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Knights Daily Update

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February 8, 2012

Welcome back, Oregon.

This morning's cold rain may have ended the early spring we've experienced in Corvallis this month, but it can't put a damper on our excitement about the upcoming season.

The Knights' brain trust (and me, too) had a brainstorming meeting yesterday in an attempt to finalize our 2012 promotional schedule. Of course we didn't finish it completely, but we came up with some pretty good ideas on our own and stole some others that, when combined, should make for a fun summer down at Goss Stadium.

It's still a work in progress, of course, but we should have our promotional schedule ready by early March and we think you'll like what you'll see. And remember, our 2012 opener at Walla Walla on June 1 is only 114 days away, and our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls is 118 days away.

In the meantime, on to the blog.

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The Knights were well-represented on Tuesday at the opening game at Concordia University's new Hilken Community Field in Portland. Concordia won the opener 5-2, PLU the nightcap 9-1.

Former Knight Sean Myrom (2011) of Concordia was 2-for-6 with a double in the twin bill, the first action of the season for both teams.

PLU's Corey Moore (2011) was 2-for-9 with three runs; future Knight Jacob Hoffman (2012) was 3-for-6 with a double and two RBIs, and Knight-to-be Chris Bishop (2012) allowed two unearned runs in 4.2 innings in the opener, with seven strikeouts. Ex-Knight Nathan Eisenhauer (2010) of PLU allowed one run and had one strikeout in relief in the nightcap.

Here's a link to all the details, from the Concordia website. There are also several nice photos of Myrom (12 & 19) in the photo gallery; you can also see Knights pitcher Max Beatty of PLU, who is missing this season while undergoing treatment for cancer, in the background in No. 19.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed UCLA right-handed pitchers Jake Ehret and David Berg for the 2012 season. Here are the details from The Bellingham Herald newspaper.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets earn a mention in this column by Jeff Morrow in the Tri-City Herald newspaper.

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That's all for today. We'll be back on Thursday, as usual.


PLU teammates shave heads in support of Max Beatty

February 7, 2012

Good morning, and a happy Tuesday to everyone. We at the Blog are sure the customary Oregon winter rains will return, but it sure feels like baseball weather out there lately, no?

So remember, it's only 115 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and just 119 until our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls. We sold more season tickets yesterday, and they're available online or at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in beautiful downtown Corvallis.

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By now you all probably know that Knights' veteran right-handed pitcher Max Beatty (2010-12) of Pacific Lutheran University will miss the Lutes' season while undergoing treatment for cancer. He started his chemotherapy regimen on Monday and had round 2 today.

What you might not know is that every member of the PLU team, except for pitcher Nathan Eisenhauer, a former Knight, has shaved his head in support of Max. Here are the details, in a story from the PLU website. (When you read it, you'll understand that Eisenhauer has a great reason for keeping his hair.)

The Knights have a strong connection with PLU. Lutes' coach Geoff Loomis is a former Knight, as are Beatty, Eisenhauer, and senior infielder Corey Moore. Sophomore Jacob Hoffman and freshman Chris Bishop will play for us this summer.

And we all know Max is a bulldog. We're all keeping him in our thoughts, and plan to see him healthy and back with the Knights sometime this summer.

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Several of our Division II, Division III and community college partner schools began their 2012 season last weekend. Here's a roundup:

* Riverside CC defeated El Camino-Compton 10-1 and lost to East Los Angeles 4-3. Outfielder Cade Gotta (2011-12) was a combined 0-for-6.

* Western Oregon took 3 of 4 at UC San Diego. Outfielder Matt Nylen, (2011-12) a transfer from Mt. Hood, was 0-for-6 in two games. Third baseman Griffin Boyd (2010-11) was 3-for-13 (.231) with an RBI in four games.

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Former Knights/Oregon State catcher Erik Ammon (2006-07) is profiled on our Knights alumni page. Check it out to see what "Ammo" is up to these days.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have released the logo and other details for the 2012 WCL All-Star Game, set for Tuesday, July 24, at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla.

The all-star game was revived in 2011 after a two-year hiatus and the Knights-hosted contest drew a game-record 2,517 fans to Goss Stadium. The Sweets are also expecting a big crowd this year.


Knights sign Kelly, Oregon 6A Player of the Year

February 6, 2012

More signing news today as the countdown hits 116: Only 116 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and a mere 120 days before our June 5 home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Carson Kelly of Westview High School, the 2011 Oregon 6A Player of the Year, has signed with us for the 2012 season.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound shortstop/right-handed pitcher, Kelly hit .473 in 2011, with 14 homers, 51 RBIs and a .973 slugging percentage for the state-champion Wildcats. He was also 9-1 as a pitcher, with a 1.64 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 64 innings.

Kelly was selected to play in the UnderArmour All-American Baseball Game at Wrigley Field last August. He was also named to the 2011 USA Baseball U-18 National Team for the COPABE Junior AAA/18U Pan American Championships in Cartagena, Columbia.

He has signed with the University of Oregon and should be an early selection in the major-league draft this June.

Welcome to the Knights, Carson!

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We've had even more classes from area elementary schools sign up for our Wednesday, June 6, Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium, when we play the Klamath Falls Gems at an 11 a.m. game.

There's still room for more classes, though. Interested teachers should contact jaimie.vanvleet@corvallisknights.com to reserve a a spot.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have hired former St. Martin's head coach Joe Dominiak as an assistant for the 2012 season. He's also coached at Chemeketa Community College in Salem; click the top item on the Elks website for the complete details.


Former Knights among top Baseball America prospects

February 3, 2012

We're down to 119 days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and 123 days until our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls. Remember, season tickets and 10-game punch cards are available online or at the Knights' world-wide headquarters in downtown Corvallis.

Now, let's get to today's Knights news:

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Four former Corvallis Knights were listed among the top Division I pro prospects by Baseball America magazine in its recent class rankings.

* Cal Poly outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) of Cal Poly was No. 47 in the junior class rankings. He played at Green Bay in the Northwoods League last summer.

* Oregon State sophomore left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler (2011) was ranked 35th and infielder/catcher Jake Rodriguez (2010) was No. 50 in the sophomore class rankings.

* OSU left-hander Jace Fry (2011) was No. 7 in the freshman class rankings.

And we reported yesterday that Pacific Lutheran junior right-hander Max Beatty was the No. 1-ranked prospect in NCAA Division III.

So congrats to all.

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Speaking of Fry, he has some stiffness in his back and might not be good to go for OSU's season-opening series at UC Santa Barbara on Feb. 17-20. Here are the details from The Portland Tribune newspaper.

Incidentally, that story reads like a who's-who of former and current Knights, with mentions of Fry, Wetzler, Jake Rodriguez, Danny Hayes, Ryan Gorton, Adam Duke, Josh Osich, Sam Gaviglio, James Nygren, Scott Schultz, Carlos Rodriguez, Matt Boyd, Nate Esposito and Andrew Susac, each of whom wore, or will wear, our cardinal and white.

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Right-handed pitcher Kyle McNutt (2011), formerly of Riverside Community College, has transferred to Cal Poly Pomona for his sophomore season. Here's his updated bio from the Broncos' website. CPP opens its season today with a home game against St. Martin's.

And Knights outfielder Matt Nylen (2011-12), who played at Mt. Hood CC in 2010 and 2011, has transferred to Western Oregon for his junior year. Former Knights infielder Griffin Boyd (2010-11) also plays for the Wolves, who open their season today at UC San Diego.

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Longtime partner school Riverside CC is ranked No. 11 in Perfect Game's preseason Top 25 poll. Sophomore outfielder Cade Gotta, a 2011 Knight who is returning this summer, will be one of the mainstays for the Tigers.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed pitcher Luke West, a University of Utah sophomore, and pitcher/utility J.J. Robinson, a Colfax (Wash.) High School senior who will play at Washington State, for the 2012 season. Here are the details from the Sweets' website.


Today some good news for Max Beatty

February 2, 2012

Yesterday we had some tough news to report about third-year Knight Max Beatty (2010-12) of Pacific Lutheran, who will miss the college season while undergoing chemotherapy for testicular cancer.

We have much happier news to report today. Baseball America magazine has rated the junior right-handed pitcher as the top professional prospect in Division III for the 2012 draft.

Here's the magazine's evaluation of Max (read the entire story right here:

1. Max Beatty, rhp, Pacific Lutheran (Wash.): Four-pitch righty with physical 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame has average fastball velocity, solid slider.

So, great for Max, an anchor on our staff who was a second-team West Coast League all-star, and a West Division all-star, last summer. It sounds as if he'll attract professional interest this June even if he doesn't play this season, and for sure will be considered again in 2013 after recovering.

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We've had great feedback so far from area elementary schools expressing their interest in our June 6 Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium, when we play the Klamath Falls Gems at an 11 a.m. game.

There's still room for more kids though. Interested teachers should contact jaimie.vanvleet@corvallisknights.com to reserve a a spot.



Max Beatty will miss PLU baseball season

February 1, 2012

We've got some tough news to report this morning.

Veteran Knights' righthander Max Beatty will miss the 2012 college season while undergoing treatment for testicular cancer. He was diagnosed this past December and immediately underwent surgery. He is likely to begin a 6-to-8 week course of chemotherapy in the near future.

A junior at Pacific Lutheran University in Puyallup, Wash., Beatty was a second-team All-West Coast League selection and a West Division all-star in 2011, when he was 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 12 regular-season and playoff appearances. He and Chris Johnson led the Knights in wins (6); Beatty led the team in innings pitched (63.1) and strikeouts (53).

Beatty will not pitch this spring, but hopes to redshirt and not lose a year of eligibility. He was an honorable-mention All-Northwest Conference pick in 2011 as a sophomore. He went 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in five appearances for the Knights in 2010.

"We will do anything and everything we can to support Max and to hasten his recovery," Knights president Dan Segel said. "He has been an integral part of our team the past two summers. Our thoughts, and those of our fans, are with him and his family at this time."

Beatty is a native of Vancouver, Wash., and starred at Ft. Vancouver High School before going to PLU. Cards of support should be mailed to Max Beatty, 811 SE 75th Court, Vancouver, WA 98664.

Max still hopes to pitch for us this summer.

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We're already getting positive feedback about our Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium, set for June 6 when we play the Klamath Falls Gems at 11 a.m. Here are the details, from our website. See you there!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed Rouric Bridgewater, Nathaniel Causey and Jake Peevyhouse of Arizona State for the 2012 season. Here are the complete details, from the Bellingham website.

BEND: The Elks signed pitcher Clay Bauer of the College of San Mateo and Oregon State outfielder Joey Mathews for the 2012 season. Read all about it by clicking here; it's the top item on the menu.

WENATCHEE: The AppleSox have hired future Mississippi State graduate Jonathan Barden as their 2012 play-by-play announcer. He succeeds Chris King, who will work for the Tri City Dust Devils this summer after two years in Wenatchee. Here are the details on the hiring, from the Wenatchee website.


Knights, da Vinci Days team up for Science & Art day

January 31, 2012

The Corvallis Knights and da Vinci Days are teaming up for Science and Art Day at Goss Stadium this June 6, when we host the Klamath Falls Gems in our second home game of the season.

It will feature interactive opportunities for elementary school students in Benton and Linn Counties. The game will start at 11 a.m.

It should be a fun and educational afternoon. Here are complete details, from our website.

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Oregon State freshmen pitchers Carlos Rodriguez, Michael McCall and Mitchell Tripp are expected to play a big role for the Knights this summer. Read more about this talented trio by clicking right here.

And speaking of OSU freshmen on the Knights, here's an interview with 2012 Knights' catcher Nate Esposito after a recent Beavers' practice.

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Former Knights infielder (1997) Bobby Scales has rejoined the Chicago Cubs organization after playing 80 games with the Nippon-Ham Fighters in the Japanese Pacific League in 2011. He hit .261, with nine homers in 287 at-bats upon joining the club after a solid half-season with the Iowa Cubs in the PCL.

Scales, 34, played for the Cubs in 2009 ands 2010 and hit .248 with three homers and 17 RBIs. He joined the Cubs organization in 2008 after spending seven years with the Padres (1999-2005), one with the Phillies (2006) one with the Red Sox (2007). He is a .284 lifetime hitter in 1,270 minor-league games, with 86 homers and 550 RBIs.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed outfielders Matt Ozanne, a junior from Santa Clara; Austin Diemer, a freshman from Cal State Fullerton; Brian Poupore, a freshman from Kansas, and Brian Carroll, a sophomore from UCLA, for the 2012 season.

Here are the complete details from the Cowlitz website.


Perth Heat advance to ABL finals

January 30, 2012

The Perth Heat, coached by five-year Knights' skipper Brooke Knight, advanced to the Australian Baseball League's championship series for the second year in a row on Sunday by defeating the Melbourne Aces 3-1 to win their first-round playoff series 3-1.

Here are the details on Sunday's victory from The West Australian newspaper (that's the back of Brooke's head in the photograph accompanying the story).

The top-seeded Heat, who won the regular-season title by 13 games, will face either the Aces again, or the Sydney Blue Sox, in the championship series, which starts Feb. 10 at Barbagallo Ballpark in Perth.

Sydney eliminated the Adelaide Bite in the other first-round best-of-5 series to advance. The top two seeds get a mulligan under the ABL's unique playoff formet and the loser of the Perth-Melbourne series gets a second chance to advance to the finals; Melbourne was the No. 2 seed.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed junior right-handed pitcher Josh Fredenhall, sophomore outfielder Will Sparks and freshman catcher Parker Guinn for the 2012 season. The details on all three players can be found in the second story on the menu on the Elks' website.


T-minus 126 days, and counting

January 27, 2012

We're back, after a Thursday spent over at OSU baseball media day compiling some interviews for stories on our 2012 Beavers/Knights that have already started to appear on the news portion of our website.

While we were away, the countdown to our June 1 opener at Walla Walla against the Sweets dropped down to 126 days. And that means it's just 130 days until Home Opener VI, set for June 5 against the Klamath Falls Gems at Goss Stadium.

Season tickets and 10-game punch cards are still available online and at the Knights' world-wide headquarters in the Madison Plaza building in beautiful downtown Corvallis. So stop in and see us, and pick up some Knights team merchandise so you're loking stylish for opening night!

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Speaking of those news stories, the first one appeared today, on catcher Nate Esposito and infielder Zach Green, both of whom come highly recommended by the OSU coaches. Click right here to read it.

We'll have another one on OSU freshmen pitchers Carlos Rodriguez, Mitchell Tripp and Michael McCall sometime next week.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Conner Eppard, Josh Chapman and Jackson Goulder of the University of Utah for the 2012 season. Here are the complete details from the Elks' website; the story is the second item on the menu.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Cal Poly freshmen pitchers Colton Haynes and Matt Imhof for the upcoming season. Read all about it on the Sweets' website.


Hart helps Redlands to No. 20 preseason ranking

January 25, 2012

Junior ace Kyle Hart, a key cog on our 2011 WCL championship team and a 2012 returnee, is a big reason the University of Redlands is No. 20 in the D3baseball.com preseason Top 25 rankings.

Hart was 9-3 with a 3.97 ERA for the Bulldogs in 2011 and was a Southern California Intercollegiate Conference all-star. He was was 5-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 14 regular season/playpff games for us in 2011, with 45 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.

Take away a horrible two innings in a 16-1 loss at Bellingham on July 18, when he gave up eight earned runs, and Hart had a 1.28 ERA and never gave up more than one run in any appearance. He had 10 strikeouts and held Klamath Falls to one hit over seven innings in an 11-0 win on Aug. 3, and also was the winner in Game 1 of the WCL Championship Series on Aug. 16, when we thumped host Walla Walla 14-3.

Redlands senior pitcher Mike Massari is also on the Knights this year, as a 10-day signee.

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One of our superstar 2011 interns, Oregon State senior gymnast Leslie Mak, was honored again by the Pacific-12 Conference on Tuesday for her performance in a dual win at Arizona this past Friday. Congrats to another great member of the Knights team.

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We've got four partner schools in the Big West Conference and one of them, UC Irvine, is ranked No. 2 behind Cal State Fullerton in the league's preseason coaches poll. Cal Poly is No. 4, UC Riverside is No. 5 and new 2012 partner UC Santa Barbara is No. 6.

Here are the complete rankings from the BWC website.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have signed RHP/C Josh Graham and LHP Brandon Brown of Oregon and infielders Brandon Trinkwon of UC Santa Barbara and Mike Umscheid of Western Nevada JC for the upcoming season.

Umscheid is from Sunset High School in Beaverton. He played in the Knights-organized Reser's All-Star Series at Goss Stadium last June (Incidentally, this year's series is set for June 16-17, again at Goss Stadium).

They also added three staff members and announced the resignation of pitching coach Mitch Karraker, who will instead coach for USA Baseball under Ducks' head coch George Horton.

Here are the complete details from Our Sports Central, a great source for WCL information.