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Knights Daily Update

Knights Daily Update

Remember, we've got punchcards, etc.

December 21, 2011

We're getting pretty close to wrapping things up before Christmas down here at the WWHQ, the Knights' world-wide headquarters. We're open through Friday afternoon, but will be closed on Monday.

So, you'd better get down here for your last-minute Christmas shopping. We've got our popular 10-game punch cards available for $40, and we're fully stocked with Nike team merchandise.

Also, we are retiring our cardinal jerseys and they are available for $85. For an extra $10, we can print your name on the back. To order, email dan.segel@corvallisknights.com or call 541-752-5656.

We'll be open again after Christmas as usual on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

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Former Knights catcher Alex Burg, the MVP of our 2008 WCL Championship team, was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored on Tuesday for the World Team in the Australian Baseball League All-Star Game.

Here are the details, with links to the box score, etc.

The World team, coached by Knights' skipper Brooke Knight of the Perth Heat, defeated the Australian All-Stars 8-5 at Perth.

Congrats to Alex and Brooke!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: Good news for the Sweets: Radio broadcaster Tristan Hobbes will return for another summer behind the mic at Borleske Stadium and on the road, according to the Sweets' website.

The blog had a lot of fun meeting Tristan last summer and we look forward to seeing him again in Walla Walla on June 1-3 and in Corvallis on June 13-15, when we face the Sweets in a rematch of the 2011 WCL Championship Series.

The WCL All-Star Game is at Walla Walla on July 24 so he'll probably handle the play-by-play for that game as well.


Knights to run 2012 Reser's Oregon All-Star Series

December 20, 2011

This isn't specifically Corvallis Knights news, but it does involve our franchise so bear with me today.

The Knights are pleased to announce that Reser's Fine Foods will return as the title sponsor of the 2012 Oregon High School Baseball 5A/6A All-Star Series for the second year. Scheduled for June 16-17 at Goss Stadium, the series will again be managed by the Knights, with Nike Team Sports as an accompanying sponsor.

We play at Bend on those days, so there won't be a Knights/Reser doubleheader, as was the case in 2011.

The three-game OAS series matches the top players from the North against the best players from the South. It begins with a 1 p.m. doubleheader on June 16, to be followed by a single game at noon on June 17. All games are nine innings.

The North swept last year's inaugural series 3-0. Southridge High School pitcher Jace Fry, a 2011 West Coast League all-star with the Knights and now a freshman at Oregon State, was the Most Valuable Player.

Future Knights infielder Austin Hamilton of North Salem and Linn-Benton CC was the South's Most Outstanding Player.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed pitchers Nick Busto and Brian McAfee from Cornell University; Kevin Davidson and Kevin Sprague from Cal Riverside, and Tommy Nance of Santa Clara. Here are all the details from The Daily News newspaper of Kelso-Longview.


Knights hire our first two interns

December 19, 2011

We're pleased to announce the hiring of our first two Oregon State College of Business interns of the 2012 season, Kaitlynn Phillips and Carli Sash.

Sash is a junior from Jacksonville, Ore., majoring in Business Information Systems and Business Administration, with an International option. Phillips is a sophomore Merchandising Management/Business and Entrepreneurship major who grew up in the Marshall Islands.

Our interns are the public face of the Knights. They're the people on our front lines at Goss Stadium, running promotions, selling merchandise, directing the fans to their seats, etc., so we take great care in hiring these positions.

Here are more details on our new interns, from our website. We'll have more hirings to announce as we get closer to the season.


Alex Silver video; Hot Stove Night; honors for Kraus, Alex Burg

December 15, 2011

We are back, after a one-day hiatus while we attended to some other Corvallis Knights business.

First, we saw this video about 2012 Knight Alex Silver of Texas on ESPNU the other night. Please watch it, it's inspiring! We can hardly wait for Alex to join us in June!

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And, here's an early heads-up. The Knights will host a FREE "Hot Stove League" night on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at a to-be-determined location. Among the guest speakers will be Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel, the first Corvallis Knight to play in the majors.

We'll also have a few other guest speakers from the world of professional baseball. We envision this as a fan fest, autograph session and panel discussion with the opportunity for guests to ask questions.

It should be a treat for any baseball fan, and an opportunity for kids to meet a genuine major-league baseball player in person.

As we said, details haven't been completely finalized but they will be soon. We do know it's on Jan. 18, and it's free. So save that date for a night of baseball.

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Former Knights pitcher Kyle Kraus (2009, 2010), a senior at the University of Portland, was named a second-team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Kraus was 10-3 in 15 games, with a 3.30 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 109 innings in 2011. Kyle was a WCL all-star for us in 2009 and 2010; he played in the Cape Cod League this past summer.

Congrats, Kyle!

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Some big news about former Knights catcher Alex Burg of Washington State, our 2008 MVP who is in the San Francisco Giants organization and is presently playing for coach Brooke Knight in the Australian Baseball League.

Alex and the Heat recently played in the 2011 Asia Series against the best teams from Japan, Korea and the Chinese Professional Baseball League, and he was selected to Team World for the ABL All-Star Game, to be televised by the MLB Network on Dec. 21.

Here are more details from the Washington State website.

Alex is also ranked as the No. 3 American player in the ABL, according to this story on MLBforlife.com.

Congrats, Alex!

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Speaking of coach Knight, now that our recruiting for 2012 is essentially done and he has an idea of what our projected roster will look like, he sees no reason we shouldn't contend for another West Division title and a repeat WCL championship.

Here's a story from our website with more of coach Knight's analysis and expectations. Of course, we still may sign several more players to 10-day contracts, but that shouldn't change his overall view of the club.

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Our recent story on new play-by-play announcer Kevin Burke recently appeared in his hometown paper, The Loudoun Times of Leesburg, Va. The Knights are nationwide!



Knights sign Newport native Tristen Metcalf

December 13, 2011

OK, I know we wrote yesterday that we'd finished our signings for the 2012 season. Well, apparently we haven't.

We've added a 10-day player, Newport native Tristen Metcalf, to the roster. He'll give us added depth early in the season, when some of our projected full-time players aren't available because their schools haven't finished the spring term/semester, or because their teams are in the NCAA tournament.

A 5-foot-11, 190-pound outfielder, Metcalf is a sophomore at Mt. Hood Community College who has signed with New Mexico State for the 2012-13 academic year. He played at Orange Coast College in Cosa Mesa, Calif., in 2011 and hit .314 in 26 games, with no homers and 13 RBIs.

Welcome, Tristen.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WENATCHEE: Former AppleSox star Vinnie Catricala (2007) has been named the Seattle Mariners' Minor League Player of the Year. Here are the details from the Mariners.

He's just another example of the caliber of player you'll see all summer in the WCL.


Knights complete signings for 2012 season

December 12, 2011

A Corvallis native and a 2011 West Coast League all-star are the final projected signings for the 2012 Corvallis Knights, who open the West Coast League season at Walla Walla on June 1.

Right-hander Aaron Corwin, a junior reliever at Texas Tech, returns to the Knights after a one-year hiatus. He graduated from Corvallis High in 2009 and starred for the Spartans and for the Richey's Market American Legion program.

Corwin was 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA for the Knights in 2010, with 34 strikeouts in 39.1 innings as a starter/reliever. He was 1-0 in 19 games at Texas Tech in 2011, with a save and 19 strikeouts in 24.2 innings as a reliever.

Lefty Dylan Stuart, a sophomore at UC Riverside who was a first-team 2011 West Coast League all-star, will return to the Knights in 2012. Stuart was 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in nine games in 2011, with 31 strikeouts in 45.1 innings.

Stuart started for the West team in the WCL All-Star Game at Goss Stadium. He was also honored as the 2011 Big West freshman Pitcher of the Year after going 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 18 games for the Highlanders.

Stuart is one of six returning pitchers from the Knights' 2011 WCL championship team. He'll be joined by all-stars Mark Trentacosta, Max Beatty and Chris Johnson, and Chris Mendoza and Kyle Hart.

The Knights' home opener is set for June 5 against the Klamath Falls Gems. Here is the projected roster:

PITCHERS: Bryan Granger (Cal Poly); Greg Mahle (UCSB); Zach Manley (Linfield); Mitchell Tripp (Oregon State); Jorge Perez (Grand Canyon); Max Beatty (PLU); Chris Johnson (Portland); Kyle Hart (Redlands); Dylan Stuart (UC Riverside); Michael McCall (Oregon State); Justin Fischer (UCSB); Justin Peters (Texas); Trevor Teykl (Texas); Mark Trentacosta (UC Irvine); Chris Mendoza (Santa Clara); Cody Dill (UC Riverside); Aaron Corwin (Texas Tech); Carlos Rodriguez (Oregon State); Antonio Gonzales (UC Riverside).

CATCHERS: Nate Esposito (Oregon State); Dane Lund (Mt. Hood); Austin Barr (Camas, Wash.; Stanford commit).

INFIELDERS: Chris Rabago (UC Irvine); Caleb Whalen (Portland); Jack Graham (Youngstown State); Nate Roberts (Seattle); Nick Torres (Cal Poly); Alex Foulon (Mt. Hood); Alex Silver (Texas); Zach Green (Oregon State signee).

OUTFIELDERS: Jacob Hoffman (PLU); Nate Blackham (Washington State); Connor Hofmann (Oregon); Matt Nylen (Western Oregon); Cade Gotta (Riverside CC); Alex Michaels (Cal Poly).

10-DAY SIGNEES: P Chris Bishop (PLU); P Mike Massari (Redlands); Inf. Austin Hamilton (Linn-Benton CC); Inf. Ryan Plantier (Cornell); OF Caylen Clardy (College of the Siskyous); OF Tristen Metcalf (Mt. Hood CC).

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed incoming Oregon State freshman outfielder Logan Frandsen and redshirt freshman pitcher Matt Fielding for the 2012 season. Here are the details from the Elks' website; it's the top item on the menu.

COWLITZ: Here's a story from The Daily News of Kelso-Longview detailing the Black Bears' latest signees. THey have now signed 26 players for the upcoming season.


Dylan Stuart's back; Aaron Corwin returns

December 9, 2011

Just when you thought our 2012 pitching staff couldn't get any better, we announce the signing of two more quality arms.

Lefty Dylan Stuart, a sophomore at UC Riverside who was a first-team 2011 West Coast League all-star, will return to the Knights in 2012. So will righty Aaron Corwin, a junior at Texas Tech from Corvallis who played for the Knights in 2010 following his freshman year at Feather River JC in California.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Stuart was 2-1 with a 1.38 ERA in nine games in 2011, with 31 strikeouts in 45.1 innings, and had the WCL's best pickoff move. He also started for the West team in the WCL All-Star Game.

Stuart was also honored as the 2011 Big West freshman Pitcher of the Year after going 1-1 with a 1.72 ERA in 18 games for the Highlanders.

Stuart is one of six returning pitchers for us this summer. He'll be joined by all-stars Mark Trentacosta, Max Beatty and Chris Johnson, and Chris Mendoza and Kyle Hart.

Corwin (5-11, 165) was 3-0 with a 3.66 ERA for the Knights in 2010. He also had 34 strikeouts in 39.1 innings as a starter/reliever.

He was 1-0 in 19 games at Texas Tech in 2011, with a save and 19 strikeouts in 24.2 innings as a reliever.

That should complete our signings for 2012. We'll have a complete roster, and an early preview story, on our homepage sometime next week, so stay tuned.

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The Knights are going nationwide! Our recent story on new play-by-play broadcaster Kevin Burke was picked up by his hometown weekly, The Loudoun County Times, in Leesburg, Va.

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Our popular 10-game punchcards have been delivered and are now available for $40 at the Knights' WWHQ, in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis. Our office hours are from 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, although we sometimes out to lunch over the noon hour.

Punch cards make a great holiday present or stocking stuffer. Get yours by calling 541-752-5656 or by visiting us in person. While you're here, browse our new Nike merchandise. We are fully stocked for the holiday season. Knights branded apparel makes a great gift.

Also, we are officially retiring our cardinal jerseys and the jersey tops are on sale for $85. For an extra $10, we can print your name on the back. To order, email dan.segel@corvallisknights.com or call 541-752-5656.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Tyler Roberts, a junior at Campbellsville University, and Alex Bonczyk, a junior at Gonzaga University, for the 2012 season. Both formerly played at Walla Walla Community College.

Here are more details on the signing from the Sweets' website.


Knights sign LHP Antonio Gonzales of UC Riverside

December 7, 2011

Another day, another new player, as we continue to add quality pitching to our club.

The Knights have signed freshman pitcher Antonio Gonzales of UC Riverside for the 2012 season. He is a 6-foot-2, 185-pound lefty from Damien High School in La Verne, Calif.

Gonzales was a first-team Sierra League all-star in 2010 and 2011. He was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 49th round of the 2011 MLB draft after going 7-4 with a 2.18 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 70 innings as a senior.

"Antonio is a big, athletic left-handed pitcher who we anticipate filling a role in 2012," UC Riverside coach Doug Smith said.

He is the second UC Riverside freshman pitcher to sign with the Knights. He joins right-hander Cody Dill of Los Osos High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., who was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the 26th round of the 2011 draft.

Welcome aboard, Antonio!

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The Knights have hired our play-by-play broadcaster for the 2012 season. We're excited to welcome Kevin Burke, a senior at Virginia Tech who will join us for the June 1 opener at Walla Walla, shortly after he graduates from Tech with a communications degree.

Last summer he was the No. 2 announcer for the Salem (Va.) Red Sox in the Carolina League. Click here for a sample of his broadcasting chops.

He'll succeed our longtime broadcaster, Mike Parker, the voice of the Knights since our 2007 relocation to Corvallis from Gresham. Mike would love to continue but his busy year-round obligations with OSU football, basketball, baseball and various emceeing responsibilities keep him on the go, and away from his family, far too often so he's taking a well-deseerved break.

Here's more on Kevin, who is a native of Leesburg, Va.

Welcome aboard, Kevin!

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The latest issue of Baseball America arrived in the mail on Tuesday and several former Knights are mentioned prominently in the magazine's analysis of the 2011 draft, each team's farm system, and its projections for the 2012 draft.

* Catcher Andrew Susac (2009, Oregon State is ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the San Francisco organization. He played well in the fall instructional league and Baseball America projects he'll start in High-A, which would be San Jose of the California League.

* Left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009, Oregon) is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in the Colorado organization. Baseball America projects he'll start at low-A in 2012 but coud be in he majors by 2014.

* Outfielder Mitch Haniger, a junior at Cal Poly who played for the Knights in 2010, is ranked No. 49 on Baseball America's list of the top 100 college players. He played at Green Bay in the Northwoods league last summer.

* Shortstop Matt Duffy, a junior at Long Beach State who played for us in 2010, was ranked No. 92 in the top 100. He was a Cape Cod League all-star in 2011.

These rankings are just more evidence of the great talent on the Knights, and in the West Coast League.

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No news from around the WCL to report today. See you on Thursday!


A slow day at the World-Wide Headquarters

December 6, 2011

No news on the Corvallis Knights' front to announce today, It's pretty mellow here at the WWHQ, where we're bundled up against the unseasonably-cold weather and hoping it doesn't snow!

We will have some major news later this week once the I's get dotted and the T's get crossed, but for now we're keeping that to ourselves.

So stay tuned and we'll let you know what's up sometime later this week.

We do know that our 2012 10-game punchcards are supposed to arrive on Thursday. They're a great deal at $40 and they make a great holiday gift or stocking-stuffer. So stop in, say hello and buy one, we're here all week!

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There are a few items from around the West Coast League to announce.

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed Ian Ekery, a left-handed pitcher from Central Arizona University. He also played for Cowlitz in 2011.

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed shortstop Kai Hatch of Utah Valley College and third baseman Danny Poplawski of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., for the 2012 season.

They played for the Bells in 2011. Here are the details from the Bells' website.


Knights sign OSU lefty Carlos Rodriguez

December 5, 2011

Pitching has always been a hallmark of the Corvallis Knights and we're happy to announce our projected 2012 staff just got stronger.

The Knights have signed Oregon State freshman pitcher Carlos Rodriguez for the 2012 season. He is a 6-foot-3, 195-pound left-hander from Kapolei, Hawaii, who graduated from the Iolani School in 2011.

Rodriguez was ranked as the No. 1 player in Hawaii and 174th nationally in 2011 by Perfect Game USA. He was all-state as a junior and senior, and was selected by Atlanta in the 20th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball draft.

He played for the San Luis Obispo Blues in the California Collegiate League last summer and was 2-0 with a 3.90 ERA in seven games, with 36 strikeouts in 30 innings. He was a third-team all-star and rated as the No. 9 pro prospect in the league by Perfect Game USA.

Here's a profile on Rodriguez from OSU Beavers.com.

Rodriguez will join current OSU teammates Mitchell Tripp, Michael McCall and Nate Esposito, and 2012 Beaver signee Zach Green, on this summer's team.

Rodriguez will complement a staff that already includes Bryan Granger (Cal Poly); Greg Mahle (UCSB); Zach Manley (Linfield); Mitchell Tripp (Oregon State); Jorge Perez (Grand Canyon); Max Beatty (PLU); Chris Johnson (Portland); Kyle Hart (Redlands); Dylan Stuart (UC Riverside); Cole Wiper (Oregon); Michael McCall (Oregon State); Justin Fischer (UCSB); Justin Peters (Texas); Trevor Teykl (Texas); Mark Trentacosta (UC Irvine); Chris Mendoza (Santa Clara); Cody Dill (UC Riverside); and 10-day signees Chris Bishop (PLU) and Mike Massari (Redlands).

Beatty, Johnson, Trentacosta, Stuart, Hart and Mendoza are returnees from 2011, and Beatty, Johnson, Trentacosta and Stuart were West Coast League all-stars.

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Several new stories on our homepage detailing the exploits of former Knights.

* Former intern Matt Wilhelmsen, a 2009 Oregon State grad, is a top account executive with the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer.

* Former OSU outfielder/1B/pitcher Dylan Jones, our 2010 MVP and a two-year Knight (2009-10) is playing for the Perth Heat in the Australian Baseball League, under Heat coach Brooke Knight. Jones made his Heat debut on Monday and was 1-for-5 with two runs and an RBI in an 18-0 win over Canberra.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed Shawn O'Brien, Patrick Keane, and Darian Ramage of St. Mary's College for the 2012 season. O'Brien is a returnee; for more details click here and read the top story on the menu.

That's it for today. Stay warm!