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Knights Daily Update

Cal Poly's Haniger named BWC Field Player of the Week

April 17, 2012

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Good news to report.

Cal Poly junior center fielder Mitch Haniger, a standout on our 2010 team, had 10 hits in four games last week and was named the Big West Conference Field Player of the Week for the second time this season.

Haniger had two hits in a 6-5 loss to UC Santa Barbara on April 10, then went 8-for-13 (.615) in a three-game conference series at Cal State Northridge. He was 10-for-18 for the week, with two doubles and a two-run homer.

Here's a link to the story on the Cal Poly website. Big congrats to Mitch, a first-team WCL all-star in 2010 and one of the top junior prospects in the country.

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It's only 45 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla with the Sweets, a three-game series that's a rematch of the 2011 West Coast League Championship Series. We swept them then, and hopefully we can sweep them again.

And it's only 49 more days until our June 5 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems. So come see us at the WWHQ, in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis, for all your ticketing and merchandise needs.

Now, on with the rest of today's Knights-related news.

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Several former, current or future Knights played big roles for their respective college teams on Monday. Here's a rundown:

* Oregon State's Jake Rodriguez (2010) homered, doubled and drove in three runs in a 5-0 win at Portland. Ryan Gorton (2011) had three hits and a run and Matt Boyd (2010) pitched a scoreless inning of relief for OSU. Portland's Caleb Whalen (2012) was 1-for-4.

* Oregon's Connor Hoffman (2011-12) was 1-for-3 with a run and Jimmie Sherfy (2011) struck out the side in the ninth to save a 3-2 win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.

* Concordia's Eric Weir (2012) allowed three runs and struck out six in 5.2 innings but didn't get the decision in an 8-3 win over British Columbia. Sean Myrom (2011) scored twice and had an RBI for the Cavs.

Lots more former players in action today.

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West Michigan Whitecaps first baseman Dean Green (2008) is our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day. He hit his third homer of the season, a two-run shot, to help Detroit's Class A Midwest League affiliate to a 7-2 win at Lake County on Monday night.

Dean's hitting .317 (13-41) in 10 games, with three homers and five RBIs.

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It's Tuesday, so here are the latest stats from our NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III, NAIA and JC Knights:

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Outfielder Jacob Hoffman is hitting .309 (29-94), with three homers and 27 RBIs. Utility Chris Bishop is hitting .125 (2-16) with three RBIs, and is 3-1, 3.64 as a pitcher, with 34 strikeouts in 50 innings.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 4-3, 5.11, with 37 strikeouts in 61.2 innings. Pitcher Mike Massari is 0-2, 9.00, with 12 strikeouts in 13 innings.

GEORGE FOX: Pitcher Alex Keenan is 2-3, 3.60 in 15 innings, with 13 strikeouts and three saves.

GRAND CANYON: Pitcher Jorge Perez is 1-3, 3.12, with 34 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

WESTERN OREGON: Outfielder Matt Nylen is hitting .313 (36-115), with a homer and 23 RBIs.

LINFIELD: Pitcher Zach Manley is 1-1, 3.62 in 32.1 innings, with 39 strikeouts.

PACIFIC: Pitcher Rob Dittrick is 7-1, 2.14, with 45 strikeouts in 63 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .370 (57-154), with 18 RBIs and 28 steals in 33 attempts.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 3-6, 7.36, with 36 strikeouts in 55 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .282 (33-110), with two homers and 17 RBIs. Pitcher Blake Burrell is 5-0, 1.67 in 59.1 innings, with 38 strikeouts.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .289 (24-83) with no homers and six RBIs.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Kendall Motes is 1-2 with a 3.64 ERA, with 21 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Catcher Dane Lund is hitting .279 (19-68), with no homers and eight RBIs. Infielder Alex Foulon is hitting .180 (11-61) with six RBIs and outfielder Tristan Metcalf is hitting .293 (12-41), with six RBIs.

LINN-BENTON: Utility Austin Hamilton is hitting .231 (12-52) with six RBIs and is 2-0, 0.64 as a pitcher, with eight strikeouts in 14 innings.

We'll update the numbers of our Knights' minor leaguers on Thursday.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: The Falcons are cashing in on coach Al Cantwell's Louisiana connections, as they've signed pitchers Cord Cockrell and Jace Conrad from Louisiana-Lafayette for the 2012 season. Here are more details from the club's website.

WALLA WALLA: For any readers in the Walla Walla area, the Sweets will host fans at the Basel Cellars on May 3 for a Sweets Spring Soiree. Read all about it by clicking right here.


Pirates send Matt Hague back to triple-A

April 16, 2012

Some tough news on an otherwise great, sunny, warm weekend in Corvallis:

The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Knights' alum Matt Hague (2005) back to triple-A Indianapolis to make room on their 25-man MLB roster for a pitcher coming off the disabled list. Hague was the sixth former Knight to make an MLB roster out of spring training.

Hague was 1-for-9 (.111) with two RBIs in limited appearances for the Bucs. According to the linked story, he'll be back before too long.

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A couple of former Oregon State Beavers share our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day award for their Sunday performances.

* Pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) of Binghamton (N.Y.), the Mets' affiliate in the double-A Eastern League, pitched five shutout innings and got the win in a 9-2 victory at Portland. Peavey allowed four hits, walked one and struck out four; his ERA in 10.2 innings over two starts is a perfect 0.00.

* Pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009) of Quad City, the Cardinals' affiliate in the single A Midwest League, won his first professional game when the Bandits defeated Cedar Rapids 11-1. He allowed one run and four hits in six innings, with two strikeouts.

So, congrats to Greg and Sam!

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Here are updated stats of our Division I players. We'll have our Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior-college players on Tuesday.

CAL POLY: Freshman outfielder Nick Torres is hitting .280 (35-125), with two homers and 20 RBIs. Freshman outfielder Alex Michaels is at .333 (8-24) with no homers and three RBIs. Freshman pitcher Bryan Granger is 0-1, 6.35, with three strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Carlos Rodriguez is 0-0, 5.44, with four strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Freshman catcher Nate Esposito is hitting .167 (2-12) with one RBI. Freshman pitchers Mitchell Tripp and Michael McCall haven't played yet.

OREGON: Sophomore outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .252 ((17-66), with two homers and 12 RBIs.

SANTA CLARA: Junior pitcher Chris Mendoza is 1-0, 5.06 with a save and 13 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

SEATTLE: Junior infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .247 (22-89) with a homer and 13 RBIs.

UC IRVINE: Freshman infielder/catcher Chris Rabago is hitting .257 (9-35) with two RBIs. Junior pitcher Mark Trentacosta is 0-0, 2.63 in 13.2 innings, with 13 strikeouts.

UC RIVERSIDE: Sophomore pitcher Dylan Stuart is 4-3, 3.32, with 36 strikeouts in 57 innings. Freshman pitcher Antonio Gonzales is 0-0, 7.88, with seven strikeouts in 8 innings; freshman Cody Dill hasn't pitched yet.

PORTLAND: Freshman infielder Caleb Whalen is hitting .284 (29-102) with five homers and 22 RBIs. Junior pitcher Chris Johnson is 2-1, 3.43 in 42 innings, with 29 strikeouts.

WASHINGTON STATE: Sophomore outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .268 (22-82) with seven RBIs.

TEXAS: Sophomore infielder Alex Silver is hitting .293 (29-99), with a homer and 15 RBIs. Sophomore pitcher Justin Peters has a 54.00 ERA in .1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Trevor Tykel hasn't played yet.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman utility man Greg Mahle is hitting .364 (40-110) with no homers and 22 RBIs, and is 0-2, 4.91 as a pitcher, with 26 strikeouts and four saves in 25.2 innings.

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: Freshman infielder Jack Graham is hitting .141 (9-64), with five RBIs.

TEXAS TECH: Junior pitcher Aaron Corwin is 1-0 with a 3.88 ERA over 10.2 innings, with five strikeouts.

CORNELL: Sophomore infielder Ryan Plantier is hitting .214 (3-14), with three RBIs.

We'll update our NCAA Divisoon II, Division III, NAIA and JC players on Tuesday.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed first baseman/outfielder Spencer O'Neil for the 2012 season. He played for the Cowlitz Black Bears in 2011. Here are the details from the Sweets' website.


It's a TGIF! in downtown Corvegas

April 13, 2012

Forget Friday the 13th; it's a TGIF at Madison Plaza in downtown Corvegas, where we are re-decorating, reorganizing and doing some painting touch-ups to the WWHQ, the Corvallis Knights' world-wide headquarters.

It will have a new, fresh look the next time you stop in to buy some merchandise, a 10-game punch card, a three-game mini-pack, a season ticket or some other Knights' paraphernalia, or when you stop by to pick up a free pocket schedule or a schedule magnet, as both items arrived earlier this week.

The weather is finally starting to cooperate and we're down to 49 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla against the Sweets. And that means it's just 53 more days until our June 5 home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems, an event we're eagerly anticipating.

So, one with the blog.

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Today's Corvallis Knights' minor-league Player of the Day is Jim Murphy of the Clearwater Threshers in the Class A Florida State League. Big Jim, our 2007 MVP, was 3-for-4 with a homer, double and three RBIs in a 6-5 victory over Lakeland on Thursday night.

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On Thursday, we detailed the summer destinations of Murphy and our other alums in the minors. Further research has located three more, who are playing professionally in the independent Frontier League, which starts its season in early May.

They are:

* Pitcher Eric Massingham (2006-07) of Cal Poly, with the Evansville (Ind.) Otters.

* Infielder Mark Samuelson of UC Riverside (2006-07), with the London (Ont.) Rippers.

* Infielder Richie Jimenez (2008-09), whose recent signing with the Gateway (Ill.) Grizzlies promoted our seach of each Frontier League team's roster.

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Some Knights were in action on Thursday for ther respectivbe college teams. Here's a roundup:

* Riverside City College pitcher Blake Burrell (2012) allowed two runs and six hits, and had seven strikeouts, in a nine-inning no-decision stint in a 3-2, 12-inning loss to Golden West College. Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) was 0-for-5 for Riverside.

* Seattle U. infielder Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was a combined 2-for-7 and infielder Nate Roberts a combined 1-for-7 as the Redhawks lost a home doubleheader to BYU, 6-3 and 9-3.

* Linn-Benton CC's Austin Hamilton was 0-for-5 in a 2-1, 11-inning loss at SWOCC in the first game of a doubleheader, but them pitched a complete-game four-hitter as LBCC won the five-inning nightcap 11-1. Hamilton had three strikeouts and now has a 0.64 ERA in 14 innings over three games.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed USC pitcher Corey Carma and Biola infielder Johnny Farrington , a Roseburg native, for the 2012 season. Here are the details from the Bells website.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed Oregon Tech catcher Dylan Rogers for the 2012 season. Our Sports Central has all the necessary details.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed Oregon State freshman right-handed pitcher Riley Wilkerson and freshman outfielder Ryan Howell for the 2012 season. Again, here's Our Sports Central with all the details.

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


Mendoza, Corwin earn Wednesday pitching wins

April 12, 2012

Two members of the 2012 Corvallis Knights pitching staff were victorious for their respective college teams on Wednesday in a light day of action up and down the West Coast.

Here's a rundown:

* Santa Clara's Chris Mendoza (2010-12) allowed one unearned run in two innings, had one strikeout and got his first win of the spring in an 8-5 victory over California. Shortstop Justin Viele (2009) was 1-for-3 for the Broncos.

* Texas Tech's Aaron Corwin (2010, 2012) allowed one run in 1.1 innings (the first run he's surrendered this spring), had one strikeout and got his first 2012 win as the Red Raiders defeated Dallas Baptist 7-1.

* Youngstown State shortstop Jack Graham (2012) was 0-for-1 in a 14-4 loss at Kent State.

* Corban College shortstop Marc Gallegos (2012) was 3-for-5, with two runs and his 28th stolen base, in a 10-4 win over Pacific at Volcanoes Stadium.

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The countdown hit 50 this morning; it's just 50 days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and only 54 until our June 5 home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

We've got season tickets, 10-game punch cards, 3-game mini-packs and merchandise for sale online, or down at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvegas. Stop in and see us!

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Please check out this story from our homepage on the incredible number of conference players/pitcher of the week awards our former, current and future Knights have earned this spring.

That's just another illustration of how many talented players our fans get to watch at Goss Stadium every summer.

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And here's another example of that talent: Our list of the 2012 minor-league assignments for our Corvallis Knights alums. Some players have not been assigned yet, as they most likely will land in short-season Class A, which starts in early June.

Starting next week, we'll update their stats on Thursdays so you can keep track of them as they progress through professional baseball. In the meantime, here's where they're assigned:

* EASTERN LEAGUE (AA): RHP Greg Peavey (2007), Binghamton (Mets).

* SOUTHERN LEAGUE (AA): INF Drew Garcia (2007), Birmingham (White Sox).

* TEXAS LEAGUE (AA): OF Adam Melker (2008-09), Springfield (Cardinals).

* CALIFORNIA LEAGUE (A): INF Carter Bell (2009), Visalia (Diamondbacks); OF Nick Akins (2007), Rancho Cucamonga (Dodgers); INF Alex Burg (2008), San Jose (Giants); C Andrew Susac (2009), San Jose (Giants); LHP Josh Osich (2008), San Jose (Giants); C Rocky Gale (2007, 2009), Lake Elsinore (Padres); RHP Matt Andriese (2009), Lake Elsinore (Padres).

* FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE (A): LHP Daniel Bibona (2007), Palm Beach (Cardinals); INF Jim Murphy (2007), Clearwater (Phillies).

MIDWEST LEAGUE (A): INF Dean Green (2008), West Michigan (Tigers); RHP D. J. Johnson (2008-09), South Bend (Diamondbacks); RHP Sam Gaviglio (2009), Quad Cities (Cardinals).

SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE (A): RHP James Nygren (2009), Greensboro (Marlins).

TO BE ASSIGNED: INF Nic Cuckovich (2011, Royals); RHP Dustin Emmons (2010, Mets); RHP Scott Lyman (2010, Marlins); LHP Tyler Anderson (2009, Rockies); OF Dayton Alexander (2011, A's); INF Cody Bartlett (2007, Blue Jays); LHP Michael Blake (2010, Diamondbacks).

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That's it for today. We'll see you on Friday with our final blog of the week.


Another Pitcher of the Week award for Dittrick

April 11, 2012

Wow, I suppose if this keeps happening it's not news, but for now we'll continue to treat it as such.

Pacific University's Rob Dittrick, a 10-day signee for the upcoming season, was selected as the Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday for games played from April 2-8. According to the league's website:

"Dittrick earned his sixth straight win while pitching his third complete game over Whitman on (April 6), allowing just three hits while striking out five batters for a 5-0 victory. He allowed just one runner past first base and did not allow a hit after the third inning.

"Dittrick enters the week ranked sixth in the NWC with his 2.17 earned run average, is ranked fourth with his 42 strikeouts and leads the league in wins (6).

It's the third time this year he's won the award. So, congrats to Rob, whose stats this spring indicate he should make a strong bid for a full-time job.

Outfielder Jacob Hoffman (2012) was nominated for the NWC's Player of the Week, but did not win.

You could say "Knights win conference honors" is a trending topic, because it's been a spring jammed-full of such recognition for former, current and future Knights. They've earned Pitcher or Player of the Week honors in the Pacific-12, Big West, Colonial Athletic, Northwest, Great Northwest, Horizon and Cascade Collegiate conferences thus far, with almost two full months left in the regular season to add to that already-impressive list.

And don't forget, it's only 51 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and only 55 until our Opening Night VI, June 5 against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Now, on to today's news.

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Lots of former, current or future Knights were in action on Tuesday for their respective college teams. Here's a roundup:

* Cal Poly's Mitch Haniger (2010) was 2-for-5, Jimmy Allen (2011) and David Armendariz (2011) were 2-for-5 with two RBIs, Nick Torres (2012) was 2-for-3 and Bryan Granger allowed three runs, had three strikeouts and was the losing pitcher in a 6-5 setback at UC Santa Barbara. Greg Mahle (2012) was 1-for-4 and pitched two innings for the save for the Gauchos.

* Concordia pitcher Eric Weir (2012) gave up two runs in .1 innings and was the loser in a 7-6 defeat at Puget Sound. Sean Myrom (2011) was 0-for-3 with a run for the Cavs.

* Ryan Gorton (2011) was 1-for-3 with an RBI and was the winning pitcher for Oregon State in a 10-7 triumph at Nevada. Nate Esposito (2012) was 1-for-3, with his first career hit; relievers Matt Boyd (2010) gave up three runs in .2 innings, Scott Schultz (2011) gave up a hit to the only man he faced and Jake Rodriguerz (2010) was 0-for-1 for the Beavers.

* Oregon outfielder Connor Hofmann (2011-12) was 0-for-2 with a run in a 4-1 win over San Francisco.

* Washington State outfielder Nate Blackham (2011-12) was 1-for-1 with a run and Taylor Ard (2009) was 2-for-5 in a 10-0 win at Portland. Outfielder Caleb Whalen (2012) was 1-for-4 for the Pilots.

* Alex Silver (2012) of Texas was 1-for-4 with two RBIs in a 9-2 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

* Grand Canyon pitcher Jorge Perez (2012) had a scoreless inning in a 16-4 loss to Cal Poly Pomona. CPP's Kyle McNutt (2011) struck out the side in his lone inning of relief.

* Riverside CC outfielder Cade Gotta was 0-for-5 in an 11-2 win over Golden West College.

* Mt. Hood catcher Dane Lund (2011-12) was a combined 3-for-9 with an RBI; outfielder Tristan Metcalf (2012) was 2-for-7 with an RBI and infielder Alex Foulon (2011-12) was 2-for-5 with two RBIs as the Saints defeat SWOCC 4-2 and 15-3. Kendall Motes (2012) pitched .2 innings of scoreless relief.

* Linn-Benton outfielder Austin Hamilton (2012) was 2-for-6 in a split against Chemeketa.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: Here is the latest installment of "10 Things to Know About Sweets Baseball," a regular feature of their website.

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That's all for today. See you Thursday.


Richie Jimenez signs with Gateway in Frontier League

April 10, 2012

Former Knights star shortstop Richie Jimenez, the infield anchor of our 2008 West Coast League champions and the WCL's Most Valuable Player in 2009, has signed a free-agent contract with the Gateway (Ill.) Grizzlies in the independent Frontier League.

Richie played at Riverside City College in 2008-09 and at UNLV in 2010 and 2011. He was a Mountain West Conference academic all-star with the Rebels and graduated this past December. He wasn't selected in the 2010 or 2011 major-league drafts, but wanted to play as long as he can and now he'll get his chance in the Frontier League, one of the best independent circuits in the country.

The Grizzlies open the season on May 9. Here's a link to their homepage. They play in Sauget, Ill., near the St. Louis suburb of East St. Louis.

So, congrats to Richie, a great kid and one of the all-time great Corvallis Knights.

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Ex-Knights starter/reliever Greg Peavey (2007) won his first start in the double-A Eastern League on Monday night as his Binghamton Mets shut out Erie 8-0 at Binghamton. Peavey allowed two hits in 5.2 innings and had five strikeouts without a walk. Here are all the details from the Binghamton website.

Former Knights pitcher Sam Gaviglio (2009) went 4.2 innings in his first start for Quad City, St, Louis' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League. He struck out three and gave up two earned runs and wasn't involved in the decision.

Former Knights pitcher Matt Andriese, now with Lake Elsinore in the California League, pitched four scoreless innings in an 8-1 win over Inland Empire but didn't go long enough to get the win. He struck out four and allowed one run on three hits. The Storm are a San Diego affiliate.

We can't post daily updates on our nearly 30 minor-league alums but we'll check around for daily highlights. The MILB scoreboard homepage, with links to every league, is a good place to start.

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It's Tuesday, when we update the stats of our NCAA Division II, Division III, NAIA and JC players. So here we go:

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Outfielder Jacob Hoffman is hitting .309 (29-94), with three homers and 27 RBIs. Utility Chris Bishop is hitting .143 (2-14) with three RBIs, and is 3-1, 3.97 as a pitcher, with 32 strikeouts in 45.1 innings.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 4-3, 4.92, with 32 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. Pitcher Mike Massari is 0-2, 9.00, with 12 strikeouts in 13 innings.

GEORGE FOX: Pitcher Alex Keenan is 2-3, 3.95 in 13.2 innings, with 12 strikeouts.

GRAND CANYON: Pitcher Jorge Perez is 1-2, 2.97, with 30 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.

WESTERN OREGON: Outfielder Matt Nylen is hitting .317 (32-101), with a homer and 23 RBIs.

LINFIELD: Pitcher Zach Manley is 1-1, 3.62 in 32.1 innings, with 39 strikeouts.

PACIFIC: Pitcher Rob Dittrick is 6-1, 2.17, with 42 strikeouts in 54 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .361 (48-133), with 16 RBIs and 27 steals in 31 attempts.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 3-5, 7.68, with 30 strikeouts in 43.1 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .306 (30-98), with two homers and 17 RBIs. Pitcher Blake Burrell is 5-0, 1.61 in 45.1 innings, with 32 strikeouts.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .278 (22-79), with no homers and six RBIs.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Kendall Motes is 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA, with 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. Catcher Dane Lund is hitting .256 (10-39), with no homers and three RBIs. Infielder Alex Foulon is hitting .184 (7-38) with four RBIs and outfielder Tristan Metcalf is hitting .280 (7-25), with four RBIs.

LINN-BENTON: Infielder Austin Hamilton is hitting .242 (8-33) with six RBIs.

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Several former and current Knights were in action on Monday as Oregon State won 6-5 at Nevada and Oregon prevailed 4-2 over San Francisco in Eugene. Here's a rundown:

* For the Beavers, pitcher Taylor Starr (2008) got the start and the win, and allowed two runs in four innings, with three strikeouts. Ryan Gorton (2011) pitched 2/3 scoreless innings, and was 0-for-2 with a run as a hitter. Reliever Matt Boyd (2010) allowed three runs in one inning, and catcher Jake Rodriguez (2010) was 2-for-4 with a run.

* For the Ducks, reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011) pitched 2/3 scoreless innings and earned his seventh save. Outfielder Connor Hofmann (2011) was 2-for-3 with a double, a steal, a run and an RBI.

The Beavers, Ducks and many of our other partner schools are in action today. We'll have a roundup on Wednesday.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed UC Riverside freshman left-handed pitchers Kevin Sprague and Cody Rogina for the 2012 season. Here are all the details, from the Our Sports central website.

KELOWNA: The Falcons have announced that four players from the 2011 club will return in 2012: Andrew Firth, Kyle Pearson, Greg Friesen and Brandon Marris. Marris was the team's Most Outstanding Pitcher in 2012; here are the details on the signings from the Kelowna website.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have released their 2012 promotional schedule. We're there for opening night (June 1); magnet schedule giveaway night (June 2), and fireworks night (June 3).

The start of the fireworks game has been moved back two hours to 7:05 p.m. and will mean a late busride back to Corvallis afterward and a shorter-than-anticipated turnaround before our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls. Oh well, we did it last August after defeating the Sweets in the first game of the WCL's Championship Series; nothing beats a 3:45 a.m. arrival in Corvegas!

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That's all for today. See you Wednesday.


Knights sign RHP Blake Burrell of Riverside City College

April 6, 2012

You can never have enough good pitching.

It's one of the oldest adages in baseball, and one the Knights have always lived by. We are always have one of the best pitching staffs in the West Coast League and that has helped us win two championships and five straight divisional titles since moving to Corvallis for the 2007 season.

And what we feel is already a quality 2012 staff got even better on Thursday when we signed Blake Burrell, a 5-10, 205-pound freshman righthander who is the ace of the Riverside City College staff.

A graduate of Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, Calif., Burrell is 5-0 with a 1.61 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 50.1 innings in seven appearances after winning Wednesday's start over Santa Barbara City College.

Earlier this year, he pitched a complete-game 1-hitter against Irvine Valley CC, and was named the SoCal Pitcher of the Week by the California Community College Baseball Coaches Association for that performance.

RCC has been a source of Knights' pitching talent for years, starting with Atlanta Braves standout Tommy Hanson (2005). In subsequent years, RCC coach Dennis Rogers sent us Anthony Carrillo (2006, 2008); Eric Young (2009-11), and Kyle McNutt (2011), each of whom helped us win divisional and WCL championships.

So, welcome Blake; we'll see you in June. With yet another week in the books, it's only 56 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and only 60 until our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls.

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We've got lots of other news for today, so let's get after it.

Plenty of 2012 Knights played for their respective college teams on Thursday. Here's a roundup, with info on alums in the games where applicable:

* Oregon State pitcher Carlos Rodriguez (2012) gave up two runs in no innings pitched in an 8-2 loss at Arizona State.

* Cal Poly outfielder Nick Torres (2012) and infielder Jimmy Allen (2011) were 1-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 6-0 win over UC Irvine. Infielder David Armendariz (2011) was 1-for-4 and outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI for the Mustangs. Catcher Chris Rabago was 0-for-3 and pitchers Mark Trentacosta (2011, 2012) and Evan Brock (2010) had a strikeout in an inning each of scoreless relief for UCI.

* Oregon outfielder Connor Hofmann (2011-12) was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run in a 6-2 win at UCLA.

* Riverside City College outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) was 1-for-2 with an RBI in an 8-3 win over Cerro Coso CC.

* UC Riverside pitcher Dylan Stuart (2011-12) allowed eight hit and two runs in eight innings in a 3-2, 10-inning win over Long Beach State. Outfielder David Andriese (2010-11) was 1-for-3 and reliever Mitch Patito (2010-11) pitched .1 scoreless innings for UCR; Shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) was 3-for-5 for the Dirtbags.

* Portland pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009-10) tied the school record with his 25th career win and struck out six in eight shutout iningas the Pilots edged San Francisco 2-1. Outfielder Caleb Whalen (2012) was 1-for-3 with an RBI for the Pilots.

* First baseman Alex Silver (2012) was 1-for-3 with two runs, a double and an RBI for Texas in a 7-4 win at Texas Tech. Reliever Aaron Corwin (2010, 2012) went 2.1 scoreless innings for the Red Raiders.

* First baseman Greg Mahle (2012) was 2-for-5 with an RBI for UC Santa Barbara in an 11-1 win over Cal State Northridge.

Most of these series continue over the weekend. We'll have updated stats on all our players on Monday and Tuesday.

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Former Aloha Knights outfielder Jared Prince (2006) will start the season with the Double-A Frisco (Texas) RoughRiders of the Texas League. Prince, 25, hit .282 with eight home runs and 72 RBIs at Class A Myrtle Beach (S.C.) in 2011. He's in his fourth professional season after being drafted in the 34th round by Texas after a career at Washington State.

We'll update the destinations of all of our minor-league Knights when they start their seasons.

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

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed North Dakota State catcher Michael Leach and San Jose State outfielder Michael Gerlach for the 2012 season. Here are all the details, from the Bellingham website.

WENATCHEE: Here's a story on new AppleSox radio broadcaster Jonathan Barden from his hometown newspaper in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Also, new seats for Paul Thomas Sr. Field have arrived and are being installed.

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That's all for today. The sun is finally out; have a great weekend!


Six Knights on MLB rosters

April 5, 2012

We always like to brag about the quality of our program, but if you can back it up, you're not bragging, right?

Six Knights alumni were on Major-League Baseball opening-day rosters on Thursday as the season really got fully underway. And, best of all, alum Tommy Hanson (2005) was Atlanta's starting pitcher today when the Braves played the New York Mets at City Field in New York City in their opener.

The other ex-Knights to make an opening-day MLB roster are Chicago White Sox third baseball Brent Morel (2006-07); Houston right-handed pitcher Bud Norris (2005); St. Louis left-handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (2006); New York Yankees catcher Chris Stewart (2001), and Pittsburgh corner infielder Matt Hague (2005).

Here's a story with a lot more detail from the homepage of our website. And congrats to all our big-league Knights!

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As we mentioned on Wednesday, Stewart (our 2001 MVP, from Riverside City College) was traded to the Yankees in the dying moments of spring training for a minor-league prospect, as the Yankees wanted to improve defensively. Here's a story on the deal and some analysis from The New York Times.

The other big news for the Knights on Thursday was that Matt Hague (2005) made Pittsburgh's 25-man roster. Here's a story on his promotion from MLB.com.

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Former Knights' pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) has been named the April recipient of the "Budweiser Responsibility Matters Good Sport of the Month" by Anheuser-Busch and the UC Riverside Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Here are the details from the UCR website. Congrats to Eddie, who should be a high-round draft pick this June and become the next in a long line of UCR/Knights players to go pro.

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Several Knights were in action for their respective college teams on Wednesday; almost everyone will be playing on Thursday, as most weekend series start a day early because of Easter Sunday.

Here's a rundown of Knights-related Wednesday games:

* Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) of Riverside City College was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in an 8-4 victory over Santa Barbara City. New Knights' signee Blake Burrell, a pitcher, got the win and allowed four hits and two runs in six innings, with four strikeouts. We'll have more info on Blake in Friday's blog.

* Cornell infielder Ryan Plantier was 1-for-1 as a pinch-hitter at the Big Red split a doubleheader at Canisius.

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Former Knight Brian Ranta (2011) of George Fox University was named the Northwest Conference Pitcher of the Week for March 26-April 1. It's the third time this year he's been honored.

According to the NWC website, "Ranta pitched his second straight solid game as he stretched his string of innings without allowing an earned run to 17 in a row. He scattered six hits in eight innings of 8-1 win at Whitworth in first game of series while fanning two with one walk."

Pacific's Rob Dittrick and Linfield's Zach Manley, both 2012 signees, were nominated but not selected.

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

WALLA WALLA: Here is the latest installment of "10 Things to Know About Sweets Baseball," a regular feature on the Sweets' website.

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That's all for today. We'll see you on Friday for the final blog of the week.


Knights alum Matt Hague earns spot on Pittsburgh's roster

April 4, 2012

Lots of activity this week in our little corner of downtown Corvegas.

First, Einstein Bros. Bagels have replaced Noah's Bagels in the Madison Plaza Building, just down the hall from the Knights' office. The business was totally retrofitted on Monday and Tuesday, and is open again today.

And there's construction across the street on the south side of Madison Avenue as well, on a new wine bar filling the space formerly occupied for many, many years by Leading Floral. Judging by the amount of debris that been removed, it's getting a total makeover.

Meanwhile, it's business as usual at the WWHQ. We're selling tickets, selling merchandise, selling sponsorships, writing the blog, preparing the next newsletter, and generally getting ready for our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, which is now only 58 days away.

And that means it's just 62 more days until our June 5 home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems. Pocket schedules should be available next week, so stop in and see us!

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Now, on with the news.

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Former Aloha Knight Matt Hague (2005) will become our next alum to play in the majors. He has earned a spot on Pittsburgh's opening-day roster, according to MLB.com.

Congrats to Matt, the "Slider Guy" in much of our promotional material. We now have six alums on opening-day MLB rosters, including catcher Chris Stewart (2001), who on Wednesday was traded to the New York Yankees from the San Francisco Giants,

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Oregon State senior Leslie Mak, one of our 2011 superstar interns, is one of six finalists for the AAI Award, which recognizes the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country, as determined by the sport's head coaches. The other finalists are Kat Ding of Georgia; Megan Ferguson of Oklahoma; Amy Glass of Boise State; Jaime Pisani of Arkansas, and Geralen Stack-Eaton of Alabama.

The finalists will be recognized and the winner will be announced at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships banquet, scheduled for April 21 in Duluth, Ga.

Congrats to Leslie, the 2011 and 2012 Pacific-12 Conference Gymnnast of the Year. Here are more details from the OSU website.

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Here's a video from The Oregonian on Westview High senior Carson Kelly, an Oregon signee who is set for play for the Knights this summer.

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Several future Knights were in action on Tuesday for their respective college teams. Here's a rundown, with stats for former Knights, if applicable:

* Ryan Gorton (2011) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and threw 1.2 innings of scoreless relief, with four strikeouts, in OSU's 8-2 win over Portland. Pitcher Scott Schultz (2011) went 3.1 innings in relief and got the win. Catcher Nate Esposito (2012) played for OSU but did not have an at-bat; outfielder Caleb Whalen (2012) of UP was 1-for-4 with an RBI.

* Pitcher Eric Weir (2012) of Concordia allowed one run in three innings and was the loser as the Cavaliers lost 3-2 to Linfield in 11 innings. Sean Myrom (2011) was 0-for-5 for the Cavs.

* Washington State outfielder Nate Blackham was 0-for-1 in a 9-3 loss at Gonzaga. Ex-Knights slugger Taylor Ard (2009) was 1-for-5 with a run and an RBI for the Cougars.

* First baseman Greg Mahle (2012) of UC Santa Barbara was 2-for-3 in an 8-2 loss to Cal State Bakersfield.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed junior outfielder Jamison Rowe and freshman corner infielder Austin Byler of Nevada. Here are the details from the Summer Ball website, a great resource for summer wood bat college baseball news.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have a long relationship with UCLA and three more Bruins have signed with the club for the 2012 season. They are freshman outfielder Chris Keck, and 2012-13 Bruins-to-be Ty Moore, an outfielder from Mater Dei High School in Southern California, and James Kaprielian, a right-handed pitcher from Beckman High School in Irvine.

Here are all the details from the Wenatchee website. Our games with the AppleSox, a perennial contender for the WCL championship, are a highlight of the season. We'll face them in Wenatchee on June 8-10, and back in Corvallis on July 9-11. Either the Knights (2008, 2011) or Wenatchee (2009, 2010) have captured the last four WCL titles.

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


Horizon League honors Corey Davis

April 3, 2012

A mainstay from our 2011 WCL championship club is heating up for the Wright State Raiders.

Senior catcher Corey Davis, who also starred for us in 2010, was named the Horizon League Batter of the Week on Monday for March 26-April 1. He hit .375 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBIs and five runs scored as the Raiders won four road games.

Here are all the details, from the Wright State website. Congrats to Corey!

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Speaking of conference honors, here are some more:

* Oregon State freshman lefty Jace Fry (2011) was up for Pacific-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors, but did not win. Fry allowed just three unearned runs over seven innings and got the decision in a 5-3 win over Washington on April 1. He allowed just two hits, and had seven strikeouts.

* UC Santa Barbara freshman Greg Mahle (2012) was nominated for Big West Conference Player of the Week honors, but did not win. Mahle hit .400 (6-15), with four runs and three RBIs, in four games.

* UC Riverside senior Eddie Orozco (2008-09) was nominated for BWC Pitcher of the Week honors, but did not win. Orozco defeated UCSB 4-1 on March 31, and had eight strikeouts in seven innings.

* Portland senior Kyle Kraus (2009-10) was nominated for West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week, but was not selected. He defeated Santa Clara 3-1 on March 30; he allowed four hits and one unearned run and had seven strikeouts in 8.1 innings.

* Portland freshman shortstop Caleb Whalen (2012) was nominated for WCC Player of the Week honors but did not win. He hit .455 (5-11) in three games against the Broncos, with two homers, a double, four runs scored and two RBIs.

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Western Oregon took advantage of Monday's nice weather to sweep St. Martin's 13-0 and 5-2 in a doubleheader in Monmouth. Outfielder Matt Nylen (2011-12) was a combined 1-for-7, with two runs, a double and an RBI.

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Ex-Knights infielder Bobby Scales (1997) has signed with the New York Mets and been assigned to their Buffalo affiliate in the triple-A International League. The one-time Michigan star had two trips to the majors with the Chicago Cubs in 2009 and 2010.

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Here's an update on how our Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college players are faring:

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Outfielder Jacob Hoffman is hitting .301 (25-83)), with three homers and 24 RBIs. Utility Chris Bishop is hitting .154 (2-13) with three RBIs, and is 2-1, 3.60 as a pitcher, with 30 strikeouts in 40 innings.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 3-3, 5.13, with 31 strikeouts in 52.2 innings. Pitcher Mike Massari is 0-2, 9.00, with 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.

GEORGE FOX: Pitcher Alex Keenan is 2-2, 3.75 in 12 innings, with 11 strikeouts.

GRAND CANYON: Pitcher Jorge Perez is 1-2, 2.97, with 30 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.

WESTERN OREGON: Outfielder Matt Nylen is hitting .314 (28-88), with a homer and 19 RBIs.

LINFIELD: Pitcher Zach Manley is 1-1, 3.76 in 26.1 innings, with 31 strikeouts.

PACIFIC: Pitcher Rob Dittrick is 5-1, 2.60, with 37 strikeouts in 45 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .371 (46-124), with 15 RBIs.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 2-2, 7.88, with 29 strikeouts in 40 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .304 (28-92), with two homers and 14 RBIs.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .278 (26-72), with no homers and six RBIs.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Kendall Motes is 1-1 with a 3.14 ERA, with 18 strikeouts in 14.1 innings. Catcher Dane Lund is hitting .262 (11-42), with no homers and three RBIs. Infielder Alex Foulon is hitting .195 (8-41) with four RBIs and outfielder Tristan Metcalf is hitting .280 (7-25), with four RBIs.

LINN-BENTON: Infielder Austin Hamilton is hitting .059 (1-19) with one RBI.

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That's all for today. See everyone on Wednesday!