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Knights Daily Update

Concordia's Sean Myrom named CCC Player of the Week

March 13, 2012

You'd never know it by looking outside - with all the snow and slop in Corvallis this morning - but the season is drawing ever-closer.

It's only 80 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla against the Sweets, and a mere 84 days until June 5 and Opening Night VI against the Klamath Falls Gems at Goss Stadium.

That seems like a long ways away, but it will get here fast (the countdown started at 143, way back on Jan. 10). So now is a great time to get your season tickets or 3-game mini-plans, or to pick up some Knights' merchandise so you're dressed appropriately come opening night.

Of course, tickets and merchandise are also available down here at the Knights World-Wide Headquarters (the WWHQ) in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. Come see us!

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We've got more player of the week honors to announce. Yesterday, you may remember, the Big West Conference named Nick Torres (2012) of Cal Poly and Eddie Orozco (2008-09) of UC Riverside as its Player and Pitcher of the Week.

Today, it's Sean Myrom's turn. The 2011 West Coast League all-star and champion of the All-Star Game Home Run Derby was selected as the Cascade Collegiate Conference's Player of the Week for March 5-11.

Myrom hit two homers, a double, scored six times and drove in six runs in a weekend series against Menlo College in Atherton, Calif. He also had five walks for an on-base percentage of .524, and hit .462 (6-13)as the Cavaliers split the four-game series.

Here's the release from the Concordia website announcing the honor. Congrats to Sean!

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Ex-Knights reliever Jimmie Sherfy (2011) of Oregon has been outstanding this spring and is 2-0 with two saves, 31 strikeouts and a 1.02 ERA in 17.2 innings over five appearances. He recently was named the Pacific-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week.

"The Sherf" had a great summer with the Knights (1-0, 1.82 in 14 games) and it's carried over into this season. Here'a a story detailing his progress from his hometown newspaper, the Ventura (Calif.) County Star.

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Ex-Knights' star Matt Hague (2005), the "Slider Guy" on much of our promotional material, is turning heads in the Pittsburgh Pirates training camp, as the former Washington/Oklahoma State star is making a strong bid for a major-league job.

Here's a story on his progress from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper, and another one from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Matt was added to the Pirates' 40-man MLB roster after a standout 2011 season at triple-A Indianapolis (.309, 12-75). We're hopeful he can become the next Knight to make it to the majors.

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We updated the statistics of our Division I players on Monday, Today, 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 .282 (11-39) in 14 games, with three homers and 13 RBIs. Utility Chris Bishop is 0-for-7 as a hitter, but is 2-0, 2.35 in five games as a pitcher, with 24 strikeouts in 30.1 innings.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 3-1, 3.71 in six games, with 23 strikeouts in 34 innings. Pitcher Mike Massari is 0-2, 7.36 in 10 games, with 10 strikeouts in 11 innings.

GEORGE FOX: Pitcher Alex Keenan is 2-1, 1.93 in five games, with nine strikeouts in 9.1 innings.

GRAND CANYON: Pitcher Jorge Perez is 0-2, 3.80 in five games, with 21 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.

WESTERN OREGON: Outfielder Matt Nylen is hitting .323 (21-65) in 18 games, with no homers and 15 RBIs.

LINFIELD: Pitcher Zach Manley is 1-1, 5.09 in 17.2 innings in four games, with 20 strikeouts.

PACIFIC: Pitcher Rob Dittrick is 3-1, 2.67 in five games, with 21 strikeouts in 31 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .403 (31-77) in 18 games, with seven RBIs and 18 steals in 20 attempts.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 1-1, 6.15 in five games, with 20 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .339 (20-59) in 18 games, with two homers and 11 RBIs.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .283 (15-53) in 17 games, with no homers, six RBIs and eight steals in 10 attempts.

MT. HOOD: Pitcher Kendall Motes is 0-1, 2.86 in two games, with five strikeouts inn 3.2 innings. Catcher Dane Lund is hitrting .286 (4-14) in six games, with no homers or RBIs. Infielder Alex Foulon is hitting .214 (3-14) with an RBI in six games, and outfielder Tristan Metcalf is hitting .167 (1-6) in five games.

LINN-BENTON: The Roadrunners have not updated their stats. Infielder Austin Hamilton will play for the Knights this summer.

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That's all for today. We'll be back on Wednesday with some updates from the Knights, and from around the West Coast League.


Torres, Orozco win Big West Player of the Week honors

March 12, 2012

Great news for the Knights today from the Big West Conference.

Future Knight Nick Torres (2012) of Cal Poly and former Knights pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) of UC Riverside earned the Big West Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week honors on Monday for their performances this past weekend.

A freshman right fielder, Torres had five extra base hits, eight RBIs and hit .500 (8-16) with a 1.125 slugging percentage in four games.

Torres tripled, doubled and drove in five runs on Friday in a 6-3 victory over the Huskies. He also drove in the winning run. He hit his first homer against Santa Clara on Tuesday, and followed with his second in Sunday's series finale against Washington.

Torres is second in the Big West in RBIs (15) and sixth in batting average (.381).

Orozco tied the school record with 15 strikeouts and pitched a complete-game 3-hitter on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Sacramento State. He took a perfect game into the seventh before allowing a hit.

Orozco did not walk a batter, had a pickoff and faced just 29 hitters, two over the 9-inning minimum. Here's the call of the final out from the UCR radio broadcast.

He was also named a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.

So, big ups to Eddie, who was a key member of our 2008 WCL champions, and of our 2009 WCL West Division champions, who lost to Wenatchee in the finals.

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It's a Monday tradition throughout the college baseball season for The Blog to update the statistics of our incoming Division I players after another weekend of action. So, here's the latest:

(We'll have updated numbers on our Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college players on Tuesday.)

CAL POLY: Freshman outfielder Nick Torres had five RBIs on Friday in a 6-3 win over Washington and is hitting .381 (24-63) with two homers and 15 RBIs in 16 games. Freshman outfielder Alex Michaels is at .300 (3-10) with no homers and an RBI in six games. Freshman Bryan Granger hasn't pitched yet. The Mustangs won 2 of 3 against Washington over the weekend.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Carlos Rodriguez is 0-0, 3.18 in five games, with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings. Freshman catcher Nate Esposito is hitting .000 (0-3) in four games. Freshman pitchers Mitchell Tripp and Michael McCall haven't played yet. OSU went 3-1 at the Nike Showcase tournament at Goss Stadium this past weekend.

OREGON: Sophomore outfielder Connor Hofmann is hitting .273 (6-22) with a homer and five RBIs in 10 games. Oregon was 2-2 in the Nike Showcase tournament over the weekend.

SANTA CLARA: Junior pitcher Chris Mendoza is 0-0, 8.25 with a save and a three strikeouts in 12 innings in five games. SCU lost to San Jose State in the championship game of SJSU's Jack Clifford Memorial Tournament this past weekend.

SEATTLE: Junior infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .191 (9-47) with a homer and 12 RBIs after 14 games. Seattle was 1-2 at UC Davis over the weekend; it plays host to UConn today.

UC IRVINE: Freshman infielder Chris Rabago is hitting .300 (3-10) with one RBI in seven games. Junior pitcher Mark Trentacosta is 0-0, 1.59 in 5.2 innings in four games, with seven strikeouts. UCI went 2-1 against BYU over the weekend; it plays Pepperdine at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

UC RIVERSIDE: Sophomore pitcher Dylan Stuart defeated Sacramento State on Friday and is 2-2, 4.85 in four games, with 17 strikeouts over 26 innings pitched. Freshman pitcher Antonio Gonzales is 0-0, 7.36 in five games, with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings; freshman Cody Dill hasn't pitched yet. Riverside was 2-1 vs. Sacramento State over the weekend.

PORTLAND: Freshman infielder Caleb Whalen is hitting .317 (13-41) with two homers and nine RBIs in 12 games. Junior pitcher Chris Johnson is 1-1, 5.73 in 11 innings over three games, with nine strikeouts; his scheduled start against Air Force on Sunday was rained out. UP swept three games from the Falcons on The Bluff over the weekend.

WASHINGTON STATE: Sophomore outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting .364 (16-44) with seven RBIs in 12 games. The Cougars lost 2 of 3 at UNLV over the weekend.

TEXAS: Sophomore infielder Alex Silver is hitting .190 (4-21) in seven games, with no homers and two RBIs. Sophomore pitchers Trevor Tykel and Justin Peters have not played yet. The Longhorns split two games with Loyola Marymount in Austin over the weekend.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman utility man Greg Mahle is hitting .364 (17-44) with no homers and 10 RBIs, in 13 games and is 0-0, 7.04 with six strikeouts in 7.2 innings as a pitcher in three appearances. UCSB was 1-2 at Nevada this past weekend.

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: Freshman infielder Jack Graham is hitting .195 (8-41) over 12 games, with two RBIs. The Penguins split two games at VMI this past weekend.

TEXAS TECH: Junior Aaron Corwin is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA over one inning in his lone appearance. He did not pitch in a loss to TCU, the only game the Red Raiders could play of a scheduled 3-game series in Fort Worth.

CORNELL: Sophomore infielder Ryan Plantier is hitting .500 (1-2) with two RBIs in two games. He did not play in a four-game series at George Washington this past weekend.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: Here's the latest edition of the Gems Player Spotlight, a regular feature of the Klamath Falls website.


OSU's home opener; Gotta stays red-hot

March 9, 2012

It's another glorious, sunny day down at the WWHQ and better yet, it's Opening Night at Oregon State. Baseball is back in Corvallis!

Our longtime partner school gets the local baseball scene off to a flying start tonight when it hosts West Virginia at 5:35 p.m. at Goss Stadium. Knights' alum Ben Wetzler (2011) is the scheduled starter. Knights alum Jace Fry (2011) starts Saturday's 3 p.m. game against Illinois.

We've got plenty of other alums on the team (Taylor Starr, Ryan Gorton, Adam Duke, Matt Boyd, Scott Schultz, Danny Hayes, Jake Rodriguez). Freshmen pitchers Michael McCall, Carlos Rodriguez and Mitchell Tripp, and freshman catcher Nate Esposito will join us after OSU's season is over.

So, good luck to the Beavers!

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Like the Beavers, all of our other 2012 signees should be in action this weekend. Several got a head start and played on Thursday; here's an update:

* Riverside City College outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) prolonged his current hot streak by hitting an inside-the-park two-run homer, singling and scoring twice in a 6-4 victory over Golden West College.

Cade's hitting .429 (9-21) in his last six games, with a homer, six RBIs, three doubles, a triple and nine runs scored. He's upped his average from .235 to a robust .309 in that span, and now has two homers and 11 RBIs in 17 games.

* UC Irvine reliever Mark Trentacosta (2011-12) pitched two scoreless innings and was credited with a hold in a 3-1 victory over BYU. He struck out four and allowed one hit.

* Mt. Hood CC lost 4-3 to Clark (Wash.) CC on Wednesday. Infielder Alex Foulon (2011-12) was 2-for-5, catcher Dane Lund (2011-12) was 0-for-3 and outfielder Tristan Metcalf (2012), a 10-day signee, was 0-for-2.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed pitchers Jeff Gonzales of Bellevue College and Chris Harper of Ohlone College for the 2012 season. Here are the details from the Bells' website.

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That's it for today. Sorry for the abreviated blog, but it's a Friday and we've got a Beavers game to go to! Play ball!


Altobelli named the Johnny Bench Award watch list

March 8, 2012

Some good news this morning via Lubbock, Texas, the home of the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Junior catcher and former Corvallis Knight Bo Altobelli is one of 43 players from around the country to be listed on the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award for the second season in a row.

He is one of 11 players to be named to the Bench Award Watch List for the second consecutive season. He's hitting .306 (15-49) this season, with seven runs, one home run, six RBIs and three steals in three attempts.

The award honors players who serve as their team's starting catcher in at least 75 percent of the games. Semifinalists will be announced on May 16, finalists on June 4. The winner will be announced on June 28 in ceremonies at Wichita, Kan.

So, congrats to Bo!

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The always-anticipated countdown hits 85 today: It's a mere 85 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla against the Sweets. And that means, just 89 more days until Opening Night VI, June 5 against the Klamath Falls Gems.

I know it seems like a long ways away, but it's not. And with the Beavers opening their home season on Friday night against West Virginia, it seems closer than ever. So make sure you order your season tickets and three-game mini-packs, either online or at the Knights WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvegas.

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Pretty slim day on Wednesday in the world of college baseball. Only one of our feeder schools was in action.

* Ex-Knights shortstop Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was 1-for-4 for Seattle U in a 1-0 victory over St. Joseph's. Teammate Nate Roberts (2011-12) did not play.

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Here's a story from The Daily Herald, a suburban Chicago newspaper, on former Knights star Brent Morel (2006-07), the starting third baseman for the Chicago White Sox and one of the stars of our January Hot Stove Night.

The ChiSox expect a big season from Morel after a strong September. He had eight homers and 19 RBIs in that month and walked 15 times in 85 at-bats after walking just seven times in his previous 328 at-bats.

"Finishing up strong definitely gives me some confidence going into this season," Morel says in the story. "Like I said, I don't think I'm going to go out there and hit 40 home runs or anything, but hitting for more power is something I think I'm capable of doing."

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Former Knight Matt Hague (2005), the "Slider Guy" on our posters, programs and other promotional material, is bidding for a big-league job with the Pittsburgh Pirates after a strong season at triple-A Indianapolis earned him a spot on their 40-man roster.

Here's a writeup on the former Washington/Oklahoma State star from the website Rum Bunter, a Pittsburgh sports website that I've never heard of.

Here's another story that mentions Hague from MLB.com, with a video of a two-run homer he hit off of Corvallis native Kevin Gregg of the Orioles two nights ago.


Big day for future Knight Nick Torres

March 7, 2012

It was a big day for 2012 Corvallis Knight Nick Torres of Cal Poly on Tuesday when the Mustangs visited Santa Clara for an unofficial Corvallis Knights reunion day at Schott Stadium.

Santa Clara won 11-6, but Torres was the star. He homered, doubled, scored twice and drove in a run to raise his average to .353. Former Knight Jimmy Allen (2011) also doubled, singled twice, scored a run and drove in another for the Mustangs to up his average to .404.

Cal Poly's David Armendariz, our 2011 MVP, was 2-for-4 with a run. Mitch Haniger (2010) was 0-for-4 and Alex Michael was 0-for-1 for the Mustangs.

Chris Mendoza (2010-12) pitched the first five innings for Santa Clara and allowed four earned runs. He was not involved in the decision. Ex-Knight Justin Viele (2010) was 2-for-3 and scored twice for the Broncos.

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Some other former or future Knights were also in action on Monday-Tuesday; here's a roundup.

* Portland's Caleb Whalen (2012) was 1-for-4 in a 5-0 win at Concordia on Tuesday. Sean Myrom (2011) was 0-for-3 for the Cavaliers.

* UC Riverside's Mitch Patito (2010-11) allowed three runs and had seven strikeouts in four innings and was the losing pitcher in a 4-0 setback at UCLA on Monday.

* Seattle infielder Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was 1-for-3 with a run in a 4-3, 10-inning victory over St. Joseph's on Tuesday. They play again today.

* DH Alex Silver (2012) of Texas was 1-for-4 on Tuesday in a 2-1, 12-inning victory over Dallas Baptist.

* Pitcher Greg Mahle of UC Santa Barbara was 1-for-1, allowed three earned runs and had four strikeouts in 5.1 innings of a 7-6 loss to Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday. He left with a 6-4 lead but was not involved in the decision.

* Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) doubled twice, scored once and drove in a run on Monday in Riverside City College's 8-2 win over Fullerton JC.

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Pacific University pitcher Rob Dittrick, (2012) a 10-day signee, was named the Northwest Conferenbce Pitcher of the Week for his performance in a 7-1 victory over No. 2 Linfield this past Saturday. The junior from Mililani, Hawaii, threw Pacific's second complete game of the season and allowed just three hits over the first six innings.

He helped lead Pacific to its first series win over the Wildcats since 2001. Congrats to Rob!

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Great exposure for the Knights in the Salem Statesman-Journal this morning, with their Page 3 story on new assistant Andy Jenkins, a Salem native and graduate of South Salem High School. Most of our boosters come from the Albany-Corvallis area, but we've had some fans from Salem-Keizer at the ballpark and we always want to keep them in the loop.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

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

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That's it for today, barring some late developments. We're down to 86 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla; it's just 90 more days until our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls.

So, don't forget to order season tickets, or our new 3-game mini-packs, either online or in person at our World Wide Headquarters (WWHQ) in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

See you on Thursday!


Knights hire Andy Jenkins as new assistant coach

March 6, 2012

We're off to co-host the Joe Beaver Show on KEJO, the flagship station of the Knights, in about an hour. The Blog will be pinch-hitting for Mike Parker, who is in Los Angeles for the Pac-12 men's basketball tournament.

But we've got a few news items to get out of the way first, starting with this headliner:

The Knights have hired former Oregon State star Andy Jenkins as our assistant coach, succeeding the Klamath Falls-bound Billy Clontz. "Jenks" will join fifth-year head coach Brooke Knight and second-year pitching coach Connor Lambert on our summer staff.

Andy played at South Salem and at Mt. Hood before heading to OSU in 2004-05. He then played in the Florida (now Miami) and Texas minor-league systems for six years until retiring in 2011. He's an undergraduate assistant at OSU this spring while finishing up his degree.

Here are all the details on our latest addition. Welcome aboard!

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A future Knight and a former Knight were nominated for Big West Conference honors this week, but were not selected.

Cal Poly freshman infielder Nick Torres (2012) hit .389 (7-18) at the SDSU Aztec Invitational, with two doubles and two RBIs, and was nominated for Player of the Week.

UC Riverside senior Eddie Orozco (2008-09) went eight innings in a 10-1 win at Sam Houston State on March 3. He allowed one run and seven hits and six strikeouts, and was nominated for Pitcher of the Week.

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We updated the statistics of our Division I players yesterday, Today, 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 .226 (7-31) in 11 games, with two homers and five RBIs. Utility Chris Bishop is 0-for-7 as a hitter, but is 1-0, 1.99 in four games as a pitcher, with 18 strikeouts in 22.2 innings.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 2-1, 3.33 in five games, with 19 strikeouts in 27 innings. Pitcher Mike Massari is 0-2, 4.50 in eight games, with 10 strikeouts in 10 innings.

GEORGE FOX: Pitcher Alex Keenan is 2-1, 2.45 in four games, with five strikeouts in 7.1 innings.

GRAND CANYON: Pitcher Jorge Perez is 0-2, 4.41 in four games, with 19 strikeouts in 16.1 innings.

WESTERN OREGON: Outfielder Matt Nylen is hitting .288 (15-52) in 14 games, with no homers and nine RBIs.

LINFIELD: Pitcher Zach Manley is 1-1, 5.84 in 13 innings in three games, with 15 strikeouts.

PACIFIC: Pitcher Rob Dittrick is 2-1, 3.27 in four games, with 14 strikeouts in 22 innings.

CORBAN: Infielder Marc Gallegos is hitting .441 (26-59) in 14 games, with seven RBIs.

CONCORDIA: Pitcher Eric Weir is 0-1, 5.73 in four games, with 15 strikeouts in 22 innings.

RIVERSIDE CC: Outfielder Cade Gotta is hitting .283 (13-46) in 15 games, with a homer and eight RBIs.

COLLEGE OF THE SISKYOUS: Infielder Caylen Clardy is hitting .289 (13-45) in 12 games, with no homers and five RBIs.

MT. HOOD: The Saints have not updated their stats; pitcher Kendall Motes, catcher Dane Lund, infielder Alex Foulon and outfielder Tristan Metcalf will play for the Knights this summer.

LINN-BENTON: The Roadrunners have not updated their stats. Infielder Austin Hamilton will play for the Knights this summer.

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Some news from around the WCL:

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have signed four players from Pacific Lutheran and George Fox, two of the Northwest's top NCAA Division III programs. They are left-handed pitcher Trevor Lubking and outfielder Taylor Wattenberg of PLU, and infielder Derek Blankenship and catcher Josh Rapacz of George Fox. Here are all the details from the team's website.


Knights announce three-game mini-plans

March 5, 2012

Welcome back to reality - er, Monday - after a beautiful weekend in the Center of the Universe, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. If Saturday and Sunday didn't get you fired up for baseball, nothing can!

We're down to 88 days until our June 1 opener in Walla Walla against the Sweets, and down to 92 more days until Opening Day VI, set for June 5 at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

And we've just made it easier and more affordable for you to purchase Knights' tickets. Starting today, we're offering three three-game mini-ticket plans so you can reserve a seat for some of our top promotional nights, and save a few bucks in the meantime.

So, check it out by clicking right here. You won't be sorry!

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The Blog will be talking some Corvallis Knights baseball (and other topics) on Tuesday, when we pinch-hit for Mike Parker and co-host the Joe Beaver Show with Jon Warren. Should be fun.

The show will air from noon until 2 p.m. on KEJO 1240 AM, our flagship station. We'll also have some important Knights news to announce that will be of interest to all our fans. So tune in; if you can't listen via radio, KEJO's streaming audio is available by clicking here.

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Former Knights' Brent Morel (2006-07) and Matt "Slider Guy" Hague (2005) signed their 2012 contracts with the Chicago White Sox and Pittsburgh Pirates, respectively, over the weekend.

Brent is the ChiSox starting third baseman. Hague was promoted to the Bucs' 40-man roster in the offseason and is a good bet to make the team.

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It's a Monday after another weekend of competition for our 2012 Knights, so today we'll update the stats of our incoming Division I players. On Tuesday, we'll have updated numbers on our Division II, Division III, NAIA and junior college players.

Here we go!

CAL POLY: Freshman outfielder Nick Torres is hitting .340 (16-47) with no homers and seven RBIs in 12 games. Frosh outfielder Alex Michaels is at .250 (1-4) with no homers or RBIs in two games. Freshman Bryan Granger hasn't pitched yet. The Mustangs were 2-2 at the San Diego State Aztec Invitational last weekend.

OREGON STATE: Freshman pitcher Carlos Rodriguez is 0-0, 6.75 in four games, with two strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Freshman catcher Nate Esposito is hitting .000 (0-1) in two games. Freshman pitchers and Michael McCall haven't played yet. OSU went 3-1 in a tournament in Surprise, Ariz., last Thursday-Sunday.

OREGON: Sophomore outfielder Connor Hofman is hitting .278 (5-18) with a homer and five RBIs in seven games. Oregon swept a three-game set against Long Beach State last weekend to improve to 10-1.

SANTA CLARA: Junior pitcher Chris Mendoza is 0-0, 9.00 with a save and a three strikeouts in seven innings in seven games. SCU went 2-1 against San Jose State this past weekend.

SEATTLE: Junior infielder Nate Roberts is hitting .167 (6-36) with a homer and 10 RBIs after 11 games. Seattle defeated St. Martin's on Saturday in its lone weekend game.

UC IRVINE: Freshman infielder Chris Rabago is hitting .286 (2-7) with one RBI in five games. Junior pitcher Mark Trentacosta is 0-0, 3.00 in three innings in two games, with three strikeouts. UCI went 1-2 against Washington over the weekend.

UC RIVERSIDE: Pitcher Dylan Stuart is 1-2, 4.29 in three games, with 12 strikeouts over 21 innings pitched. Freshman pitcher Antonio Gonzales is 0-0, 10.12 in four games, with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings; freshman Cody Dill hasn't pitched yet. Riverside was 1-2 at Sam Houston State over the weekend.

PORTLAND: Freshman infielder Caleb Whalen is hitting .357 (10-28) with two homers and eight RBIs in eight games. Junior pitcher Chris Johnson is 1-1, 5.73 in 11 innings over three games, with nine strikeouts. UP was 1-2 at Cal State-Bakersfield over the weekend.

WASHINGTON STATE: Sophomore outfielder Nate Blackham is hitting at .406 (13-32) clip with seven RBIs in nine games. The Cougars won two of three vs. Northern Colorado over the weekend.

TEXAS: Sophomore infielder Alex Silver is hitting .277 (3-11) in four games played, with no homers and two RBIs. Sophomore pitchers Trevor Tykel and Justin Peters have not played yet. The Longhorns lost two of three at the Houston College Classic over the weekend.

UC SANTA BARBARA: Freshman utility man Greg Mahle is hitting .414 (12-29) with no homers and seven RBIs, and is 0-0, 11.57 with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings as a pitcher, in nine games. UCSB was 1-2 against Loyola Marymount this past weekend.

YOUNGSTOWN STATE: Freshman infielder Jack Graham is hitting .212 (7-33) over nine games, with two RBIs. The Penguins lost three games at the Austin Peay tournament this past weekend.

TEXAS TECH: Junior Aaron Corwin is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA over one inning in his lone appearance vs. Rice. Tech was 1-2 at the Houston Baseball Classic this past weekend.

CORNELL: Sophomore infielder Ryan Plantier was 1-for-2 with two RBIs in two games. Cornell swept a four-game series at Maryland-Eastern Shore this past weekend.

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That's all for today. We should have a story up on red-hot pitcher Eric Young of Delaware, a 2009-11 Knights' mainstay, later today; he has a 0.00 ERA and a 2-0 record in three starts.


Zep re-signs with world champion St. Louis Cardinals

March 2, 2012

Holy smokes, it's Friday already.

And that means there are just 91 more days until our June 1 opener against the Walla Walla Sweets at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla. It seems like only yesterday that we crushed the Sweets 14-3 there in the first game of the WCL's Championship Series, but it was really last Aug. 16.

The countdown to Open Day VI at Goss Stadium, June 5 against the Klamath Falls Gems, is now down to 95. Many of you Knights fans should be hearing from us soon, with a special opening-night offer, so don't ignore us when our telephone number pops up on your caller ID!

In the meantime, here's your daily ration of Corvallis Knights news.

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Former Knight Marc Rzepczynski (2006) has re-signed with the world-champion St. Louis Cardinals. A left-handed situational reliever, "Zep" was a key member of the team down the stretch after being acquired from Toronto just before the trade deadline.

His success with the Cardinals (0.00 ERA in four World Series appearances) has made him a more confident pitcher, according to this story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

Now 25, Zep's entering his fourth big-league season. He's 8-14 lifetime, with a 3.99 ERA and 178 strikeouts in 187 career innings in 96 appearances with Toronto and the Cardinals.

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Here's an interesting tidbit on ex-Knight Brent Morel (2006-07), the Chicago White Sox third baseman who was one of the stars at our Hot Stove Night back in January.

According to baseball analyst Lewie Pollis of Beyond the Box Score, Morel is a possibility to become the next Jose Bautista, the Toronto Blue Jays' slugger who has emerged from obscurity to hit 97 homers in the past two seasons.

Pollis' entire story can be found here. And here's more analysis on the piece from analyst Jonah Keri of the Internet website Grantland.

It's an interesting projection. Morel was awful for the first five months of the season, hitting a meager .250/.271/.317 on August 31. Then he turned into a three-true-outcomes machine, hitting .224/.340/.553 in September, with eight homers, 15 walks, and 18 strikeouts over 103 plate appearances.

One theory has Morel showing a better batting eye, which led to better pitches to hit, and thus his home run barrage. Maybe. Then again, Morel slugged .464 in 1,300-plus plate appearances as a minor leaguer. And while a streak of Zobrist-Bautista-Morse is pretty damn impressive, it's still a small sample.

More broadly, despite frequent speculation in baseball circles that second-half performance can portend a breakout the next year, we've yet to see a conclusive study on the issue. And then there's this: home run-to-flyball rate can depend on multiple factors beyond a hitter's control, from random statistical variance to the quality of an opposing pitcher.

Here are the pitchers who surrendered homers to Morel last September: Brad Penny, David Huff, Frank Herrmann, Rick Porcello, David Pauley, Tim Collins, Chad Durbin, and Everett Teaford. In other words, Morel's homer binge may well be the result of luck and a string of cream-puff pitchers.

But if the prophecy comes true and Morel does become the next Jose Bautista ... well, that's about as best-case as a best-case scenario could possibly be. (The White Sox still won't win anything, even if that happens.)

So, stay tuned.

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

* Pitcher Ben Wetzler (2011) allowed three runs and had four strikeouts in 5.2 innings and got a no-decision in a 5-4 loss to St. Mary's. Danny Hayes (2010) was 0-for-3 with a run; Jake Rodriguez (2010) was 0-for-1, and Ryan Gorton (2011) was 1-for-2.

* Cal Poly's David Armendariz (2011) and Mitch Haniger (2010) were 0-for-3 and Jimmy Allen (2011) was 0-for-3 in a 4-3 loss to San Diego State. Nick Torres (2012) was 2-for-4 with two runs and Chase Johnson (2011) gave up one run in one inning and took the loss.

* Riverside CC's Cade Gotta (2011-12) was 1-for-4 with a run in a 4-3 win over Santa Ana College.

* Grand Canyon's Jorge Perez (2012) allowed four runs in six innings, had eight strikeouts and got a no-decisoon in a 5-4 loss at Hawaii-Hilo.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: Former Elks outfielder Justin Maffei (2011) of the University of San Francisco is having a big spring with the Dons, according to this story in the San Mateo Daily Journal. Maffei played at the College of San Mateo the past two years.

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


More top talent headed for WCL this summer

March 1, 2012

Those of us associated with the Corvallis Knights and the West Coast League take great pride in the caliber of play our league provides. We're not the Cape Cod League, the gold standard in our field, but we're certainly one of the top three or four college summer baseball leagues.

A total of 130 former WCL players were in affiliated baseball last season, according to this report compiled by the WCL. Five former Knights played in the majors and many played affiliated baseball in the minors.

More top talent is one the way this summer. Nine of Baseball America magazine's Top 100 high school players eligible for the 2012 Major League draft are slated to play in the WCL this summer. All are likely to be drafted in June; all have committed to college programs, and must decide by mid-July if they will turn pro or attend school.

Cowlitz has four of the nine, led by catcher Clint Coulter, (30) an Arizona State signee from Camas, Wash.

Other top players headed for Cowlitz are Cole Irwin, (70), a left-handed pitcher from Yorba Linda, Calif. (Oregon); right-handed pitcher Felipe Perez (72) of Fullerton, Calif. (UCLA), and outfielder Andrew Pullin (80) of Centralia,Wash. (Oregon).

Three Top-100 players will join the Wenatchee AppleSox. They are shortstop Tanner Rahier (29) of Indian Wells, Calif. (San Diego); outfielder Ty Moore (85) of Mission Viejo, Calif. (UCLA), and right-handed pitcher Taylor Jones (94) of Kent, Wash. (Gonzaga).

Left-handed pitcher Hunter Virant (21) of Camarillo, Calif., (UCLA) will play at Walla Walla.

And the Knights have signed shortstop/pitcher Carson Kelly (28) of Westview High School (Oregon).

There's no guarantee they won't all turn pro. But if they don't, once again there will be plenty of young talent in the league this summer.

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Speaking of top talent and the Knights, former Knights Tyler Anderson (2009), Andrew Susac (2009) and Josh Osich (2008) are listed in MLB.com's rankings of the top 20 prospects in the respective major-league organizations.

A left-handed pitcher from Oregon who was the first former Corvallis Knight to be drafted in the first round (2011), Anderson is ranked No. 5 in the Colorado organization.

Susac and Osich played at Oregon State and were drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2011, Susac in the second round, Osich in the sixth. Susac is ranked 15th, while Osich is ranked 19th.

The aforementioned Carson Kelly is ranked No. 44 among all draft-eligible players.

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Former Knights pitchers Ben Wetzler (2011), Matt Boyd (2010), Taylor Starr (2008) and Jace Fry (2011) merit a mention in this story about Oregon State pitchers in the Corvallis Gazette-Times.

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Not much action on Wednesday involving 2012 Knights. The only games involving our current players were the two Seattle took from Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 and 8-3.

Infielder Nate Roberts (2011-12) hit a two-run homer in the opener but was a combined 1-for-8 on the day. Infielder Trent Oleszczuk (2011) had a double, single and two RBIs in the nightcap and was a combined 2-for-6 with a run and two RBIs.


EY is the Colonial Athletic Association Pitcher of the Week

February 29, 2012

We've got some great news to start off with on an otherwise dreary and cold day in the center of the universe, the Corvallis Knights' WWHQ in beautiful downtown Corvegas.

One of our favorite all-time Knights, Riverside CC/Delaware pitcher Eric Young, was named the Colonial Athletic Association's Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday for his outstanding performance against The Citadel this past Friday. Young blanked the Bulldogs on two hits through eight innings and got the victory in a 5-0 win.

Young still hasn't allowed a run in 15 innings over two starts this season. On opening day, he blanked Houston for seven innings and left with a 5-0 lead; however, the bullpen blew that advantage and he got a no-decision.

Here are all the details on the award, from the Delaware website. Way to go, EY!

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

* Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) of Riverside CC was 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI for Riverside CC in a 9-4 loss to Mt. San Antonio College.

* Infielder Nate Roberts (2011-12) of Seattle was 3-for-4 with an RBI in Seattle U's 3-2 loss to Nebraska-Omaha. Infielder Trent Oleszczuk (2011) was 0-for-3 with an RBI for Seattle.

* Santa Clara infielder Justin Viele (2010) scored two runs in an 8-4 win over Nevada.

* A ton of Knights helped UC Irvine to a 3-2 win over Japan Railroad, a touring team from that country's industrial league. Nick Hoover (2009-11) pitched the final 2/3 innings and got the win; Mark Trentacosta (2011-12) had two scoreless innings, with three strikeouts; Evan Brock (2010) pitched a scoreless inning; Sebastian Santos (2011) allowed a run in 2.3 innings, and infielder Chris Rabago (2012) was 0-for-3.

* UC Riverside pitcher Mitch Patito (2010-11) allowed three runs in four innings and had six strikeouts in an 8-5 loss to San Diego, but wasn't involved in the decision.

* Texas infielder Alex Silver (2012) was 1-for-3 with a run scored in a 2-0 win over Houston Baptist.

* UC Santa Barbara DH Greg Mahle (2012) was 4-for-5 with a double, a run and three RBIs in a 7-1 win at Fresno State.

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Great story in the San Francisco Chronicle on former Knights catcher Chris Stewart, (2001) who is competing for the backup job with the San Francisco Giants.

Best of luck to Stewart, who last year helped us out with this interesting Q & A for the Knights website.

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And Knights alum Tommy Hanson (2005) has recovered from a slight concussion suffered in a recent car accident and had an excellent throwing session with the Atlanta Braves in spring training on Tuesday.

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That's all for today. We'll have more Knights' news on Thursday.