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Knights Daily Update

Bibona returning to UC Irvine

July 25, 2012

Former Knights pitcher Daniel Bibona, an honorable-mention West Coast League all-star for our 2007 WCL runners-up, will return to UC Irvne, his alma mater, as a volunteer assistant coach.

Bibona was released earlier this year by the St. Louis Cardinals after several seasons in their minor-league system. He played at Quad Cities in the Midwest League in 2010, missed 2011 with injuries, and pitched briefly at Batavia in the New York-Penn League this year before being released.

Here are the details from the UCI website.

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Great showing by the Knights at last night's WCL All-Star Game at Walla Walla. Outfielder Connor Hofmann was the MVP; infielder Caleb Whalen drove in the winning run, and pitchers Rob Dittrick, Jorge Perez and Devon Barker all pitched scoreless baseball in the West Division's 3-2 victory.

Here are the details from the news section of our website, and here's a story from The Wenatchee World newspaper, which covered the game.

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Former UC Riverside/Knights pitcher Matt Andriese (2009) struck out three, allowed one unearned run and three hits over six innings in Lake Elsinore's 3-1 victory over Lancaster on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Lake Elsinore of San Diego's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Jose catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs in a 12-0 win over Bakersfield. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

* Pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) earned his first save by striking out one in a perfect inning of relief in Lowell's 5-3 win over Vermont. Lowell is Boston's affiliate in the Class A (short) New York-Penn League.

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That's all for today.


More honors for Greg Mahle

July 24, 2012

We missed this last week, but it's never too late to announce good news.

Knights' pitcher/first baseman Greg Mahle of UC Santa Barbara became the most-decorated freshman in school baseball history when he was named a second-team Freshman All-American by Perfect Game USA. It was his third All-American citation.

The native of Westminster, Calif., hit .347 in 2012, tied for fifth-best in the Big West Conference, with a team-high 35 RBIs. He doubled as the closer and had a team-best four saves, with 45 strikeouts in 46.1 innings pitched. He was also named to the 20-person Two-Way Player of the Year Watch List, but was not a finalist.

Mahle had earlier been honored as a Freshman All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Louisville Slugger. He is the first Gaucho to be named to three national All-American squads; he also weas a second-team Big West Conference all-star.

So, congrats to Greg, who is doing a great job for us as a combo hitter-pitcher.

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Knights right-hander Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University will be the West Division's starting pitcher at tonight's West Coast League All-Star Gamne at Walla Walla. He will be opposed by righty Brandon Marris of Kelowna.

Perez is one of seven Knights who will play for the West Division team tonight. Here are the details from our website. Knights' skipper Brooke Knight and pitching coach Connor Lambert will handle the coaching staff.

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Here's a story on Knights catcher Nate Esposito from today's Corvallis Gazette-Times. There's also one on catcher Austin Barr representing us in the ASG home run derby competition.

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Former Knights/Oregon State pitcher Greg Peavey gave up one unearned run and three hits and had three strikeouts for Binghamton in an 8-1 win over New Britain on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Binghamton is the New York Mets' affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Clearwater first baseman Jim Murphy of Washington State, the Knights' 2007 WVP, was 2-for-3 with his 12th homer in a 2-1 win over Dundein. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.

* Charlotte second baseman Drew Garcia (2007) was 2-for-3 and scored three times in a 9-6 win over Buffalo. Charlotte is the Chicago White Sox' affiliate in the triple-A International League.

* Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 5-4 win over NW Arkansas. Springfield is St. Louis' affiliate in the double-A Texas League.


Barr to represent Knights at HR Derby

July 23, 2012

We are back, after another busy weekend at the ballpark.

It didn't go exactly as planned - we'd have loved to win the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Kelowna and win the series - but we got some help from Bellingham and Walla Walla and did enough ourselves to stay ahead of Bend and Klamath Falls in the West Division pennant race.

We enter the final three weeks of the regular season with a two-game edge on both clubs. The Wednesday-Thursday series against the Gems at Goss Stadium will be huge, so make sure you get out there to support the Knights.

* Wednesday is Wilson Motors Night; free tickets are available at the dealership, corner NW 5th Street and Buchanan Avenue in Corvallis.

* Thursday is State Farm Insurance Rally Towel Night, a Block 15 Thursday, and a $1 hot dog night. So there are lots of good reasons to come on out to the ballpark.

It's a big weekend, too, as we entertain the WCL Portland Lobos in a nonleague series.

* Friday is Cap Night. The first 1,000 fans get a throwback Knights cap from the Tommy Hanson/Bud Norris era. It's cardinal, with a white block K.

* Saturday is Brent Morel Bobblehead Night. The first 750 fans get a bobblehead of the White Sox third baseman, the first Corvallis Knight to play in the majors.

So come on out to the ballpark. Lots of good stuff going on at Goss Stadium.

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Catcher Austin Barr will represent the Knights on Tuesday in the Home Run Derby at the West Coast League All-Star Game. It will be held prior to the midsummer classic, scheduled for 7:35 p.m. at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.

A 2012 graduate of Camas (Wash.) High School who will play at Stanford in 2013, Barr hit his team-high third homer on Sunday in a 4-0 victory over the WCL Portland Ports. He is hitting .322, with three homers and 17 RBIs, in 30 total games this summer.

All nine teams will have one entrant. Barr can become the Knights' second consecutive derby champion; Sean Myrom of Concordia University won last year's event at Goss Stadium.

Barr is one of seven Knights named to the West Division team. Pitchers Rob Dittrick, Jorge Perez and Devon Barker; infielder Caleb Whalen,and outfielders Connor Hofmann and Nate Blackham were also selected.

Knights' skipper Brooke Knight will coach the West Division team, assisted by pitching coach Connor Lambert.

Kevin Burke, the voice of the Knights, is also going, to assist Walla Walla's Tristan Hobbes with the radio broadcast.

They all headed up to Walla Walla this afternoon. Should be a fun trip.

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Our attendance has zoomed to 29,479 for 24 home dates, an average of 1,228 per game. We long ago passed our 2007 and 2008 total attendance, and we'll beat our total attendance for the 2009 and 2010 seasons this Wednesday.

So, we're assured of no worse than our second-best season since moving to Corvallis for the 2007 campaign.

We set our record (42,447) last year. We're 1,877 fans behind that pace at the moment, thanks to poor June weather and a makeup game. But as we said, we've got some big dates coming up and we're still hopeful to match or surpass last year's total.

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Former Knights/Texas Tech catcher Bo Altobelli (2010) was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs for Elizabethton in a 6-5 loss to Kingston on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Elizabethton is Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A (rookie) Appalachian League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Charlotte/UC Riverside 2B Drew Garcia (2007), who was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in a 10-8 win over Buffalo. Charlotte is the Chicago White Sox' affiliate in the triple-A International League.

* Great Falls/Kentucky third baseman Thomas McCarthy (2010), who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a double in a 6-5 win over Ogden. Great Falls is the White Sox' affiliate in the single-A (rookie) Pioneer League.

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Big wins leaves everybody smiling

July 20, 2012

Quite a game at Goss Stadium on Thursday night, where we defeated the Bend Elks 5-3 in a white-knuckler that had the feel of a playoff game.

We won the first and the last games of the five-game series, so Bend did trim our lead in the West Division by one full game. It's down to 1.5 games; we have 15 games left, the Elks have 18.

But we're home to Kelowna for three games, starting tonight, and we play eight of our final 15 at Goss Stadium and three of those road games are at last-place Kitsap. The Elks start a 7-game road trip today at Bellingham, and they play 12 of their final 18 games overall, and five of their last six this season, on the road.

So we should have a little edge there as we battle the Elks and the resurgent Klamath Falls Gems battle for the West Division's two playoff spots. The Gems started the season 2-18, but they are 16-1 in their last 17 and have fought their way back into playoff contention.

So, it should be an exciting final three weeks.

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Last night's crowd of 1,425 was the second-largest of our mid-July homestand. They were enthusiastic, into the game, and definitely gave our players a boost.

We're now at 26,311 for 21 home dates, an average of 1,253 per game. That's 1,177 fans behind last year's record pace (42,447) but we've got plenty of promotions coming up that should help us surpass that mark.

(Just as a point of reference, we drew 12,729 in 2007 and 17,299 in 2008, so you can see how far we've come in a short time.)

We're averaging 1,293 over the seven games of our current homestand, and that's without a Friday or Saturday night game. We now rank second in WCL attendance (league games only).

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San Jose's Alex Burg (2008) was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and three runsscored in a 1`5-8 win over Lancaster to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California 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. He is on the DL.

DAYTON ALEXANDER, Athletics (2011): The former Feather River College outfielder is hitting .136 (8-59) with four RBIs for Vermont in the Class A New York-Penn League.

BO ALTOBELLI, Twins (2010): The ex-Texas Tech catcher is hitting .118 (4-34) 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, 2.64, with 44 strikeouts in 78.1 innings.

MATT ANDRIESE, Padres (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore in the Class A California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 7-5, 3.40, with 90 strikeouts in 100.2 innings.

TAYLOR ARD, Mariners (2009): Now with Everett in the Class A Northwest League, the ex-Washington State first baseman is hitting .260 (34-131) with five homers and 27 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 .246 (46-187) 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 .268 (52-194) with eight homers and 26 RBIs.

MATT DUFFY, Giants (2010): The former Long Beach State infielder is hitting .262 (32-122) with one homer and eight 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 .152 (5-33), with three RBIs.

DREW GARCIA, White Sox (2007): Now with Charlotte in the triple-A International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .251 (54-224), with four homers and 28 RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO, Cardinals (2009): Now with Quad City in the Class A Midwest League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 5-7, 5.11, with 75 strikeouts in 88 innings.

DEAN GREEN, Tigers (2008): Now with Lakeland in the Florida State League on a rehab assignement, Green is hitting .000 (0-4), with no homers or 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): 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 1-1, 6.14 with 11 strikeouts in 14.2 innings.

D.J. JOHNSON, Diamondbacks (2008-09): Now with Visalia of the Class A California League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 1-2, 4.73, with three saves and 15 strikeouts in 13.1 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 seven strikeouts in six innings.

SCOTT LYMAN, Marlins (2010): The ex-UC Davis star is 1-4, 8.67 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the Class A South Atlantic League, with 20 strikeouts in 27 innings.

THOMAS McCARTHY, White Sox (2010): Now with Great Falls in the Class A Pioneer League, the ex-Kentucky third baseman is hitting .235 (12-51) 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 .250 (51-204), with six homers and 18 RBIs.

JIM MURPHY, Phillies (2007): Now with Clearwater in the Class A Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .274 (88-321), with 11 homers and 60 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN, Marlins (2009): Now with Greensboro in the Class A South Atlantic League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 6-1, 5.74, with 10 saves and 28 strikeouts in 53.1 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO, Cubs (2008-09): Recently promoted to the Boise Hawks in the Class A Northwest League, the former UC Riverside pitcher is 1-0, 0.00, with four strikeouts in eight innings.

JOSH OSICH, Giants (2008): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-2, 4.43, with a save and 23 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY, Mets (2008): Now with Binghamton in the double-A Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 3-6, 6.09, with 52 strikeouts in 88.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK, Cubs (2010): Now with Tennessee in the Class AA Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 10-9, 3.60, with 89 strikeouts in 110 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC, Giants (2009): Now with San Jose in the Class A California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .219 (53-242), with six homers and 28 RBIs.

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

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That's all for today. Remember, tonight vs. Kelowna at 6:40; doubleheader against Kelowna on Saturday at 5, and a non-leaguer with WCL Portland Ports at 5:15 Sunday. That's the rescheduled Dash for Cash.


It's Seat Cushion Night at Goss

July 19, 2012

We play our final regular-season game against the Bend Elks at 6:40 tonight at Goss Stadium. It's a Block 15 Thursday and Barker-Uerlings Insurance Seat Cushion Giveaway Night, so we expect another good crowd.

We still lead the West Division by 1/2 game over the Elks, and we're in good shape to qualify for the playoffs for the sixth year in a row. But we need to win to maintain our lead and to get headed in the right direction again.

No doubt, we're scuffling, and our 11 losses in the last 14 league games have enabled the Elks to get back into the pennant race. But we have 16 games left and we are confident we'll get things turned around, starting tonight.

We host Kelowna in a single game on Friday and a doubleheader on Saturday. Then, we head into the all-star break after Sunday's nonleague game with the WCL Portland Ports. It's the makeup of the June 22 rainout; it's also All Family Vision Care's kids $1,000 Dash for Cash night, always one of our more popular promotions.

So, we'll see you at the ballpark!

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Another good crowd last night and the 1,374 Knights fans at the ballpark raised our season attendance to 24,906 in 20 openings. That's an average of 1,245 per night.

We're 85 fans behind last year's record pace (42,447) at a corresponding date. We'll drop a little bit further behind tonight, as the corresponding date from last year was the WCL All-Star game, which drew an ASG-record crowd of 2,517.

But we have lots of good promotions left - Cap Night, Bobblehead Night, Wilson Motors Night, Rally Towel Night, another Dash for Cash, and Fireworks on Aug. 4 - so we're confident we can break last year's record.

But we can't do it without you. So get out to the ballpark!

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have returned former Aloha Knight Matt Hague (2005; he's "Slider Guy") to triple-A Indianapolis after a brief stint - his third this season - with the big club.

He's hitting .229 (15-70) with no homers and seven RBIs in 30 games with the Pirates and .276 (51-185) with two homers and 27 RBIs in 46 games at Indianapolis.

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Former Knights (2010)/Long Beach State shortstop Matt Duffy was 3-for-5 with a grand slam, six RBIs and two runs in an 11-4 win over Everett to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. S-K is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Charlotte second baseman Drew Garcia (2007), who was 3-for-6 with three runs in a 9-3 win over Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. Charlotte is the White Sox' affiliate in the triple-A International League. Drew played at UC Riverside.

* Springfield outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09), who was 2-for-4 with a run and a two-run homer in a 6-5 loss to Tulsa. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the Class AA Texas League.

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


Don't forget, $1.000 Dash for Cash is Sunday

July 18, 2012

First, just a quick reminder: We play the WCL Portland Ports at 5:15 p.m. Sunday in the makeup of the June 22 rained-out game.

It's our first $1,000 Kids Dash for Cash, presented by All Family Vision Care. So come on out and bring the whole family!

And remember, we play Bend tonight and Thursday and Kelowna in a single game on Friday and in a 5:05 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday. Tonight is also the Take Me Out to the Ballgame 5K night, the race finishes at home plate just before the first pitch.

So, lots of great action at Goss Stadium! Come on out and help us break last year's attendance record of 42,447. We're on pace and can do it if every Knights fan does his or her part!

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Pretty disappointing two games over in Bend, and quite honestly, a pretty disappointing July so far. We are 3-10 in our last 13 West Coast League games after a sizzling 18-6 start. We've had some injuries that have hurt us, and lately it seems that if we pitch well, we don't hit, or if we hit well, we don't pitch.

But we've got five league games at home this week so hopefully we can go 4-1 or 5-0 ad get back on track. Our expectations haven't changed: Make the playoffs, and compete for a repeat WCL championship.

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We remain in the "also receiving votes" category in this week's Perfect Game USA summer college wood bat Top 30 poll, conducted by reporter Allan Simpson. No. 10 Wenatchee is the West Coast League's only representative.

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Former Oregon State/Knights pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) gave up three runs in 6.1 innings and got a no-decision on Tuesday for Binghamton in a 5-4 loss to Trenton to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. Binghamton is the New York Mets' affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

Honorable mention went to:

* San Jose Giants' RF Alex Burg (2008) hit his eighth homer of the season in a 4-3 loss to Lancaster. BUrg, who played at Washington State, was our 2008 MVP. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

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


Seven Knights, coaches make WCL All-Star team

July 17, 2012

We're over in Bend and it's almost time to clear out of the hotel, so today's blog will be brief. But we've got some big news for the Knights today.

Seven Knights and our coaching staff have been selected to the West Coast League All-Star Game, scheduled for Tuesday night at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.

Catcher Austin Barr (Camas High/Stanford); outfielders Nate Blackham (Washington State) and Connor Hofmann (Oregon); third baseman Caleb Whalen (Portland), and pitchers Devon Barker (Centralia CC), Jorge Perez (Grand Canyon) and Rob Dittrick (Pacific University) will represent the Knights on the 21-member West Division team.

Brooke Knight of the Knights will coach the West, assisted by pitching coach Connor Lambert. Knights' assistant coach Andy Jenkins has a previous commitment, so Knight will choose an alternate from another West Division team as his second assistant. Our coaches were selected because we're in first place at the all-star break.

Check our website later today for more details. Here are the complete East and West Division teams, from the WCL website.

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Good news and bad news on the injury front. Infielder Nate Roberts of Seattle U. is on the trip and has resumed training as he continues to recover from a wrist injury suffered in Bellingham on July 4. He has missed 10 league games but is projected to return soon.

However, catcher Nate Esposito suffered a bruised right index finger on Monday when hit by a pitch on an attempted bunt. X-rays revealed no fracture; fluid was drained from underneath the fingernail, he's in a splint and it looks pretty nasty. He won't play tonight but is considered day-to-day (but seriously, aren't we all?).

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Former Knights/Wazzu first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) of the Everett AquaSox was 3-for-5 with a triple, homer, three runs and four RBIs in an 11-2 win over Salem-Keizer. Everett is Seattle's affiliate in the Class A (short) Northwest League.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Former Knights (2008-09)/Cal Poly outfielder Adam Melker was 2-for-3 with a homer and an RBI for Springfield in a 4-3 win over Tulsa. Springfield is St. Louis's affiliate in the Class AA Texas League.

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First baseman Joshua Wong (Hawaii-Hilo) of Klamath Falls and pitcher Brandon Marris (Southeastern Oklahoma State) of Kelowna were named the West Coast League Players of the Week. Here are the details from the WCL website.

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That's all for today. Remember, we're home Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, so come on out to the ballpark!


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.