspaper on AppleSox standout Gerhard Muelheims, who now treats every day as a blessing after suriving a nasty car accident several years ago.

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That's all for today. We're accompanying the Knights to Bend today and Tuesday so we'll have updates from Central Oregon on the Knights Facebook page and on the blog's blog, Knights PR.


Time for the weekend

July 13, 2012

It's time for the weekend, and a little break after an especially busy stretch that's seen us play 18 games in 19 games in three cities in two countries.

It won't be all fun and games, though. We've got all-star ballots to count on Saturday and we'll release the name of the Knight who was the fans choice to represent our team at the July 24 All-Star Game at Walla Walla.

My bet is pitcher Rob Dittrick, who has 84,033 votes and a 27,000-vote advantage on Thursday, but I guess you never know. That's why we'll count the ballots.

Voting closes at 3 p.m. Saturday and is available here. So, vote early and vote often.

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Nice story from Capenews.com on former Knights infielder Jake Rodriguez (2010), whose father passed away earlier this year. Jake played for us the summer before he started at Oregon State. He is playing for the Falmouth Commodores in the Cape Cod League.

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Former Knights pitcher Jace Fry (2011) of Oregon State Oregon State was named a second-team Freshman All-American by Perfect Game USA. He earlier received similar honors from Lousiville Slugger and Baseball America.

Fry was 5-3, 2.45 for OSU this year. He was a West Coast League all-star in 2011.

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Former Aloha Knights infielder Matt Hague (2005) was recalled by the Pittsburg Pirates from triple-A Indianapolis on July 7 and is now in his third stint with the big club this season.

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Another great crowd at Goss Stadium on Thursday night for our game with the Mid-Valley Rockets. A nice contingent from Albany and the attraction of $2 beers and $1 hot dogs helped us draw a crowd of 1,474, one of our largest of the season.

We're now at 22,157 for 18 openings this summer, an average of 1,231 per game. We're now just 633 fans behind last year's record pace (42,447) despite the terrible June weather.

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Former Knights/UC Riverside infielder Drew Gargia of the Charlotte Knights was 3-for-4 with a double, a run and an RBI in a 6-4 win over Durham to earn Corvallis Knights Minort League Player of the Day honors. Charlotte is the Chicago White Sox's affiliate in the triple-A International league.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Infielder Matt Duffy (2010) of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was 2-for-4 with a run in an 8-5 loss to Yakima. The Volcanoes are the Giants' affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League; Duffy played at Long Beach State.

* Infielder Thomas McCarthy (2010) of Great Falls was 1-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a walk in a 5-0 win over Ogden. Great Falls is the White Sox's affiliate in the Clas A (rookie) Pioneer League; McCarthy played at Kentucky.

* Pitcher James Nygren of the Greensboro Grasshoppers got tyhe win in a 4-3 vicvtory over Hagerstown. Greensboro is Miami's affiliate in the Clas A South Atlantic league; he played at Oregon State.

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Finally, it's Friday, so here are the updated stats for our Corvallis Knights in minor-league affiliated baseball (all stats through Thursday's games):

NICK AKINS, Dodgers (2007): The former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .219 (14-64) with two homers and six RBIs for the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League. He is on the DL.

DAYTON ALEXANDER, Athletics (2011): The former Feather River College outfielder is hitting .157 (8-51) with four RBIs for Vermont in the Class A New York-Penn League.

BO ALTOBELLI, Twins (2010): The ex-Texas Tech catcher is hitting .143 (4-28) with three 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 8-2, 2.80, with 42 strikeouts in 70.2 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE, Padres (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 7-4, 3.45, with 78 strikeouts in 88.2 innings.

TAYLOR ARD, Mariners (2009): Now with Everett in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Washington State first baseman is hitting .248 (25-101) with four homers and 22 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 .244 (41-168) with one homer and 17 RBIs.

MICHAEL BLAKE, Diamondbacks (2010): Now with Missoula in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Mt. Hood/Hawaii pitcher is 0-0, 3.00, with one save and 14 strikeouts in nine innings.

ALEX BURG, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .260 (45-173) with seven homers and 24 RBIs.

MATT DUFFY, Giants (2010): The former Long Beach State infielder is hitting .265 (26-98) with no homers and two RBIs for Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League.

JOHN ESHLEMAN, Giants (2008): The San Jacinto JC infielder, now with the double-A Eastern League Richmond Squirrels, has scored one run in three games but does not have an at-bat. He is on the 7-day DL.

ROCKY GALE, Padres (2007, 2009): The former Portland catcher is back with Tucson in the triple-A Pacific Coast League and is hitting .136 (3-22), with two RBIs.

DREW GARCIA, White Sox (2007): Now with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .250 (48-192), with four homers and 26 RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO, Cardinals (2009): Now with Quad City in the Class A Midwest League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 5-6, 4.97, with 70 strikeouts in 83.1 innings.

DEAN GREEN, Tigers (2008): Now with the Gulf Coast League Tigers on a rehab assignement, Green is hitting .095 (2-21), with four RBIs. The former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder hit .306 (67-219), with nine homers and 38 RBIs, with West Michigan in the Class A Midwest League before being injured.

MITCH HANIGER, Brewers (2010): Now with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League, the former Cal Poly outfielder hit .286 (14-49), with a homer and eight RBIs 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 1-1, 6.94 with nine strikeouts in 11.2 innings.

D.J. JOHNSON, Diamondbacks (2008-09): Now with Visalia of the Class A California League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 1-1, 4.91, with three saves and 12 strikeouts in 11 innings.

KYLE KRAUS, Red Sox (2009-10): Now with Lowell in the Class A New York-Penn League, the former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 3.00, with four strikeouts in three innings.

SCOTT LYMAN, Marlins (2010): The ex-UC Davis star is 1-3, 8.53 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, with 18 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

THOMAS McCARTHY, White Sox (2010): Now with Great Falls in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Kentucky third baseman is hitting .233 (10-43) with no homers and four RBIs.

ADAM MELKER, Cardinals (2008-09): Now with Springfield in the double-A Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .239 (44-184), with three homers and 14 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY, Phillies (2007): Now with Clearwater in the Class A Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .267 (81-303), with 11 homers and 57 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN, Marlins (2009): Now with Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 6-1, 4.80, with 10 saves and 27 strikeouts in 50.2 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO, Cubs (2008-09): Recently promotxed to the Boise Hawks in the Class A Northwest League, the former UC Riverside pitcher is 0-0, 0.00, with four strikeouts in six innings.

JOSH OSICH, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-2, 4.50, with a save and 21 strikeouts in 20 innings.

GREG PEAVEY, Mets (2008): Now with Binghamton in the double-A Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 3-6, 6.23, with 49 strikeouts in 82.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK, Cubs (2010): Now with Tennessee in the Class AA Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 10-8, 3.34, with 87 strikeouts in 105 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC, Giants (2009): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .233 (52-223), with fsix homers and 28 RBIs.

NOT YET ASSIGNED: LHP Mark Trentacosta (2011), UC Irvine (Cardinals).

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That's all for today. We play Bend at 5:15 p.m. Sunday at Goss Stadium, and we'll see you on on the blog on Monday.


Nonleague game tonight; Bend's here Sunday

July 12, 2012

Excuse us if we write a little long today. We just got a new keyboard on the Blog's laptop and it feels like a Cadillac. Also, I can actually see all the letters now, so the chances of any misspellings (hopefully) will go down.

So, here goes:

We wrap up the first half of our 11-game homestand tonight with a nonleague contest against the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team. Game time is 6:40 p.m. at Goss Stadium.

Historically we've played the Corvallis Richey's Market/T. Gerding Construction club in our annual Legion exhibition, but that didn't work out this year because of scheduling issues. So we're facing the Rockets, who are coached by ex-Knight (1996) Troy Babbitt, a cousin of Knights coach Brooke Knight.

The game will be nine innings. We then have Friday and Saturday off, and host Bend at 5:15 Sunday in the start of a crucial five-game West Coast League series against the Elks, our top competition in the West Division.

We'll play in Bend on Monday and Tuesday nights, then return to Corvallis and conclude the series on Wednesday and Thursday nights (6:40 p.m. starts). Kelowna is in for a single game on July 20 (6:40 p.m.) and a doubleheader (5 p.m.) on July 21.

We finish the homestand on July 22 (5:15 p.m.) against the Stars of WCL Portland. It's the makeup of a game that was rained out on June 22; it's also the All-Family Vision Care Kids Dash for Cash night

So, lots of reasons to head out to Goss Stadium. See you there!

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Former Knights outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of Cal Poly and the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. The Timber Rattlers are Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

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ZOOperstars! put on a great show last night that was much appreciated by nearly 1,400 fans. The crowd of 1,369 raised our season attendance to 20,683 for 17 openings, and improved our average to 1,217 per game.

We're 679 fans behind last year's franchise-record (42,447) pace after a corresponding number of openings. Our attendance was definitely impacted negatively by the lousy June weather but now that summer is really here we expect to catch up and pass last year's numbers.

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Online voting is still available to determine one representative of the Corvallis Knights on the West Division roster for the 2012 West Coast League All-Star Game, set for July 24 at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.

So far, pitcher Rob Dittrick of Pacific University is the runaway choice, as he has more than 83,000 votes. He's a deserving choice; Rob is 3-1 with a 1.54 ERA in a team-leading 35 innings.

The complete 21-man East and West division teams will be announced on Tuesday. Here's how they're selected:

* The MLB Scouting Bureau selects 12 must-see prospects. They are named to the team.

* Each team sends one player picked via fan voting.

* Coaches nominate players from their team, a ballot is sent out to coaches, and they vote to determine the remaining all-stars.

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Former Knights OSU College of Business intern (2011) and gymnastics star Leslie Mak was awarded a Tom Hansen Medal by the Pacific-12 Conference.

She was a four-time All-American, a two-time Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year, an OSU Female Athlete of the Year and a three-time Pac-12 academic all-star in her outstanding career.

A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution's outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership. The medals are named after former Conference commissioner Tom Hansen.

Congrats to Leslie, who has accepted a job with a wine concern and is working in the Portland area.

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First baseman Jim Murphy (2007) of the Clearwater Threshers homered in the third straight game and drove in two runs in a 6-5 loss to Fort Myers to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

The onetime Washington State star has three homers and six RBIs in his last three games. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Another former Knights' slugging first baseman from Wazzu, Taylor Ard (2009), was 1-for-4 with a double, a run and three RBIs for Everett in a 10-7 win over Tri-City. Everett is Seattle's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

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That's all for today. We'll have updated averages for all our minor-league Corvallis Knights on Friday.


The Knights are back in the groove

July 11, 2012

Now that summer has really arrived, we're back in the groove and our bats have come alive.

After a frustrating week on the road at Bellingham and Kelowna, we're hitting the ball with authority. We've scored 13 runs and have 23 hits in our last two games, 5-2 and 8-5 wins over Wenatchee. That's enabled us to restore a somewhat comfortable (3.5 games) lead over Bend in the West Division playoff race.

Goss Stadium is a pitcher's park. But when it finally warms up, the ball carries well and the customary advantage enjoyed by the pitchers is reduced. We hit five doubles on Thursday, and a homer and another double off the wall on Monday, the first two warms days we've had at the ballpark all summer.

Our series with the AppleSox ends tonight. The ZOOperstars! will entertain, presented by IBEW 280. It's a $2 Senior Wednesday (60-plus), and popcorn is just a buck.

And, since we've been winning, scoring and getting extra-base hits, our coupon deals with McDonald's, Qdoba and Pepsi have kicked in and fans have gotten free fries, $.99 tacos, and discounts on pizza and Pepsi at Papa's Pizza.

That's Affordable Family Fun!

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OK, enough with the commercials, Now let's get to some news.

Don't forget to help send your favorite Knight to the WCL All-Star Game in Walla Walla on July 24 by voting online. The Knight with the most votes will earn a spot on the West Division squad.

Pitcher Rob Dittrick of Pacific University leads at the moment with nearly 80,000 votes; he must have a great campaign organization! You can also vote at the stadium, or at Wilson Motors in Corvallis.

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Another nice night on Tuesday, another solid crowd (1,151), and we continue to chip away at catching up or surpassing last year's record attendance of 42,447.

We've drawn 19,314 to 16 home dates, an average of 1,207 per game. We're 1,083 behind last year at a corresponding date, but now that the weather is getting better and we've got some great promotions and weekend dates on tap, we're confident we'll soon pull even or even surpass last year's numbers.

But we can't do it without you, the most important piece of the attendance puzzle. So we'll see you at the ballpark!

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There were no minor league games last night because of the MLB All-Star Game. So we don't have a Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day to highlight today.

The feature will return tomorrow, and we'll have updated averages for our minor-league Corvallis Knights on Friday.

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


Barr's grand slam brightens the mood

July 10, 2012

Nothing like a grand slam to brighten the mood in the Knights' locker room, and down here at the WWHQ.

Austin Barr's massive shot over the left-field fence in the sixth inning powered us to a 5-2 win over Wenatchee on Monday. That ended a franchise-record seven-game losing streak and moved us three games ahead of Bend in the West Division standings.

It was Barr's second grand slam of the summer and just the third grand slam in the history of the Corvallis Knights. Your's truly might be the only person who saw all three.

* Our 2007 MVP, Jim Murphy of Washington State, blasted one off ex-Oregon Stater Kraig Sitton at Goss Stadium in a 6-2 win over the defunct Spokane RiverHawks on July 26, 2007.

* Barr's first grand slam came in the eighth inning of a 6-4 victory at Walla Walla on June 1.

* And his second was last night, ending a 13-inning scoreless streak and a 54-inning streak in which we were behind at the end of the inning.

Barr's first chance for No. 3 comes at 6:40 tonight, in the sandwich game of the series. OSU sophomore-to-be lefty Carlos Rodriguez (1-0, 2.16) is our projected starter.

So, come on out to the ballpark. It'a a $2 Tuesday, with special pricing available on Coors Light, and it's PEAK Internet Science and Technology Night. The ZOOperstars! are here Wednesday.

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Knights' utility Marc Gallegos went 3-for-4 on Monday and now leads the West Coast League in hitting with a .390 (32-82) average. A 10-day signee from Corban University who has earned a full-time job, Gallegos has played third, short, second and DH this summer.

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Don't forget to help send your favorite Knight to the WCL All-Star Game in Walla Walla on July 24 by voting online. The Knight with the most votes will earn a spot on the West Division squad.

Pitcher Rob Dittrick of Pacific University leads at the moment with more than 75,000 votes. You can also vote at the stadium, or at Wilson Motors in Corvallis.

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Our seven-game losing streak knocked us out of Perfect Game USA's top 30 summer ball ranking. We were No. 13 for several weeks before our tailspin.

We are now in the "also receiving votes" category. Here are the rankings, as compiled by Allan Simpson of Perfect Game.

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We finally got some nice weather for a home game last night and drew an enthusiastic crowd of 883. We won't be happy until every game is sold out, but that's not bad for a Monday.

We've drawn 18,163 to 15 home dates, an average of 1,210 per game. We're 1,175 behind last year at a corresponding date, but as the weather heats up and with the nice promotions we have in the future, we're confident we'll soon pull even or even surpass last year's numbers.

We're third in the WCL in average attendance. Here are the numbers for the entire league; remember they don't include non-league games, so that's why our numbers don't match up exactly.

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Elizabethton catcher Bo Altobelli (2010) was 3-for-6 with two RBIs and a run scored in a 12-0 win over Johnson City to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Elizabethton is Minnesota's Class A (rookie) affiliate in the Appalachian League. He played at Texas Tech.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Clearwater first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) homered for the second day in row, scored trwice and drive in a pair in an 8-4 win over Brevard County. Clearwater is Philadelphi's affiliate in the Class A (advanced> Florida Statde League.

* Pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10), fresh off the disabled list, pitched a scoreless inning and had two strikeouts for the Lowell Spinners in a 10-2 loss to Batavia. Lowell is Boston's affiliate in the Class A (short) New York-Penn League.

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


X-rays negative for INF Nate Roberts

July 6, 2012

Another tough night at Bellingham on Thursday, as the Knights fell 6-5 in 10 innings and drop their fourth game in a row. We tied the game with two outs inthe ninth, but couldn't get the win.

Our roster is already a little thin on this trip because of passport issues, and we got some more bad news on Thursday. X-rays on infielder Nate Roberts' swollen right hand were negative, but the senior-to-be at Seattle University is out for the next 7-10 days.

The versatile Roberts was injured on Wednesday in a collision with left fielder Nate Blackham as they chased a pop fly. He was hitting .212 in 12 games, with two RBIs, and was playing solid defense at several positions.

Roberts missed almost the entire 2011 summer season with the Knights because of a wrist injury. So, get better Nate, we need you.

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The Knights have lost four in a row for the first time in exactly a year; we also dropped four straight on July 2-5, 2011.

Coincidentally, we also headed to Kelowna after the 2011 losing streak. We swept a series there, and then won 24 of our next 30 games after that to capture our second West Coast League championship.

Here's hoping history repeats itself, starting with tonight's 6:35 p.m. game against the rejuvinated Falcons at Elks Stadium in Kelowna.

Our projected starting rotation for the series is RHP Trevor Frank of UC Riverside (0-0, 0.00) tonight, and LHP Dylan Stuart (1-0, 3.00) of UC Riverside and RHP Rob Dittrick of Pacific University (3-0, 1.21) on Saturday.

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Former Knights pitcher/outfielder Michael Blake (2010) of Mt. Hood CC and Hawaii pitched .2 scoreless innings and had one strikeout for his first save in a 5-2 victory over Great Falls on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor league Player of the Day honors.

Missoula is Arizona's affiliate in the Class A (short) Pioneer League. Michael played at Tri-Cities in the Northwest League last year.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Former Cal Poly outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers was 1-for-2 with a run and a double in a 5-3 loss to Cedar Rapids. Wisconsin is Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

* Another ex-Mustangs outfielder, Adam Melker (2008-09) of the Springfield Cardinals had a two-run homer in an 11-7 loss to Frisco. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the Class AA Texas League.

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Finally, it's Friday, so here are the updated stats for our Corvallis Knights in minor-league affiliated baseball (all stats through Thursday's games):

NICK AKINS, Dodgers (2007): The former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .219 (14-64) with two homers and six RBIs for the Great Lakes Loons in the Class A Midwest League.

DAYTON ALEXANDER, Athletics (2011): The former Feather River College outfielder is hitting .158 (6-38) with three RBIs for Vermont in the Class A New York-Penn League.

BO ALTOBELLI, Twins (2010): The ex-Texas Tech catcher is hitting .053 (1-19) with one RBI 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 7-2, 3.08, with 37 strikeouts in 64.1 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE, Padres (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 6-4, 3.16, with 74 strikeouts in 82.2 innings.

TAYLOR ARD, Mariners (2009): Now with Everett in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Washington State first baseman is hitting .268 (22-82) with thee homers and 18 RBIs.

CODY BARTLETT, Blue Jays (2007): Now playing for the Class A Gulf Coast Blue Jays, the ex-Washington State infielder is hitting .156 (5-32), with no homers and one RBI.

CARTER BELL, Diamondbacks (2009): Now with Visalia in the Class A California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .250 (41-164) with one homer and 17 RBIs. He is on the DL.

MICHAEL BLAKE, Diamondbacks (2010): Now with Missoula in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Mt. Hood/Hawaii pitcher is 0-0, 3.00, with one save and 14 strikeouts in nine innings.

ALEX BURG, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .268 (41-153) with seven homers and 22 RBIs.

MATT DUFFY, Giants (2010): The former Long Beach State infielder is hitting .273 (21-77) with no homers and one RBI for Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League.

JOHN ESHLEMAN, Giants (2008): The San Jacinto JC infielder, now with the double-A Eastern League Richmond Squirrels, has scored one run in three games but does not have an at-bat. He is on the 7-day DL.

ROCKY GALE, Padres (2007, 2009): The former Portland catcher is hitting .180 (9-50) for Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, with one homer and six RBIs.

DREW GARCIA, White Sox (2007): Now with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .233 (41-176), with four homers and 21 RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO, Cardinals (2009): Now with Quad City in the Class A Midwest League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 5-5, 4.50, with 68 strikeouts in 80 innings.

DEAN GREEN, Tigers (2008): Now with the Gulf Coast League Tigers on a rehab assignement, Green is hitting .143 (1-7), with three RBIs. The former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder hit .306 (67-219), with nine homers and 38 RBIs, with West Michigan in the Class A Midwest League before being injured.

MITCH HANIGER, Brewers (2010): Now with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in the Class A Midwest League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .286 (14-49), with a homer and eight RBIs.

CHRIS JOHNSON, Giants (2011): Now at Salem-Keizer in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Portland pitcher is 1-0, 4.66 with nine strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

D.J. JOHNSON, Diamondbacks (2008-09): Now with Visalia of the Class A California League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 1-0, 2.79, with three saves and 11 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

KYLE KRAUS, Red Sox (2009-10): Now with Lowell in the Class A New York-Penn League, the former Portland pitcher is 0-0, 4.50, with two strikeouts in two innings. He is on the 7-day DL.

SCOTT LYMAN, Marlins (2010): The ex-UC Davis star is 1-2, 8.53 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, with 15 strikeouts in 19 innings.

THOMAS McCARTHY, White Sox (2010): Now with Great Falls in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Kentucky third baseman is hitting .242 (8-33) with no homers and three RBIs.

ADAM MELKER, Cardinals (2008-09): Now with Springfield in the double-A Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .234 (41-175), with three homers and 14 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY, Phillies (2007): Now with Clearwater in the Class A Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .269 (75-279), with eight homers and 51 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN, Marlins (2009): Now with Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 5-1, 5.01, with 10 saves and 25 strikeouts in 46.2 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO, Cubs (2008-09): Now with the Arizona Rookie League Cubs, the former UC Riverside pitcher is 1-0, 0.00, with three strikeouts in four innings.

JOSH OSICH, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-2, 3.50, with a save and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings.

GREG PEAVEY, Mets (2008): Now with Binghamton in the double-A Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 3-6, 5.94, with 48 strikeouts in 77.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK, Cubs (2010): Now with Tennessee in the Class AA Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 9-7, 3.64, with 74 strikeouts in 94 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC, Giants (2009): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .239 (50-209), with fsix homers and 28 RBIs.

NOT YET ASSIGNED: LHP Mark Trentacosta (2011), UC Irvine (Cardinals).

The Cardinals have released former UC Irvine pitcher Daniel Bibona (2007), a 2010 signee who this year was 0-1, 6.43 in three starts with the Batavia Muckdogs in the Class A New York-Penn League. He was drafted in the eighth round in 2010 and went 4-0, 1.91 at Quad Cities that summer, but he missed the entire 2011 season with arm injuries he never did shake.

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That's plenty for today. See you on Monday, when we host the Wenatchee AppleSox on a SNAP Fitness Miser Monday/$1 hot dog night.


Tough day in Bellingham

July 5, 2012

Tough day in Bellingham on Wednesday, as we were shut out in a doubleheader (3-0, 1-0) for the first time in franchise history.

Judging by the radio broadcast, we hit a ton of balls on the nose, but right at someone. Or, when we did hit for distance, it died at the fence or just short of the warning track.

Oh well, that's baseball, and we get another chance tonight in the 7 p.m. series finale. Bend also lost, so our lead was only trimmed by one-half game, and we still have a 5.5-game edge on the Elks.

It's off to Kelowna on Friday morning, where we play the Falcons in a single game on Friday night and a doubleheader on Saturday. We drive home on Sunday, and open a three-game series with Wenatchee on Monday.

Hopefully this great weather will hold. We're still waiting for nice, warm conditions for a home game. It's about time.

Speaking of the lousy June weather, it definitely had a negative impact on our attendance. We're at 17,280 through 14 openings, an average of 1,234 per game.

We're down 1,363 fans overall from our record (42,447) 2011 attendance in a corresponding number of openings. But with great weather and a nice homestand in the offing, we're confident we'll catch up and pass last summer's numbers.

Our Monday-Wednesday series against Wenatchee has good promotions every night.

* Monday is SNAP Fitness Miser Monday. SNAP Fitness members get a $3 GA tickets, and it's a $1 hot dog night.

* Tuesday is a BI-MART $2 Tuesday, and PEAK Technology & Innovators Night.

* Wednesday is ZOOperstars! night, presented by IBEW 280.

So get on out to the ballpark!

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The 2012 West Coast League All-Star Game is set for Tuesday, July 24, at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla. Each WCL team will have one player voted to the game by its fans.

You can vote for your favorite Knight online starting today on the Knights' website, and at Goss Stadium or at Wilson Motors, starting on July 9.

So remember, vote early, and vote often, for your favorite Knight! Concordia University first baseman Sean Myrom was the fans choice in 2011, and he won the Home Run Derby!

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Former Knights' pitcher Jace Fry (2011), a rising sophomore at Oregon State, was named a second-team Freshman All-American by Baseball America magazine on Wednesday.

A WCL all-star for the Knights in 2011, Fry was 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA for the Beavers in 2012, three complete games in 13 appearances, all starts. He struck out 53 in 88.1 innings, limited opponents to a .215 average, and gave up just seven extra-base hits.

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Interesting story in today's Oregonian about the signing of Kyle Kraus of the University of Portland, a WCL all-star with the Knights in 2009-10 and one of the best pitchers in franchise history.

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Former Knights infielder D.J. Johnson (2008-09), converted into a pitcher in pro baseball, threw a perfect ninth inning on Wednesday to save Visalia's 5-2 win over Lancaster to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Johnson had one strikeout in his third save since being promoted to Visalia (A advanced, California League) from South Bend (A, Midwest League) in early June. Both teams are affiliates in the Arizona organization.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose catcher Alex Burg (2008), who continued his recent hot streak by going 2-for-4 with a run in an 8-4 win over Modesto. San Jose in San Francisco's California League affiliate; Burg played at Wazzu.

* Quad Cities pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009), an ex-Oregon Stater who got the win and had 11 strikeouts and allowed two earned runs in 5.1 innings in a 12-7 win over Kane County. Quad Cities is St. Louis' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

* Asheville pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009), an Oregon alum, allowed one unearned run in 5.2 innings and got the win in an 8-4 victory over Augusta. Asheville is Colorado's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League. Anderson had four strikeouts and is 7-2.

We'll have updated stats on all our minor-league Corvallis Knights in Friday's blog.

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


Knights-Bells rained out

July 3, 2012

Tonight's game at Bellingham has been rained out. It will be rescheduled as part of a Wednesday doubleheader, with the starting time still to be determined.

Summer just refuses to start in the Northwest.

Now, back to the regularly-scheduled blog.

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Greetings this morning. We're still on a high down here at the WWHQ after a spectacular Fireworks Night that would have been totally perfect had we not blown a 4-1, eighth-inning lead and lost our game to Kitsap.

A sellout crowd; an entertaining game; a danceoff between our Lil' K and the Kitsap closer, and a super fireworks display, which some Fireworks Nights veterans called our best ever. That's what summer baseball is all about.

Thanks to all who came, and don't forget, we have another Fireworks Nigh scheduled for our regular-season home finale, Aug. 4 vs. the Cowlitz Black Bears.

See you there as well!

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We are still No. 13th nationally in summer collegiate baseball in the latest Perfect Game USA weekly rankings, compiled by reporter Allan Simpson.

Here are this week's rankings. The WCL's Wenatchee AppleSox are ranked No. 3; the Bellingham Bells, who we play tonight, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, also received votes.

We'll have a chance to move up on Wenatchee next week. We host the AppleSox next Monday-Wednesday in the first three games of our next homestand.

Again, we're at Bellingham tonight (7:05), Wednesday afternoon (1:05) and Thursday night (7:05), and at Kelowna on Friday night (6:35) and Saturday night (5:00) for a doubleheader that concludes our final long road trip of the summer. All games will be on KEJO-AM 1240, with Kevin Burke calling all the action.

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Speaking of Bellingham, Bells' right-hander Sean Hartnett was named the WCL co-Player of the Week for his eight-inning one-hitter in a 6-0 win against the Knights at Goss Stadium on June 27. He shared the award with teammate Andrew Olson. Here are all the details, from the WCL website.

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Don't forget that the fourth annual Take me Out to the Ballgame 5K road run is set for July 18. It finishes at home plate of Goss Stadium about 45 minutes before our game with the Bend Elks.

The cost is $15, which includes a ticket to that night's game, or $5 to those 18 and under. For more details, see the Heart of the Valley Runners website. We're the co-sponsors of this event and love to have the runners hang around afterward for the game!

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Former Knights outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of Cal poly hit his first pro homer and drove in four runs on Monday for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a 9-2 win over Quad Cities. So he's our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day.

The Appleton-based Timber Rattlers are Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League. Haniger was Milwaukee's pick in the supplemental first round of the 2012 draft.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose catcher Andrew Susac (2009). The ex-Oregon Stater was 3-for-5 with three runs, a homer and an RBI in a 7-6 California League loss to Stockton. San Jose is San Francisco's Class A (advanced) affiliate.

* Everett first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) of Washington State was 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and three runs in a 10-1 win over Eugene. Everett is Seattle's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

* Greensboro pitcher James Nygren (2009), another ex-Beaver, threw three scoreless innings and had two strikeouts in a 7-6 loss to Hickory. Greensboro is Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

We'll update the stats of all our minor league Corvallis Knights on Friday.

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That's all for today. We've got tomorrow off for the July 4 holiday, so we'll see you on Thursday.


It's Fireworks Night!

July 2, 2012

It's our annual holiday Fireworks Night at Goss Stadium, always one of the highlights of our season.

It's grown from a modest beginning in 2007 (just over 1,000 fans) to become a rite of summer in the Corvallis area. We have some seats left, but tonight should be the fourth straight year in which we've sold every single seat at Goss Stadium.

Three years ago we sold standing room and drew a stadium-record 3,506 fans. We can't do that any more, so we've stopped sales at 2,930 the past two seasons, and that's what we expect to anounce tonight.

Seats are available online, at our downtown ticket office (down the hall from Starbucks in the Madison Plaza) until about 4 p.m., and then at the stadium, starting at 6 p.m. The game starts at 7:15 p.m.

All chairback seats are reserved and cost $11. All bleacher seats are GA, and cost $5. So come see us in person, go online, or get to the ballpark early for a great night of baseball and fireworks.

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After our homestand ends tonight, we're off to Bellingham for games on Tuesday through Thursday, and then off to Kelowna, B.C., for a single game on Friday night and a doubleheader on Saturday.

We're idle on Sunday as we drive back from Kelowna. We start another homestand with a three-game series against Wenatchee on July 9, and face the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team in an exhibition game on July 12

Here's our rotation for Bellingham: Tuesday, RHP Jorge Perez; Wednesday, RHP AJ Burke; Thursday, RHP Max Beatty.

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Former Knights catcher Alex Burg (2008) of Washington State and the San Jose Giants was 3-for-5 with a run in a 10-3 victory over Stockton on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Alex is hitting .444 (15-34) in his last 10 games, with three homers and six RBIs, to raise his season average to .265 (7-22). San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) of Long Beach State and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes was 3-for-4 with two runs in a 5-1 win over Vancouver. The Volcanoes are the Giants' affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

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Haven't heard anything about a nickname yet for the new Victoria franchise, which comes on line in 2013. They will have a contest to pick their new moniker.

But I got the Ebbets Field Flannels spring/summer catalog the other day and they are selling authentic 1911 Victoria Bees jerseys. The Bees were a franchise in the old Northwestern League back in that year; that circuit also had clubs in Seattle, Vancouver and Spokane.

Not sure what they'll do, but if they do choose "Bees" there's some history behind it.

And if you're into vintage baseball apparrel (and other sports too), EFF is the place to go.

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That's all for today. See you at the ballpark tonight!


So long June., and good riddance!

June 29, 2012

This will be the last blog of the month. So let's say so long to June, and good riddance! What a horrible month of weather; it will be July when we return on Monday, and hopefully summer will have finally arrived.

Speaking of summer, it's supposed to be 80 and sunny for our annual OSU Federal Credit Union Fireworks Night celebration, which this year is Monday, July 2, starting at 7:15 p.m. It has sold out the last three years and we do expect another sellout this year, as tickets are going fast.

So buy now, either online, at the WWHQ on Friday and Monday, or at the stadium on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before our games with Kitsap. You don't want to wait too long to pull the trigger and get left out of the best show in town!

And for the first time ever, the Corvallis Community Band will entertain at Goss Stadium throughout the game and during the fireworks. So it should be a great show, on top of the high-quality baseball you've come to expect from the Knights.

See you there!

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The existing summer wood bat team in Medford, the Southern Oregon RiverDawgs, is excited about the formation of a West Coast League expansion franchise in that city for 2013. Here's a story on that subject from the Medford Mail Tribune newspaper.

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Former Knights pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009), an Oregon State product, pitched seven shutout innings for Quad Cities on Thursday in a 1-0 win over Cedar Rapids to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

He had eight strikeouts and allowed just four hits, with no walks. Quad Cities is St. Louis's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose's Alex Burg (2008) homered again and was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run in a 9-6 win over Lake Elsinore. San Jose is San Francisco's Class A California League affiliate. Alex played at Wazzu.

* Outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers was 1-for-2 with a double and two runs in a 7-3 win over Peoria. Wisconsin is Milwaukee's Class A affiliate in the Midwest League; Mitch played at Cal Poly and was the Big West Conference 2012 Player of the Year.

* Outfielder Dayton Alexander (2011), a Feather River JC grad, was 2-for-3 with a run, a double and an RBI in Vermont's 6-5 loss to Lowell. Vermont is Oakland's affiliate in the Class A (short) New York-Penn League.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WENATCHEE: Here are some AppleSox notes, from the Wenatchee World newspaper. The ASox are here on July 9-11, after we return from next week's road trip.

That's all for today. See you at the ballpark this weekend; the sun is finally out!