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Knights Daily Update

Thomas McCarthy (2010) a finalist for Lowe's CLASS Award

April 26, 2012

We love starting the day off with good news about the Knights.

So, we're thrilled to announce that former Knights' infielder Thomas McCarthy (2010) of the University of Kentucky is a finalist for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. He's also a hometown kid, who played for Crescent Valley High School and the Richey's Market American Legion team.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition. You can vote for Thomas by clicking here.

And here's a story from the Kentucky website with more news on Thomas, and another link to the voting.

Congrats to another shining Knight!

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And,even more good news.

Ex-Knights right-handed pitchers Jimmie Sherfy (2011) of Oregon and Kyle Kraus (2009-10) of Portland have made the 54-player watch list for the national Pitcher of the Year award, sponsored by the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Here's a link to the release announcing their inclusion. Congrats to two more shining Knights!

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Texas Tech pitcher Aaron Corwin (2010, 2012) was the lone 2012 Knight in action for his college team on Wednesday. He allowed one run in 1.1 innings in a 14-13 loss at New Mexico, and was not involved in the decision.

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Former Knights pitcher Matt Way (2007), a lefty from Washington State, has signed with the Laredo (Texas) Lemurs of the independent American Association. They open training camp on May 5 and start the season on May 17.

He was a first-team WCL all-star in 2007, was drafted in the fifth round by Philadelphia in 2009, was 13-9, 3.22, with 170 strikeouts in 167.2 innings of Class A ball at Williamsport (Pa.), Lakewood (N.J.) and Clearwater (Fla.) before being released earlier this year. He missed the 2011 season with an arm injury.

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Pitcher Matt Andriese of the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres, California League) threw seven shutout innings in a 5-0 victory over Inland Empire on Wednesday to earn our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day award.

Andriese allowed three hits, walked two, and struck out five. He's now 2-0, 2.41 in 18.2 innings over four starts, with 16 strikeouts.

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Former Knights pitcher Anthony Carrillo (2006, 2008) was recently engaged to Cynthia Gonzalez. Not sure of the wedding date. Congrats! He's playing for the Roswell (N.M.) Invaders of the independent Pecos League. Anthony played at Riverside City College and at Long Beach State; he also played for the Invaders in 2011 and was 2-0 with a 3.93 ERA in 18 games, with 20 strikeouts in 18.1 innings.

Former Knights outfielder Logan Lotti (2008), a WCL all-star, is playing for the Las Cruces (N.M.) Vaqueros in the independent Pecos League. He played at Sierra JC, Oregon State and Western Oregon.

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

NICK AKINS (2007): Now with Rancho Cucamonga (A, Dodgers) in the California League, the former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .302 (19-63) with two homers and six RBIs in 18 games.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore (A, Padres) in the California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 2-0, 2.41 in four games, with 16 strikeouts in 18.2 innings.

CARTER BELL (2009): Now with Visalia (A, Diamondbacks)in the California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .170 (8-49) with no homers and six RBIs in 13 games.

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 .257 (9-35) with one homer and five RBIs in 10 games.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008): Now with Augusta (A, Giants) in the South Atlantic League, the San Jacinto JC infielder is hitting .190 (4-21), with no homers and one RBI in six games.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Now with Tucson (AAA, Padres) in the Pacific Coast League, the former Portland catcher is hitting .231 (3-13), with no homers and one RBI in six games.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Now with Birmingham (AA, White Sox) in the Southern League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .278, with no homers and nine RBIs in 19 games.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Now with Quad City (A, Cardinals) in the Midwest League, is 1-1, 3.24, with eight strikeouts in 16.3 innings in three games.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Now with West Michigan (A, Tigers) in the Midwest League, the former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder is hitting .268 (19-71), with five homers and 10 RBIs in 18 games.

D.J. JOHNSON (2008-09): Now with South Bend (A, Diamondbacks) in the Midwest League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 1-1, 3.86, with two saves and seven strikeouts in seven innings in six games.

ADAM MELKER (2008-09): Now with Springfield (AA, Cardinals) in the Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .262 (18-61), with one homer and four RBIs in 18 games.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Now with Clearwater (A, Phillies) in the Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .298 (17-57), with two homers and 14 RBIs in 16 games.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): Now with Greensboro (A, Marlins) in the Florida State League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 1-1, 9.00 with three saves and three strikeouts in seven innings in six games.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-0, 0.00, weith six strikeouts in 5.2 innings in six games.

GREG PEAVEY (2008): Now with Binghamton (AA, New York Mets) in the Eastern League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 2-0, 3.14 in three games, with 11 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2010): Now with Tennessee (AA, Cubs) in the Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 2-1, 2.45, with 21 strikeouts in 22.1 innings in four games.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .255 (11-41), with no homers and four RBIs in 15 games.

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

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

Well, sort of. Former Spokane RiverHawks owner Erv Zakheim has the rights to the Coeur d' Alene market and interests in that city have hired former New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen, he of the 1956 World Series perfect game, to spearhead a fund-raising drive for a new ballpark. Zakheim is still a member of the league and maybe with a new ballpark the franchise, which has been dark for the past two seasons, can be revived.

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That's all for this week, as we're off on Friday. We'll be back on Monday.


Dittrick honored again by Northwest Conference

April 25, 2012

Pacific University right-hander Rob Dittrick, a 10-day signee who should make a strong bid for a permanent roster spot, was named the Northwest Conference's Pitcher of the Week for the third time this spring on Tuesday.

A junior from Mililani, Ha., Dittrick earned his eighth straight win, pitched his fifth complete game, and recorded his second shutout with a 3-0 win over Puget Sound on April 21. He struck out eight, didn't issue a walk, and did not allow a runner past second base.

He is one win away from tying the school record for wins in a season, and leads the NWC in both wins (8) and ERA (1.88). He was also the 2011 NWC Pitcher of the Year, and was the NWC Pitcher of the Week for April 2-8 and Feb. 27-March 2 earlier this season.

Former Knight Brian Ranta (2011) of George Fox, also a three-time winner this season, received honorable mention.

So congrats to both players!

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Apparently it's a day for repeat winners. First baseman Dean Green (2008) of the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit's franchise in the Class A Midwest League, is today's Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day, an distinction he also earned on Monday.

Green had two hits and a walk in four plate appearances on Tuesday in an 8-0 loss to the Beloit Snappers. The ex-Oklahoma State/Barry University slugger is hitting .268 (19-71) with five homers and 10 RBIs in 18 games.

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Lots of former and current Knights in action with their respective college teams on Tuesday. Here's a rundown:

* Oregon State pitcher Taylor Starr (2008) struck out a career-high seven in a career-high seven innings in a 7-1 win at Oregon. Ryan Gorton (2011) was 1-for-4 with two runs; Jake Rodriguez (2010) was 1-for-4 with an RBI and Scott Schultz (2011) pitched a scoreless inning for the Beavers. Connor Hofmann (2011-12) was 1-for-3 with a run and Jimmie Sherfy (2011) struck out four in two scoreless innings for the Ducks.

* Riverside City College outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and an RBI in a 5-3 loss to Saddleback.

* UC Irvine reliever Mark Trentacosta (2011-12) struck out one in a scoreless inning and reliever Nick Hoover (2009-11) allowed three runs in 1.1 innings in a 9-3 loss to UCLA.

* Texas first baseman Alex Silver (2012) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 4-2 win over Central Arkansas.

* Corban shortstop Marc Gallegos (2012) was 2-for-4 with a run, a double and an RBI in a 13-8 loss to Willamette.

* Cal Poly pitcher Bryan Granger (2012) pitched five scoreless innings but wasn't involved in the decision in a 3-2 loss at Fresno State. Alex Michaels (2012) and Nick Torres were each 0-for-2; Mitch Haniger (2010), Jimmy Allen (2011) and David Armendariz (2011) were all 0-for-3 (Allen had an RBI), and Chase Johnson pitched a scoreless inning for the Mustangs.

* Mt. Hood catcher Dane Lund (2011-12) was a combined 3-for-6 with two runs and an RBI as the Saints split a doubleheader with Chemeketa. Shortstop Alex Foulon (2011-12) was 0-for-5, outfielder Tristan Metcalf (2012) was 3-for-5 with a triple, a run and an RBI and pitcher Kendall Motes (2012) gave up one run and had two strikeouts in one inning.

* Linn-Benton infielder/pitcher Austin Hamilton was 1-for-5 as a hitter and allowed one run in six innings while winning the second game of a split doubleheader against Clackamas. He had four strikeouts.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed freshman pitchers Koby Gauna and Alec Cordova of Cal State Fullerton and freshman catcher Justin Hazard of UCLA for the 2012 season. Read all about it on the Cowlitz website. The Black Bears have also signed Portland RHP Cody Watts. Read all about it here in this story from the Summer Ball website.

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

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed Washington State University left-handed pitcher Bryce Jackson, Wenatchee Valley College left-handed pitcher Mitch Yada, and Seattle University right-handed pitcher Blaine Jones for the 2012 season. Complete details can be found by clicking here and reading a story from Our Sports Central.


High praise from Mitch Patito

April 24, 2012

It's great to have a great job.

And when one of the first things you see in the morning is a story from a former player praising the Corvallis Knights organization, well, it's just a super way to start the day and it definitely puts a smile on everyone's face down here at the WWHQ.

Here's what I'm talking about: This interview from the "Summer Ball" website with former Knights reliver Mitch Patito (2010-11) of UC Riverside. You can't get much higher praise than this:

"Great environment and I had a great host family. The Knights are a top-notch program and maybe the best run of any summer team in the country."

Wow. Big thanks to a great kid who played a major role in us winning the 2010 and 2011 West Division titles, and the 2011 WCL championship, and to his host family, Matt and Brittany Kennedy.

It's also more evidence that our great host families play a critical role in our program. We still need a couple more for the 2012 season; if you're interested, e-mail Knights' director of host families Jaimie Van Vleet at jaimie.vanvleet@corvallisknights.com. There are many benefits to hosting a player, and obviously the Knights don't work as well as they do without an outstanding group of host families.

Now, on with the rest of the blog, although it might be all downhill after that fantastic start!

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Not many West Coast teams played on Monday but there were two games involving former or current Knights.

* Washington State edged Seattle 8-6 in a game played at Everett. First baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was 1-for-5 with two RBIs and outfielder Nate Blackham (2011-12) didn't play for the Cougars. Second baseman Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was 0-for-3 with an RBI and shortstop Nate Roberts (2011-12) was 2-for-3 with two runs for Seattle.

* UC Santa Barbara pitcher Greg Mahle (2012) gave up five hits and two runs in six innings and was the loser in a 2-1 setback at St. Mary's College. Mahle struck out six, threw 68 strikes in 98 pitches, and walked in his only plate appearance.

That's it for Monday. Much busier day today, highlighted by the OSU-Oregon nonconference game at PK Park.

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Catcher Alex Burg, the MVP of our 2008 WCL champions, is our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day. He was 3-for-4 with an RBI on Monday for the San Jose Giants in a 7-1 loss to High Desert.

Burg is hitting .257 (9-35) with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games for the Giants, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A California League. Ex-Knights Josh Osich (2008) and Andrew Susac (2009) also play for San Jose and Osich had a scoreless inning of relief on Monday night.

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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 .321 (34-106) with four homers and 31 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 4-4, 5.77, with 37 strikeouts in 64 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 2-3, 2.66, with 42 strikeouts in 47.1 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 8-1, 1.88, with 53 strikeouts in 72 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .352 (63-179), with 23 RBIs and 30 steals in 36 attempts.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 3-6, 7.51, with 36 strikeouts in 50.1 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .295 (36-122), with two homers and 18 RBIs. Pitcher Blake Burrell is 5-0, 1.69 in 69.1 innings, with 45 strikeouts.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .277 (28-101) with one homer and nine RBIs.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Kendall Motes is 1-2 with a 3.44 ERA, with 24 strikeouts in 18.1 innings. Catcher Dane Lund is hitting .288 (23-80), with no homers and eight RBIs. Infielder Alex Foulon is hitting .211 (15-71) with seven RBIs and outfielder Tristan Metcalf is hitting .280 (14-50), with eight RBIs.

LINN-BENTON: Utility Austin Hamilton is hitting .185 (12-65) with six RBIs and is 2-1, 1.31 as a pitcher, with 10 strikeouts in 20.2 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 have signed Sacramento State University freshman utility Kyle Moses and junior pitcher Tyler Hoelzen for the 2012 season. They are the club's first Hornets since Brandon Creel in 2010. Here are the details, from the club's website.

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


What a wonderful weekend!

April 23, 2012

Wow, what a wonderful weekend in Corvallis and for the Knights.

First, how about this weather? We knew the rains couldn't stay around forever, and the sunshine and hot weather allowed everyone to catch up on yardwork, to watch the Beavers take 2 of 3 over UCLA in the warm confines of Goss Stadium, and to subliminally remind Knights fans that yes, summer's on the way and it's a mere 39 days until our June 1 opener at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.

And how about ex-Knights' star Brent Morel (2006-07)? He had a front-row view of the perfect game thrown by teammate Philip Humber on Saturday from his position as the starting third baseman for the Chicago White Sox. There have been just 21 perfect games thrown in MLB history, and now one of them has a tie to the Knights. And it's even extra-special that 3/4 of our front office staff got to see it in person (your's truly watched the final three innings on TV).

And one final reminder, it's only 43 days until our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls (if we get a day like today, we'll be thrilled). So get your tickets and merchandise now online, or at the Knights' WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

Now, on with the rest of the blog.

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Former Knights pitcher Jace Fry (2011) was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday for his complete-game shutout, 3-0 win over then-No. 11 UCLA on Saturday.

Fry had six strikeouts, threw 107 pitches and improved to 4-2 this season. He has allowed just three earned runs in 30.1 innings in April, giving him an 0.89 ERA for the month.

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Former Knights reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011) of Oregon is on the NCBWA's midseason watch list for the top closer in college baseball. Sherfy is 3-2, 2.95 in 18 appearances, with nine saves and 55 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. The award is given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the Division I national saves leader and four other standout relievers will be selected as finalists and released Wednesday, June 6, prior to start of NCAA Super Regional tournament competition. The NCBWA's All-America Committee will select the winner, with this year's recipient to be announced during the 2012 College World Series.

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First baseman Dean Green (2008) of the West Michigan Whitecaps, Detroit's franchise in the Class A Midwest League, is today's Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day.

Green hit his fourth homer of the season on Sunday in a 6-3 win over the Beloit Snappers. The ex-Oklahoma State/Barry University slugger is hitting .250 (16-64) with four homers and nine RBIs in 16 games.

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Ex-Knights outfielder David Andriese (2010-11) of UC Riverside was nominated for Big West Conference Player of the Week honors but was not selected. He hit .333 (7-21) in five games, with five runs and seven RBIs.

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Former Knights Oregon State College of Business intern Leslie Mak earned two All-American honors over the weekend at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Duluth, Ga. She was a second-team AA in the beam and floor exercise. Congrats to Leslie, who graduates in June and already has a sales/marketing job lined up in Portland!

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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 .272 (37-136), with three homers and 23 RBIs. Freshman outfielder Alex Michaels is at .367 (11-30) with one homer and five RBIs. Freshman pitcher Bryan Granger is 0-1, 4.22, with seven strikeouts in 10.2 innings.

CORNELL: Sophomore infielder Ryan Plantier is hitting .192 (5-26), with five RBIs.

OREGON: Sophomore outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .253 (22-87), with two homers and 12 RBIs.

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.

PORTLAND: Freshman infielder Caleb Whalen is hitting .265 (31-122) with five homers and 22 RBIs. Junior pitcher Chris Johnson is 2-2, 3.38 in 48 innings, with 35 strikeouts.

SANTA CLARA: Junior pitcher Chris Mendoza is 1-1, 5.53 with a save and 14 strikeouts in 27.2 innings.

SEATTLE: Junior infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .238 (25-105) with a homer and 13 RBIs.

TEXAS: Sophomore infielder Alex Silver is hitting .277 (31-112), with no homers and 15 RBIs. Sophomore pitcher Justin Peters has a 54.00 ERA in .1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Trevor Tykel hasn't played yet.

TEXAS TECH: Junior pitcher Aaron Corwin is 1-0 with a 3.97 ERA over 11.1 innings, with five strikeouts.

UC IRVINE: Freshman infielder/catcher Chris Rabago is hitting .265 (13-49) with three RBIs. Junior pitcher Mark Trentacosta is 0-0, 2.63 in 13.2 innings, with 13 strikeouts.

UC RIVERSIDE: Sophomore pitcher Dylan Stuart is 4-4, 4.07, with 38 strikeouts in 59.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Antonio Gonzales is 0-1, 8.76, with 11 strikeouts in 12.1 innings; freshman Cody Dill hasn't pitched yet.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman utility man Greg Mahle is hitting .341 (44-129) with no homers and 24 RBIs, and is 1-2, 4.25 as a pitcher, with 30 strikeouts and four saves in 29.2 innings.

WASHINGTON STATE: Sophomore outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .262 (22-84) with seven RBIs.

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: Freshman infielder Jack Graham is hitting .134 (9-67), with five 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:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have released their promotional schedule for the upcoming season. There are no promotions when the Knights visit on July 6-7.

KLAMATH FALLS: Gems outfielder Alden Goebel of Feather River JC is the team's spotlighted player, a regular feature of the team's website.


T-minus six weeks and counting

April 20, 2012

It's exactly six weeks until we open the 2012 season, our sixth - and our best, we believe - one in Corvallis. Hard to believe, but it's only 42 days until the June 1 lid-lifter at Walla Walla, and just 46 until our June 5 home debut at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

It's a pretty quiet day here at the Knights WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvegas. Dan, Bre and Jaimie, the rest of the Knights brain trust, are on their way to Seattle for this weekend's series between the Mariners and the Chicago White Sox. The ChiSox, of course, feature ex-Knights star Brent Morel (2006-07) as their starting third baseman.

We're hoping they can bring a little karma, good luck or juju and help get a few knocks for BeMo, who has been struggling out of the gate. He had a great spring training but right now he's hitting just .103 (4-39), and we know he's far, far better than that.

In the meantime, I'm manning the fort and here's some Knights/West Coast League-related news to carry you through the weekend.

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Not much action around the country on Thursday involving Knights players. Almost everyone returns to action today and over the weekend, though, and we're actually supposed to have some weather conducive to baseball.

In a game that was played:

* Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) of Riverside City College was 1-for-4 in a 3-1 loss at Orange Coast College.

That's it. We'll have updated averages on our 2012 Division I Knights on Monday.

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South Bend Silver Hawks closer D.J. Johnson (2008-09) is our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day. The former Mt. Hood standout earned his second save on Thursday night with a scoreless inning in a 12-10 victory over the Beloit Snappers. Johnson allowed one hit and had two strikeouts.

The Tin Caps are Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League; he signed a three-year minor-league contract with the D-backs in the offseason. Johnson will be featured in our 2012 Knights game program, which this season will be available for FREE before every home game. Way to go, D.J.!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed right-handed pitcher Drew Jacobs, a freshman at the University of San Diego, and USD signee Tanner Rahier, a shortstop from Indian Hills, Calif., for the 2012 season. Here are the details, from the Our Sports Central website. Here's more on Rahier, from reporter Brian Adamowski of the Wenatchee World newspaper.

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That's all for today. Have a great weekend!


Big night for Drew Garcia

April 19, 2012

Might as well start out today's blog with our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day award, since it's always the kind of good news people like to read.

Former Knights infielder Drew Garcia (2007), now playing with the Birmingham Barons (the Chicago White Sox affiliate in the Class AA Southern League), doubled, tripled and drove in three runs in a 9-8 victory at Chattanooga.

Honorable mention goes to Wednesday's winner, San Jose Giants (Class A, California League) catcher Andrew Susac (2009), who singled, doubled and had an RBI in an 8-5 win over Rancho Cucamonga. Susac has five hits in his last two games and has raised his average from the low .100s to .268.

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Make sure to tune into the Joe Beaver Show on the KEJO 1240 AM, the flagship station of the Knights, after 1 p.m. on Friday. Your's truly will be on the air, talking about the Knights and the Reser's Oregon All-Star Series.

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Lots of Knights in action with their college teams on Wednesday. Here's a roundup:

* Oregon's Connor Hofmann (2011-12) was 1-for-5 with a run in a 3-0 win over Portland. UP's Caleb Whalen (2012) was 0-for-3 as the Pilots were no-hit by future Bend Elk Jordan Spencer at Volcanoes Stadium.

* Seattle's Nate Roberts (2011-12) was 1-for-3 with a run and Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was 1-for-5 with a run in a 5-4 win over British Columbia.

* UC Riverside's David Andriese (2009-10) was 2-for-4 with six RBIs and three runs in a 13-5 win over UNLV. Mitch Patito (2009-10) pitched three scoreless innings and got the win; Eddie Orozco (2008-09) threw one scoreless inning and Antonio Gonzales (2012) was tagged for five runs in 2.1 innings.

* UC Santa Barbara's Greg Mahle (2012) was 1-for-5 and had four strikeouts and got the win with four innings of scoreless relief in a 5-4, 12-inning win over USC.

* Texas Tech reliever Aaron Corwin (2010, 2012) gave up one run in .2 innings in a 6-4 loss to New Mexico.

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

NICK AKINS (2007): Now with Rancho Cucamonga (A, Dodgers) in the California League, the former Vanguard outfielder is hitting .222 (8-36) with two homers and two RBIs.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Now with Lake Elsinore (A, Padres) in the California League, the pitcher from UC Riverside is 0-0, 7.94 with eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings.

CARTER BELL (2009): Now with Visalia (A, Diamondbacks)in the California League, the former Oregon State infielder is hitting .207 (6-29) with no homers and one RBI.

DANIEL BIBONA (2007): Now with Pam 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 .143 (3-21) with no homers and two RBIs.

JOHN ESHLEMAN (2008): Now with Augusta (A, Giants) in the South Atlantic League the San Jacinto JC infielder is hitting .176 (3-17), with no homers or RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Now with Tucson (AAA, Padres) in the Pacific Coast League, the former Portland catcher is hitting .250 (2-8), with no homers or RBIs.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Now with Birmingham (AA, White Sox) in the Southern League, the former UC Riverside infielder is hitting .308, with no homers and six RBIs.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Now with Quad City (A, Cardinals) in the Midwest League, is 1-0, 2.53, with five strikeouts in 10.3 innings.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Now with West Michigan (A, Tigers) in the Midwest League, the former Oklahoma State/Barry infielder is hitting .283, with three homers and six RBIs.

D.J. JOHNSON (2008-09): Now with South Bend (A, Diamondbacks) in the Midwest League, the former Mt. Hood/Western Oregon pitcher is 0-1, 5.40, with one save and five strikeouts in five innings.

ADAM MELKER (2008-09): Now with Springfield (AA, Cardinals) in the Texas League, the former Cal Poly outfielder is hitting .297 (11-37), with one homer and four RBIs.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Now with Clearwater (A, Phillies) in the Florida State League, the former Washington State infielder is hitting .256 (10-39), with two homers and 10 RBIs.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): Now with Greensboro (A, Marlins) in the Florida State League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 1-1, 9.00 with three strikeouts in six innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State pitcher is 0-0, 0.00, weith four strikeouts in 3.2 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2010): Now with Tennessee (AA, Cubs) in the Southern League, the former Mt. Hood pitcher is 1-1, 2.65, with 16 strikeouts in 17 innings.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Now with San Jose (A, Giants) in the California League, the ex-Oregon State catcher is hitting .268 (11-41), with no homers and three RBIs.

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

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No news from around the West Coast League today, so we'll close. See you on Friday.


Ex-Knights ringleaders in OSU's mustache club

April 18, 2012

Oregon State sophomore pitcher Ben Wetzler and senior pitcher/catcher/DH Ryan Gorton, both of whom were key members of our 2011 West Coast League championship team, are among the ringleaders in a "mustache club" on this year's OSU baseball team.

You can read all about it, and see just how good Wetzler and Gorton look with their mustaches, by reading this article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times by reporter Aaron Yost.

Wetzler, Gorton and the rest of the Beavers will host UCLA this weekend at Goss Stadium. Wetzler will start Friday's 5:35 p.m. game; another ex-Knight, freshman lefty Jace Fry (2011), gets the start on Saturday afternoon.

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Future 2012 Knight Carson Kelly, a senior at Westview High School and an Oregon signee, shut out Jesuit 1-0 on Tuesday. Here's a link to a story in The Oregonian. He threw a five-hitter, struck out five, and drove in the game's lone run.

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Current and former Knights pitchers continue to dominate in the Division III Northwest Conference.

Pacific University lefty Rob Dittrick (2012) and George Fox righty Brian Ranta (2011) were nominated for NWC Pitcher of the Week honors, but they did not win.

Dittrick pitched a complete game in a 9-2 win over Whitworth on April 14, with three strikeouts. Ranta went 7.1 innings against Pacific Lutheran on April 14 and left with a 6-3 lead before the bullpen enabled the Lutes to tie. He struck out 10.

Dittrick (2) and Ranta (3) have already combined to win five NWC Pitcher of the Week awards this spring.

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Former OSU star Andrew Susac, who caught for us in 2009 after his senior season at Jesuit High in Sacramento, is our Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day. He was 3-for-4 with an RBI for San Jose, the Giants' affiliate in the single-A California League, in a 4-0 win over Rancho Cucamonga on Tuesday night.

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

* Riverside City College outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) was 2-for-3 with a run in a 6-4 loss to Irvine Valley.

* Santa Clara reliever Chris Mendoza (2010-12) pitched a scoreless .2 innings in a 4-0 loss to Cal. SCU shortstop Justin Viele (2010) was 0-for-3.

* Seattle U. infielder Nate Roberts (2011-12) was 0-for-4 and infielder Trent Oleszczuk was 2-for-4 in a 6-0 loss to Washington.

* UC Irvine catcher Chris Rabago (2012) was 1-for-3 with a run in a 10-5 win over San Diego State. Reliever Evan Brock (2009) allowed an unearned run in one inning, with a strikeout.

* Texas first baseman Alex Silver (2012) was 1-for-3 with a run in a 2-0 win over Texas State.

* Cornell infielder Ryan Plantier (2012) was 1-for-2 with a run in a 5-4 loss to Siena in the second game of a doubleheader. Cornell also lost the opener 6-2.

* Corban infielder Marc Gallegos (2012) was 1-for-5 with a run in a 7-2 win over Pacific University.

* Mt. Hood catcher Dane Lund (2011-12) was a combined 3-for-7 with three runs in a doubleheader sweep over Linn-Benton. Shortstop Alex Foulon (2011-12) was 2-for-6 with a run and an RBI and outfielder Tristan Metcalf (2012) was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Pitcher Kendall Motes (2012) had one scoreless inning, with two strikeouts.

* LBCC's Austin Hamilton (2012) was 0-for-5 and was the losing pitcher in the second game of the MHCC twin bill. He allowed two runs and four hits in 6.2 innings in a 2-1 setback.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have added to players to replace two who can't play for the club this summer as expected. Joining the Gems are 1B/3B Austin Byler of Nevada and 1B Kevin Davidson of UC Riverside; leaving are 2011 Gems RHP Patrick O'Rourke of Hawaii and 1B/OF Steven Fisher of UC Santa Barbara.

O'Rourke has decided to play summer ball closer to his Elk Grove, Calif., home for family reasons. Fisher will not be playing summer baseball this year. Please click here for more details from Summer Ball, a great site for WCL news.

WALLA WALLA: Here is the latest installment of "10 Things to Know About Sweets Baseball," a regular feature on the team's website. Remember, we visit Walla Walla on June 1-3 and the Sweets come to Corvallis on June 13-15.

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That's all for today. We'll be back tomorrow, with updated stats for all our Knights in the minor leagues.


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!