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Knights Daily Update

Let the countdown begin!

January 10, 2012

Today is The Blog's one-year anniversary with the Knights. So it's a big day down here at the World Wide Headquarters. Let the party begin!

Also, my 2012 University of Richmond calendar finally arrived on Monday so this morning we promptly wrote in our schedule, and the countdown for the upcoming season, on the appropriate dates.

So, according to my definitely unscientific calculations, it's ONLY 143 more days until our June 1 opener at Walla Walla, and 148 more days until our June 5 home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Sounds like a long time, but it will go quickly. So make sure to get your 2012 season tickets, punch cards and Knights merchandise, either online or down here at the WWHQ in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis.

And remember, reservations are still available for our initial Hot Stove Night, set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 18 in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium. Admission is free.

The guest speakers are Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel; Miami Marlins Northwest area scout Gabe Sandy, and Knights' president Dan Segel.

Morel played for us in 2006 and 2007 and is the first Corvallis Knight to make the major leagues. Sandy coached for the team in 2005-06, when we were still based at Mt. Hood Community College, before the great migration southward for the 2007 season.

An autograph session will follow the event, and we'll also have a no-host after-party at the Hilton Garden Inn's Stadium Grill. Reservations can be made by e-mailing Knights' director of public relations Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

See you there!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed catcher Ryan Somers and pitcher Andrew Olson of Seattle University for the 2012 season, according to The Bellingham Herald newspaper. Somers is a returnee from 2011. Please click right here for more details.


Knights sign Keenan to 10-day contract

January 5, 2012

We've got another signing to report.

Right-handed pitcher Alex Keenan of George Fox University has agreed to a 10-day contract. He is a 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior from Portland who graduated from Jesuit High School in 2009.

A second-team Metro League all-star in 2009, Keenan then played at Mt. Hood Community College for two years before transferring to GFU for the upcoming season. At MHCC he was 0-1 with a 3.43 ERA in 2011, with 15 strikeouts in 21 innings over 15 appearances, and 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in 2010, with 10 strikeouts in 19 innings over 12 appearances.

We expect to add several more 10-day pitchers to strengthen the staff in early June, when we play 15 games in 17 days. Many of our 2012 pitching signees cannot report until classes at their respective schools end in mid-June.

Welcome, Alex!

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Junior right-handed pitcher Kyle Hart of the University of Redlands, a 2012 returnee and one of our top arms in 2011, is a big reason the Bulldogs are ranked No. 15 in Collegiate Baseball magazine's preseason NCAA Division III poll.

Redlands advanced to the NCAA tournament in 2011 and Hart was a Southern California Intercollegiate Conference all-star. Here are all the details, from the Redlands website.

Linfield College is ranked No. 6. Junior pitcher Zach Manley will join the club this summer, as the first Wildcat to play for the Corvallis Knights.


Knights pitcher rated among WCL's best

January 4, 2012

The website Summer Ball has included six Corvallis Knights in its rankings of the top arms in the West Coast League from the 2011 season.

So honored were lefties Ben Wetzler (4); Dylan Stuart (6); Jace Fry (7) and Mark Trentacosta (8), and righties Chris Johnson (10) and Max Beatty (14).

The better news is, Stuart, Trentacosta, Johnson and Beatty are signed to return in 2012. That foursome, and returnees Kyle Hart and Chris Mendoza, gives us a great foundation for returning pitching coach Connor Lambert to build a staff around.

Here's the complete story from the Summer Ball website. It's a great resource for summer-league baseball and often has stories on the Knights and other WCL teams.

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Don't forget, reservations are required for the Jan. 18 Hot Stove Night at Goss Stadium, featuring Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel and Miami Marlins scout Gabe Sandy.

Capacity in the Omaha Room is limited to 100, and we're well on our way to "selling out," even though the event is free. So send me an RSVP at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com if you're interested in attending. It should be a great night!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: Speaking of the Summer Ball website, here's a brief Q & A with 2011 Bells' pitcher Jack Vander Linden of Georgetown University, one of the first players from the Big East Conference to play in the WCL. Sounds as if he really enjoyed his summer in the Pacific Northwest.

BEND: The Elks have signed Arizona State sophomore right-handed pitcher Josh McAlister , a returnee from 2011, and Western Nevada sophomore pitcher Andrew Woeck, an NC State signee, for the 2012 season.

Read all about it by clicking on the lead item on the menu on the Elks website.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have redesigned their website; it looks sharp and is full of all the info you need on the Gems.


Hot Stove Night reservations still available

January 3, 2012

We're steadily filling up but reservations are still available for our first Hot Stove Night, planned for 7 p.m. Jan. 18 in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

Our special guests are Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel, our 2006 MVP and a 2006-07 Knights alum, and Miami Marlins scout Gabe Sandy, a former coach for the Knights.

Knights' president Dan Segel will also speak about our team and the future plans for the West Coast League.

Following a panel discussion, Morel, Sandy and Segel will answer questions from the audience and Morel will be available for autographs afterward. All guests are then invited to a no-host social at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The event is free, but limited to 100 guests. To reserve a spot, RSVP to Knights' public relations director Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

("Hot Stove" is a baseball-related term, referring to the sport's off-season. The phrase does not denote an actual league, but instead calls up images of baseball fans, anxious for the start of the new season, gathering around a hot stove during the cold winter months discussing their favorite teams.)

It should be a fun night. See you there!

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: Several news itens about the Bells. First, according to the Bellingham Herald newspaper, they've signed a deal with a new hotel property, which should be very convenient for visiting teams for the upcoming season.

And their bid for an East Division playoff berth, and moves made by their new ownership, earned them an honorable mention in the Herald's list of Bellingham's top 2011 sports stories.

COWLITZ:The Black Bears bid for a West Division playoff spot in their second season earned them a tie for 10th place in The Daily News of list of the top 10 sports stories for 2011 in Kelso-Longview.


Hot Stove Night on Jan. 18

December 30, 2011

We're pleased to announce the first of what we plan to make an annual tradition: Hot Stove Night.

("Hot Stove" is a baseball-related term, referring to the sport's off-season. The phrase does not denote an actual league, but instead calls up images of baseball fans, anxious for the start of the new season, gathering around a hot stove during the cold winter months discussing their favoriteteams.)

Chicago White Sox third baseman Brent Morel and Miami Marlins scout Gabe Sandy will be the featured speakers at the Corvallis Knights' first Hot Stove League night, scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Omaha Room at Goss Stadium.

Admission is free; the event starts at 7 p.m. and will also include Corvallis Knights president Dan Segel. Following a panel discussion, Morel, Sandy and Segel will answer questions from the audience; Morel will be available for autographs afterward.

Morel played for the Knights in 2006 and 2007, after his freshman and sophomore seasons at Cal Poly, and was our 2006 MVP. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2008, made his MLB debut in 2010, and hit .245, with 10 homers and 41 RBIs, as a full-time starter as a rookie this past season.

Sandy coached for the Knights and at Mt. Hood Community College before joining the Marlins. He is the team's Northwest area scout.

After the event, all guests are invited to a no-host social at the Hilton Garden Inn.

The event is limited to 100 guests. To reserve a spot, RSVP to Knights' public relations director Brooks Hatch at brooks.hatch@corvallisknights.com.

It should be a great night!

The office is closed on Monday as we celebrate the New Year's Day holiday. See you again on Tuesday!


Preseason honors galore for WCL alums

December 29, 2011

We are back (finally), after a short vacation over the Christmas break. Time off is always nice, but it's also good to return to the Knights' World-Wide Headquarters (the WWHQ) in downtown Corvallis and see what's been happening while we're away.

First, we've sold a lot of 10-game punchcards and lots of Knights' merchandise in the past week or so, but we've got plenty left. So stop in and see us if you're still interested in purchasing either item.

And, the College Baseball News magazine recognized plenty of former/current Knights and other players from around the West Coast League when it listed its preseason honorees in a recent edition. Here's a rundown:

Former Knight right-hander Eddie Orozco (2008-09) of UC Riverside was named the projected Big West Conference Pitcher of the Year.

Top Players to Watch in the Big West included ex-Knights OF David Andriese (2010-11) of) of UCR; OF Mitch Haniger (2010) and RHP Chase Johnson (2011) of Cal Poly and SS Matt Duffy (2010) of Long Beach State.

Other WCL Top Players to Watch in the Big West included SS DJ Crumlich, C Ronnie Shaeffer, 2B Tommy Reyes and LHP Matt Whitehouse of UC Irvine and Wenatchee, and Cal Poly RHP Joey Wagman of the Bend Elks.

Bend RHP Adam Norton of Notre Dame was a Top Player to Watch in the Big East.

Walla Walla 1B Goose Kallunki and Bellingham OF Kai Hatch of Utah Valley State were named Top Players to Watch in the Great West Conference.

Ex-Knights catcher Corey Davis (2010-11) of Wright State was named a Top Player to Watch in the Horizon League.

Bellingham RHP Tony Bryant of Oregon State was named the projected Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year.

Ex-Knight pitcher Dean McArdle (2010) of Stanford; 1B Taylor Ard (2009) of Washington State and 2B Jake Rodriguez (2010) and LHPs Ben Wetzler, (2011), Matt Boyd (2010) and Jace Fry (2011) of Oregon State were named Top Players to Watch in the Pac-12.

Other WCL Top Players to Watch in the Pac-12 included Cowlitz RHP Alex Keudell of Oregon; Kelowna OF Aaron Jones of Oregon; Wenatchee RHP Zach Weiss of UCLA and Bellingham 3B Cody Regis, OF Jeff Gelalich and RHP Scott Griggs of UCLA.

Ex-Knights third baseman Thomas McCarthy (2010) of Kentucky was named a Top Player to Watch in the SEC.

Kelowna SS Bo Cuthbertson of Southern Utah was named the projected Player of the Year in the Summit League.

Wenatchee 2B Cam Schiller of Oral Roberts, Walla Walla 3B Zach Wentz of North Dakota State and Kitsap LHP Richie Mascheri of Western Illinois were named Top Players to Watch in the Summit League.

Wenatchee LHP Marco Gonzales of Gonzaga was named the West Coast Conference's projected Pitcher of the Year. Knights RHPs Kyle Kraus (2009-10) and Chris Johnson (2011-12) of the University of Portland were named Top Players to Watch in the WCC.

Bend OF Royce Bolinger and RHP Andy Hunter of Gonzaga; Bend LHP Jordan Remer of San Francisco; Wenatchee RHP Owen Jones of Portland; Spokane 1B Nik Balog of San Francisco; Cowlitz LHP Matt Mauer of Pepperdine and Klamath Falls OF Turner Gill of Portland were named Top Players to Watch in the WCC.

Wenatchee OF Breland Almadova of Hawaii and Bend 3B Tyler Christian of San Jose State were named Top Players to Watch in the WAC.

WCLers Tony Bryant of OSU, Cam Schiller of Oral Roberts, Marco Gonzales of Gonzaga and Bo Cuthbertson of Southern Utah were named CBN third-team All-America.

Those players are just a sampling of the outstanding talent we're bringing to the WCL every summer.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have signed Cole Irvin, a member of the US 18U National Team and University of Oregon signee, and infielders Ben Swinford (Cornell), Alex Rubanowitz (UC Riverside) and Peter Maris (UC Santa Barbara) for the 2012 season.

Here are all the details on the signing from the Our Sports Central website and even more on the story from The Daily News newspaper of Kelso-Longview.


Knights add 10-day signee Marc Gallegos of Corban

December 22, 2011

Every game counts the same in the West Coast League.

So we're doing our best to solidify our roster for the first couple weeks in June, when our players from Oregon State, Oregon, Cal Poly and other schools that are still in session at that time haven't yet arrived in Corvallis.

Toward that end, we've signed freshman middle infielder Marc Gallegos of Corban College in Salem. He's a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder who was a first-team 4A all-stater at Astoria High School in 2011.

He joins pitchers Chris Bishop (PLU) and Mike Massari (Redlands); infielders Austin Hamilton (Linn-Benton CC) and Ryan Plantier (Cornell) and outfielders Caylen Clardy (College of the Siskyous) and Tristen Metcalf (Mt. Hood CC) on our list of 10-day signees.

Welcome, Marc.

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Remember, the Knights' world-wide headquarters in the Madison Plaza building in downtown Corvallis is open through 5:30 p.m. Friday, 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 (just sold five more of them), 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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Here's some news from around the West Coast League:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have a new GM (Nick Caples) and he's off to a good start at one of the WCL's charter, anchor franchises.

According to their most recent newsletter, the Bells have already surpassed the number of season-ticket holders from 2011 since they launched a season-ticket sales campaign in early December. That's great news; they ranked eighth in attendance in the WCL in 2011 by averaging 613 fans per game at Joe Martin Field.

We visit Bellingham on July 3-5. I imagine one of those games will be a fireworks night, so we're certain to have a big crowd for the show. The Bells visit Goss Stadium on June 26-28.

Here's more on the Bells from this interview from the Baseball Trenches website.

KLAMATH FALLS: Speaking of Baseball Trenches, here's an interview from that site with Gems' GM Chuck Heeman. Chuck is very complimentary of new Gems' manager Josh Hogan, the former Knights standout (2007-09) who takes the reins this season. Josh will be assisted by former Knights star and coach Billy Clontz.

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That should wrap it up for the Blog for the week, as we're off on Friday (the office will still be open, remember). So here's wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and we'll reconnect again on Tuesday.


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.