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Knights Daily Update

Finally, we're playing at home!

June 13, 2012

We really haven't been on the road that long, it just seems that way when eight of your first 10 games are played away from the friendly confines of Goss Stadium.

Well, that ends tonight. The Knights return home for a three-game series with the Walla Walla Sweets. All three games start at 6:40, and we have something special planned for each night.

* Tonight is Philomath Chamber of Commerce Night. It's also a Seniors Night ($2 GA tickets for our 60-plus fans). Popcorn is only $2. Cal Poly freshman pitcher Bryan Granger makes his Knights' debut tonight as our starter.

* Thursday is our first Block 15 Thursday, presented by KLOO-FM. The popular local brewpub will feature a special brew at a discounted price, and it's also a $1 hot dog night. Knights' veteran Max Beatty of Pacific Lutheran makes his return as a starting pitcher after a battle with cancer this past winter and spring.

* On Friday night, the Famous San Diego Chicken returns for an encore performance. Make sure to see a living sports legend!

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Some news about our minor-league Knights:

* Former Knights first baseman/pitcher D.J. Johnson (2008-09), now a reliever in the Arizona organization, has been promoted to the Class A (advanced) Visalia Rawhide of the California League. He was 2-4, 3.08 with four saves with the South Bend Silver Hawks of the Class A Midwest League. He'll be teammates with ex-Knight Carter Bell (2009) at Visalia.

* The Chicago White Sox have assigned former Knights infielder Thomas McCarthy (2010) of the University of Kentucky to the Great Falls Voyagers of the Class A (rookie) Pioneer League. They drafted him last week.

* The New York Mets have released former Knights' pitcher Dustin Emmons (2009-10). He was 2-0, 3.78 at Kingsport of the Class A (rookie) Appalachian League in 2011 after playing at UC Riverside.

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A quick check of MLB.com shows that two more Knights' alums who were selected in the 2012 draft have signed.

Pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) of Portland has agreed to terms with Boston, and shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) of Long Beach State has signed with San Francisco.

They join the aforementioned McCarthy, pitcher Mark Trentacosta (2011, UC Irvine, St. Louis) and Chris Johnson (2011, Portland, San Francisco) and catcher Ryan Gorton (2011, Oregon State, Oakland) as signees from the latest draft.

Outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010, Cal Poly, Milwaukee), catcher Bo Altobelli (2010, Texas Tech, Minnesota), pitchers Eddie Orozco (2008-09, UC Riverside, Cubs) and Matt Boyd (2010, Oregon State, Cincinnati), and first baseman Taylor Ard (2009, Washington State, Seattle) have not yet signed, according to MLB.com.

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Speaking of Knights' minor leaguers, former Oregon star Tyler Anderson gave up two runs on five hits and had five strikeouts in seven innings for Asheville in a 6-3 win over Greenville to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Asheville is Colorado's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League. Anderson became the first Corvallis Knight to be drafted in the first round in 2011.

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Mitch Patito returning for his third year!

June 12, 2012

It's always nice to come to work the day after we've won a game, and we really needed last night's 5-4 win at Cowlitz after losing three straight at Wenatchee.

Not much on the docket today. We finish up a long, five-game road trip tonight at Cowlitz, and then start a three-game series against Walla Walla at 6:40 p.m. Wednesday at Goss Stadium. It will be nice to be back home again.

And remember, Thursday night is a Block 15 Thursday, with special discounted prices on our Knights Summer Ale, and on Friday night the San Diego Chicken makes a return appearance. So don't miss either night!

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We've got another roster move, one that should be popular with our fans.

UC Riverside pitcher Mitch Patito is returning for a third season. He was 3-4 with a 3.96 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 50 innings as a combo starter/reliever for the Highlanders this spring.

Mitch also played for us in 2010 and 2011, and played well. He was 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA, two saves and 19 strikeouts in 22.1 innings in 15 games last summer, and was 0-0, 1.38 in 2010, with eight saves and 29 strikeouts in 26 innings.

Welcome back, Mitch!

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UC Santa Barbara first baseman/pitcher Greg Mahle, a 2012 Knight who will join us on June 18, was recently named a freshmen All-American by Louisville Slugger Collegiate Baseball, and a second-team freshman All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Mahle hit .347 (66-190), with 35 RBIs, and was 3-4, 3.88 as a pitcher, with four saves and 45 strikeouts in 46.1 innings.

Congrats to Greg!

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Catcher Andrew Susac of the San Jose Giants was 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 12-8 loss to Inland Empire to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. The Giants are San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A California League.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: Nine players with ties to the Falcons were selected in the recent MLB draft. Here are the details, from the Kelowna website.

WENATCHEE: Thirteen former AppleSox were selected in the recent MLB draft. Here are the details, from the Wenatchee web site. One of those draftees, Ryan Gorton of Oregon State, also played for the Knights in the WCL.

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That's all for today. See you on Wednesday, when we host Walla Walla at 6:40 p.m. And don't forget, tonight's 6:35 game at Cowlitz is on KEJO-AM 1240.


Off to Wenatchee

June 8, 2012

The Knights left Corvallis at 8 a.m. Friday for Wenatchee, where they will face the AppleSox in a three-game series matching the two most successful teams in WCL history. It's the start of a five-game trip that ends with Monday and Tuesday night games at Cowlitz.

The AppleSox (2009-10) and Knights (2008, 2011) have shared the last four WCL championships. They also have advanced to the playoffs in each of the last four years; the only other club to match that accomplishment is the Bend Elks and they've only one one playoff series in that span, and no championships.

We bolstered our roster late on Thursday with the addition of Brandon Jackson, a 5-foot-11, 193-pound right-handed pitcher from Western Nevada JC who wil play at Oregon State next season. He was 10-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 63.2 innings at WNC this spring, and he made the District XVIII all-star team.

Riverside City College pitcher Blake Burrell will also join us for the trip. Washington State outfielder Nate Blackham, who missed the last three games due to summer school conflicts, will rejoin the club tonight as well.

And more help is on the way. Our Cal Poly guys (OF Alex Michaels,, OF Nick Torres and pitcher Bryan Granger), and Seattle University infielder Nate Roberts, will join us in Cowlitz.

So, we're getting closer to being all the team we can be.

However, we have lost UC Irvine pitcher Mark Trentacosta, our 2011 closer who set a franchise record with 11 saves. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 34th round on Wednesday and has elected to sign.

And we've lost Portland pitcher Chris Johnson, another 2011 WCL all-star and our 2011 Most Outstanding Pitcher. He was drafted by San Francisco in the 17th round and has already signed. We will most likely see him playing for the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes this summer.

So we wish Mark, Chris, and any of the other 12 drafted Knights who are going pro, the best of luck at the next level.

Now, for the rest of today's Knights news:

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Oregon State pitcher Jace Fry, a 2011 Knight and WCL all-star, was named an honorable mention Freshman All-American on Wednesday by Collegiate Baseball magazine.

Fry was 5-3 record and 2.45 ERA in 13 starts for the Beavers. He had 53 strikeouts in 88.1 innings, allowed just seven extra-base hits, and held opponents to a .215 batting average.

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A record 51 West Coast League players or alums were selected in the 2012 MLB draft. Here are all the details, from the WCL website. The draft is just another illustration of the quality of our league!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have turned 10-day contract players Joe Arlt and Jarrod Turner into full-time Sweets, and have signed Columbia Basin College right-hander Arturo Reyes to a full contract.

Arlt (LHP) and Turner play at Walla Walla CC, Reyes is the younger of former OSU pitcher Jorge Reyes, who played in the WCL for the now-defunct Moses Lake Pirates. Here are the complete details from the Our Sports Central website.

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That's it for today. Gave a great weekend!


Cleaning out the notebook

June 7, 2012

We're off to a great start, with four wins in five games even though we're fielding a makeshift lineup and used three pitchers as position players/DH in Wednesday's win over Klamath Falls.

We're off to Wenatchee on Friday morning to start a five-game road trip. We play the AppleSox on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Wenatchee, and then head over to Longview for two games against the Cowlitz Black Bears on Monday and Tuesday at Lower Columbia College's Story Field. You can listen to all five games on KEJO-AM 1240.

We'll also have some reinforcements on this trip. Pitcher Blake Burrell of Riverside City College will join us for the Wenatchee series, and our Cal Poly trio of Nick Torres (OF), Alex Michaels (OF) and Bryan Granger (RHP) will sign on in Cowlitz.

We're not home again until June 13, when we host Walla in a three-game series that concludes with a return performance from the World Famous San Diego Chicken on Friday, June 15.

Our attendance at our first two home games was super. The Tuesday night opener drew an opening-night record of 913, despite the cold, breezy conditions. Wednesday's Science and Art Day drew 2,162, the largest crowd we've ever had for a regular-season game that didn't feature fireworks.

All told we're at 3,075 through two games, an average of 1,538 per night. That's just above our target goal of 1,500, and puts us 1,350 fans ahead of last year's pace. And that's a good sign, as we drew a franchise-record 42,447 in 2011.

But we need to keep that great start going, so make sure to head out to the ballpark next week!

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It was a great MLB draft for the Knights, and obviously for every player who was selected in the three-day event. We had 14 former or current players selected; here's a roundown from our website.

We learned today that reliever Mark Trentacosta of UC Irvine, a WCL all-star for us in 2011, will sign with the Cardinals and thus can't play for us again this summer. He was a 34th-round draft pick. Best of luck to Mark in the pros!

And speaking of the G-T, here's a link to reporter Ragu Woodward's story on the Science and Art Day event, which was a great success.

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Great news for our pitching coach, Connor Lambert. He's been hired as the new pitching coach at Tacoma Community College for the 2012-13 academic year. Here's a link to the TCC baseball website so you can learn more about the Titans.

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More accomplishments from the Knights family to announce. Oregon State senior gymnast Leslie Mak, a 2011 College of Business intern, a two-time Pac-10/12 Gymnast of the Year and a many-time All-American, was named OSU's top female student/athlete for 2011-12.

Here's the complete story from the OSU website. Congrats to Leslie, who was a crowd favorite last summer!

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Several former Knights playing for the Beavers received honorable mention on the Pac-12 All-Academic team for their performance in the classroom. So honored were Jake Rodriguez (2010), Ben Wetzler (2011) and Taylor Starr (2008).

Rodriguez is majoring in criminal justice;Wetzler is majoring in physical education, and Starr is majoring in sociology, with an option in criminology.

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West Michigan infielder Dean Green went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs on Wednesday in a 4-2 win over Fort Wayne to earn our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. West Michigan is Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

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Here's our weeekly roundup of Corvallis Knights in minor-league baseball (all stats through Wednesday's games):

NICK AKINS (2007): The former Vanguard outfielder has been re-assigned to the Ogden Raptors in the Pioneer League. They have not yet started their season.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Now with the Asheville Tourists (A, Rockies), the ex-Oregon star is 3-0, 4.23, with 20 strikeouts in 27.2 innings. He became the first former Corvallis Knight to be drafted in the first round in 2011.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore (A, Padres) in the California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 3-3, 3.51, with 47 strikeouts in 56.1 innings.

CARTER BELL (2009): Now with Visalia (A, Diamondbacks) in the California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .245 (37-151) with one homer and 15 RBIs.

DANIEL BIBONA (2007): Now with Palm Beach (A, Cardinals) in the Florida State League, the pitcher from UC Irvine is on the 7-day disabled list.

ALEX BURG (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .188 (16-85) with three homers and 11 RBIs.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008): Now with Augusta (A, Giants) in the South Atlantic League, the San Jacinto JC infielder is hitting .211 (12-57), with no homers and three RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Recently promoted to triple-A Tucson, the former Portland catcher is hitting .167 (3-18), with no homers and one RBI.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Now with Charlotte (AAA, White Sox) in the International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .169 (14-83), with no homers and nine RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Now with Quad City (A, Cardinals) in the Midwest League, is 3-4, 4.91, with 36 strikeouts in 55 innings.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Now with West Michigan (A, Tigers) in the Midwest League, the former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder is hitting .307 (66-215), with nine homers and 36 RBIs.

D.J. JOHNSON (2008-09): Now with South Bend (A, Diamondbacks) in the Midwest League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 2-4, 2.96, with four saves and 30 strikeouts in 24.1 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): The ex-UC Davis star has been assigned to the Jamestown (N.Y.) Jammers of the Class A short-season New York/Penn League. They have not started their season.

ADAM MELKER (2008-09): Now with Springfield (AA, Cardinals) in the Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .231 (28-121), with one homer and seven RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Now with Clearwater (A, Phillies) in the Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .271 (51-188), with six homers and 41 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): Now with Greensboro (A, Marlins) in the Florida State League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 2-1, 5.40, with nine saves and 13 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-0, 1.04, with a save and 10 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2008): Now with Binghamton (AA, New York Mets) in the Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 3-2, 5.59, with 29 strikeouts in 46.2 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2010): Now with Tennessee (AA, Cubs) in the Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 5-6, 4.41, with 56 strikeouts in 65.1 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .252 (34-135), with three homers and 17 RBIs.

NOT YET ASSIGNED: P Dustin Emmons (2009), UC Riverside (Mets); OF Dayton Alexander (2011), Feather River CC (Athletics); INF Cody Bartlett (2007), Washington State (Blue Jays); P Michael Blake (2010), Mt. Hood/Hawaii (Diamondbacks).

We had 13 more players with Knights connections drafted earlier this week. So we'll include them in our roundup one they are assigned a team and begin playing.

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That's all for today. We'll complete the week on Friday.


Early game today

June 6, 2012

We've got an 11 a.m. game today against the Klamath Falls Gems, our first Science and Arts day. We expect more than 1,400 local elementary school students to attend today's game.

So we're a little busy, and we won't have our daily blog, as usual. Make sure to check back on Thursday, when things return to normal - or for what passes for normal during the season.

See you then.

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Some quick notes:

* Pitcher Chris Johnson of Portland, our 2011 Most Outstanding Pitcher, was selected by San Francisco in the 17th round of the MLB draft on Wednesday. Chris is also signed for this season, but we expect he'll turn pro, so we won't see him this summer.

* Zach Green, an infielder from Jesuit High in Sacramento who was a 2012 Knights signee, has already agreed to terms with the Phillies. He was their third-round pick on Tuesday.

* Kentucky infielder Thomas McCarthy (2010) went to the Chicago White Sox in the 18th round. He's a Corvallis native and graduated from Crescent Valley Highh School.

* Texas Tech C Bo Altobelli (2010) went to the Minnesota Twins in the 21st rounbd.

* UC Riverside RHP Eddie Orozco (2008-09) went to the Chicago Cubs in the 22nd round.

* Camas, Wash., High senior Austin Barr (2012) went to the New York Mets in the 29th round.

* Catcher Ryan Gorton (2011) of Oregon State goes to Oakland in the 31st round.

* Pitcher Mark Trentacosta (2011-12) of UC Irvine went to St. Louis in the 34th round.

So, best of luck to all if they decide to play pro baseball!


It's opening day; Haniger drafted

June 5, 2012

It's finally here.

The Knights begin the home portion of our sixth season in Corvallis at 6:40 p.m. today, when we host the Klamath Falls Gems at Goss Stadium.

It's Big League Chew Opening Night presented by Fidelity National Title. The first 250 fans get a pouch of Big League Chew, Knights' trading cards and a magnet schedule compliments of the Corvallis Holiday Inn Express, where all our opponents stay while visiting Corvallis.

The stadium gates open at 6 pm. First pitch is 6:40 p.m. A.J. Burke of Western Oregon is our probable starting pitcher, opposed by Brandon Williams of Mt. Hood CC.

The weather forecast has improved greatly over the past 12 hours and it should be nice and dry tonight. And it looks even better for Wednesday, when we host the Gems again at 11 a.m. in our first Science and Art Day. We expect more than 1,500 area elementary students to attend the game and participate in our interactive science, art and history exhibits.

We hit the road again on Friday for three games in Wenatchee and two in Cowlitz. After Wednesday, our next home game is June 13 against the Walla Walla Sweets.

So, see you at the ballpark!

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We've got good news on the alumni front as well. Cal Poly junior center fielder Mitch Haniger, a 2010 West Coast League all-star with the Knights, was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday with the 38th pick of the Major League Baseball draft.

He was a compensation round pock. It's the second year in a row an ex-Knight was selected on the first day of the draft, which goes through Wednesday; former Oregon pitcher Tyler Anderson was taken in the first round by Colorado in 2011.

So congrats to Mitch, who was the 2012 Big West Conference Player of the Year.

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Nice story in today's Corvallis Gazette-Times about our home opener. It's not linked yet but check their site later in the day.

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Some odds and ends:

* Knights' 2012 signee Carson Kelly of Westview High School was selected by St. Louis in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft as the 86th overall pick. He's signed with Oregon.

* Signee Zach Green of Jesuit High in Sacramento goes to the Phillies in round 3, pick No. 125. He signed with Oregon State.

* Washington State 1B Taylor Ard (2009) goes to Seattle in the 7th round, pick No. 221.

* Portland RHP Kyle Kraus (2009-10) goes to the Boston Red Sox in the 7th round, pick No. 241.

* Oregon State pitcher Matt Boyd (2010) went to Cincinnati in the 13th round, as the 412th pick.

* And 2012 Knight Tyler Campbell of Lake Oswego High is the Three Rivers League Player of the Year.

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Texas pitcher Trevor Tekyl won't play for the Knights this summer as expected. He has decided to remain in Texas and work on his strength and conditioning. So, none of the three Texas players we signed will play for us; infielder Alex Silver and pitcher Justin Peters each were scheduled to have knee surgery after the regular season.

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Clearwater Threshers' first baseman Jim Murphy, our 2007 MVP, went 2-for-3 with a double and three runs in a 15-2 win over Palm Beach on Monday to earn today's Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honor. Clearwater is Philadelphia's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) Florida State League.


Home opener one day away!

June 4, 2012

It's moving day at the WWHQ.

The boxes of baseballs, clothing, coupons, banners and other stuff that have cluttered our downtown offices will be moved over to Goss Stadium today and tomorrow as we prepared for Tuesday's home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

The weather looks as if it will cooperate. A shower or two may move through on Tuesday, but there still should be some sunny periods throughout the day. We will play; Goss has a synthetic infield and we've never had a home game rained out in our five previous years in Corvallis.

We took 2 of 3 at Walla Walla to get the season off to a good start. And our roster now doesn't look anything like it will in mid-July, once our players from Oregon State, Oregon, Cal Poly, UC Riverside, UC Irvine and several other schools join the club.

So we will see you on Tuesday night. Seats are available online, at the office in the Madison Plaza, or at the stadium box office, starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Remember, we will play, rain or shine. And don't forget, it's Science and Art Day on Wednesday and the game starts at 11 a.m.

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Apparently there were some streakers at our Friday night game at Walla Walla, but we missed them. Here's the story from Our Sports Central. Don't get any ideas, Knights fans!

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More honors for Cal Poly junior outfielder Mitch Haniger, a 2010 Knight who earlier was named the Big West Conference's Player of the Year.

Haniger was named a third-team All-American by College Sports Madness and a second-team All-American by Louisville Slugger Collegiate Baseball.

Congrats to Mitch, who should go very high in the MLB draft on Tuesday.

Speaking of the draft, it starts tonight with the first round and the supplemental first round. Knights' signee Carson Kelly of Westview High is back in New York City for the festivities, as he's a possible first-round selection.

The draft continues on Tuesday and Wednesday. We expect many former Knights, and many former West Coast League players, will be selected.

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Former Knights catcher Andrew Susac (2009) earned Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day for going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI for the San Jose Giants on Sunday in a 10-6 loss to Stockton. San Jose is San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A (advanced) California League.

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That's all for now. Time to move some boxes!


We're in Walla Walla, ready to start the season

June 1, 2012

It's time to play ball.

The first version of this season's Corvallis Knights - a roster filled with 10-day signees who will spend the first two series battling for full-time roster spots - has arrived in Walla Walla after an uneventful day of traveling from Portland, where we assembled at 10 a.m. right in front of the Rose Garden.

It's a beautiful day in Eastern Washington, sunny and about 80 degrees. So we're sure to have a crowd of 2,000-plus a venerable Borleske Stadium, where the Sweets have done a great job of turning a high school football stadium into an intimate ballpark.

Corvallis native Aaron Corwin, a junior at Texas Tech who has returned to the club after a one-year hiatus, is our scheduled starter. He'll be opposed by Tyler Roberts of Campbellsville (KY) University in a battle of right-handers.

Both teams are using makeshift rosters until their full squads arrive later this month with the end of school or when their respective teams are eliminated from the NCAA tournament. The Sweets today signed Columbia Basin College sophomore pitcher Artie Reyes, the younger brother of former Oregon State star Jorge Reyes.

And speaking of the Beavers, their 2-1 win over Belmont at the Baton Rouge NCAA Regional means Saturday's 7 p.m. Knights-Sweets game will be broadcast on KTHH-AM 990, since the Beavers will be on KEJO. So adjust your tuners accordingly.

That's it for now. Play ball!


One day and counting

May 31, 2012

We're down to one day and counting.

The Corvallis Knights begin their sixth season on at 7:09 p.m. Friday against the host Walla Walla Sweets. It's a rematch of the 2011 West Coast League Championship Series, which we won 2-0 to capture our second WCL title.

The series continues on Saturday and Sunday at 7:07 p.m. The Sweets expect near-sellout crowds all three nights at venerable Borleske Stadium.

Corvallis native/Texas Tech junior Aaron Corwin will start Friday's game; Jorge Perez of Grand Canyon University will start on Saturday. Sunday's starter is undetermined.

Friday night's opener will be broadcast on KEJO-AM 1240 and mark the debut of new play-by-play announcer Kevin Burke. The station for Saturday and Sunday's games depends on how Oregon State fares at the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional; of there's a conflict, we'll be on KTHH-AM 990.

Let the season begin!

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Here's a detailed Knights season preview, penned by the aforementioned Mr. Burke, who is probably better at mny job than I am! This link is from Our Sports Central; it will be on our website later today or early on Friday.

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Westview High School senior Carson Kelly, a 2012 Knights signee and possible Oregon Duck, is the state's 2012 Gatorade Player of the Year. He will attend next week's MLB draft, Tuesday through Thursday at the MLB network studios in New York City.

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Nice story in the Corvallis Gazette-Times about former Knights infielder Thomas McCarthy (2010) of the University of Kentucky, a Corvallis native and graduate of Crescent Valley High School.

The Wildcats are in the NCAA Purdue Regional, being played in Gary, Ind. If they win that regional, they could play a Super Regional at PK Park in Eugene if Oregon wins its regional.

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Just learned from Oregon State that former Knights' infielder Jake Rodriguez (2010) was an honorable mention Pacific-12 Conference all-star. There was a mixup in the balloting by the conference and several players who earned HM were not included in the original release.

So, congrats to another shining Knight!

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Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of the San Jose Giants hit a grand slam on Wednesday in a 7-5 loss to Bakersfield. That earned the former Oregon State standout Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

The Giants are San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A California League. Ex-Knights Josh Osich and Alex Burg, stars of our 2008 teams, are also on the Giants.

Honorable mention goes to pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009) of the Quad City River Bandits, St. Louis's Class A Midwest League affiliate. He allowed four hits and one earned run in seven innings in a 20-3 win over Beloit, with five strikeouts.

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Remember, our home opener is set for 6:40 p.m. Tuesday against the Klamath Falls Gems. For those who have already purchased season tickets, they can be picked up at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. If you can't get downtown, we'll have your tickets at the box office on Tuesday.

So stop down and pick up your seats!

Friday night's other WCL openers have Cowlitz at Kitsap, Bend at Klamath Falls, and Wenatchee at Bellingham. Kelowna opens its WCL season at Cowlitz on June 6.

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Here's our weeekly roundup of Corvallis Knights in minor-league baseball (all stats through Wednesday's games):

NICK AKINS (2007): Now with Great Lakes (A, Dodgers) in the Midwest League, the former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .217 (5-23) with no homers and two RBIs.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Now with the Asheville Tourists (A, Rockies), the ex-Oregon star is 3-0, 3.75, with 18 strikeouts in 24 innings. He became the first former Corvallis Knight to be drafted in the first round in 2011.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore (A, Padres) in the California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 3-3, 3.93, with 41 strikeouts in 50.1 innings.

CARTER BELL (2009): Now with Visalia (A, Diamondbacks) in the California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .236 (30-127) with one homer and 14 RBIs.

DANIEL BIBONA (2007): Now with Palm Beach (A, Cardinals) in the Florida State League, the pitcher from UC Irvine is on the 7-day disabled list.

ALEX BURG (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the former Washington State catcher/infielder/outfielder is hitting .189 (14-74) with three homers and nine RBIs.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008): Now with Augusta (A, Giants) in the South Atlantic League, the San Jacinto JC infielder is hitting .211 (12-57), with no homers and three RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Recently promoted to double-A San Antonio, the former Portland catcher is hitting .200 (1-5), with no homers or RBIs.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Now with Charlotte (AAA, White Sox) in the International League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .159 (10-63), with no homers and six RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Now with Quad City (A, Cardinals) in the Midwest League, is 3-3, 4.88, with 30 strikeouts in 48 innings.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Now with West Michigan (A, Tigers) in the Midwest League, the former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder is hitting .297 (57-192), with eight homers and 31 RBIs.

D.J. JOHNSON (2008-09): Now with South Bend (A, Diamondbacks) in the Midwest League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 2-3, 1.96, with four saves and 30 strikeouts in 23 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Now with Greensboro (A, Marlins) in the South Atlantic League, the ex-UC Davis star is 1-0, 9.00 in four innings, with two strikeouts.

ADAM MELKER (2008-09): Now with Springfield (AA, Cardinals) in the Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .231 (27-117), with one homer and seven RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Now with Clearwater (A, Phillies) in the Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .262 (43-164), with five homers and 36 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): Now with Greensboro (A, Marlins) in the Florida State League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 2-1, 6.08, with eight saves and 12 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-0, 0.00, with a save and 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2008): Now with Binghamton (AA, New York Mets) in the Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 3-2, 5.59, with 29 strikeouts in 46.2 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2010): Now with Tennessee (AA, Cubs) in the Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 5-5, 4.37, with 49 strikeouts in 59.2 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .245 (22-91), with two homers and 15 RBIs.

NOT YET ASSIGNED: INF Nic Cuckovich (2011), Riverside CC (Royals); P Dustin Emmons (2009), UC Riverside (Mets); OF Dayton Alexander (2011), Feather River CC (Athletics); INF Cody Bartlett (2007), Washington State (Blue Jays); P Michael Blake (2010), Mt. Hood/Hawaii (Diamondbacks).

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KITSAP: New BlueJackets coach Ryan Parker is counting on local talent to revive the fortunes of the franchise, which hasn't made the playoffs since 2007. Here are more details, from the Kitsap Sun newspaper.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed four more players and have completed their roster for the opening series against the Knights.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox open the season on Friday at Bellingham. Here's the rest of the story, from Our Sports Central, a great source for WCL news.

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That's all for today. We head up to Walla Walla early Friday; we'll have an update from Eastern Washington sometime tomorrow before game time.


Haniger named Big West Conference Player of the Year

May 30, 2012

We've got big news from the Big West Conference to report today.

Former Corvallis Knights center fielder Mitch Haniger (2010), a junior at Cal Poly, was named the BWC's Player of the Year and a first-team all-star on Tuesday.

The Santa Clara, Calif., native led the league in RBIs (64), home runs (13) and total bases (132). He started all 56 games and hit .346, with a league-high .626 slugging percentage. Nationally, Haniger ranked 11th in total RBIs and 13th in RBIs per game (1.14).

He was also named BWC Player of the Week honors on Feb. 27 and April 26. So, congrats to Mitch!

Several other Knights alums received all-conference honors as well.

* Cal Poly sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen (2011) was a first-team all-star. He hit. .345, with three homers and 44 RBIs.

* Cal Poly sophomore first baseman David Armendariz (2011) was a second-team all-star. He hit .314, with four homers and 36 RBIs.

* UC Santa Barbara first baseman/pitcher Greg Mahle was a second-team all-star at utility. He hit .347, with no homers and 35 RBIs, and was 3-4, 3.88, with four saves, as a pitcher.

* UC Riverside senior pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) earned honorable mention. He was 5-7, 2.84.

So, congrats to all our shining Knights.

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More shining Knights from the Pacific-12 and West Coast conferences.

Washington State senior first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) and Oregon sophomore reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011) were named Pacific-12 Conference all-stars on Wednesday. Oregon State freshman pitcher Jace Fry (2011) earned honorable mention.

Ard hit .332, with 12 homers and 50 RBIs. Sherfy was 4-2, 2.29, with 17 saves and 84 strikeouts in 55 innings. Fry was 5-3, 2.48.

Portland senior pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) was the only Knight represented on the West Coast Conference all-star team. An all-stazr for the third year in a row, he was 7-6, 2.03, and set the school record for cazreer wins (27).

Congrats to each player!

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The West Coast League begins its eighth season on Friday night. Here's az release from the WCL front office:

"Action begins Friday, June 1 with four games, as the West Coast League begins it's eighth season. The defending champion Corvallis Knights begin defense of their crown at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla against the Sweets, the club they defeated in the 2011 Championship Series.

Other opening night action features the Cowlitz Black Bears at the Kitsap BlueJackets, the Klamath Falls Gems entertaining the Bend Elks, and the Bellingham Bells hosting the Wenatchee AppleSox.

Corvallis opens its home season June 5 taking on Klamath Falls, while Wenatchee opens at home the same night against Bend. Cowlitz has its league home opener June 6 against Kelowna. Bend begins its home season June 8 hosting Klamath Falls, and Kelowna has its first home game on June 10 against Kitsap.

Each team will play 54-games, with the 2012 All-Star Game to be played July 24th at Walla Walla. The regular season concludes August 9.

The top two teams in the East Division and the West Division will play in best-of-three Divisional Championship Series beginning August 11, with the winners meeting in the best-of-three WCL Championship Series opening August 15 in the ball park of the West Division champion.

The WCL smashed its all-time attendance record in 2011 and another big summer is anticipated. Real-time scores, stats, etc., are available for you to follow all summer on the WCL website.

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West Michigan DH Dean Green (2008) was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in an 8-0 win over Dayton on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. West Michigan is the single-A Midwest League affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: Former Sweets star Alex Stanford will throw out the first onion on Friday when the Sweets host the Knights in their season opener. Here are the details from the Summer Ball website.

And here are 10 Things to Look for This Season from the Sweets.

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That's all for today. We'll be back on Thursday with updated averages for our minor-league Knights, and will have an update from Walla Walla on Friday before our season opener.