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Knights Daily Update

Knights sign UC Irvine infielder Chris Rabago

November 10, 2011

You may have already seen this on our transactions page or on Facebook, but we've got a new signing to report.

The Knights have added freshman infielder/catcher Chris Rabago of UC Irvine for the 2012 season, general manager/coach Brooke Knight has announced.

He is a 5-foot-11, 180-pounder from Riverside Poly High School in Riverside, Calif. He was a two-time Big 8 League all-star, a three-year letterman, the Riverside Poly 2011 Athlete of the Year, and played for Angels Elite, a prestigious scout league team in Southern California.

Rabago hit .304, with a homer and 19 RBIs, for Riverside Poly in 2011 and .425 with five homers as a junior. He was also Riverside County's MVP in an 8-4 victory over San Bernardino County in the 2011 Inland Empire Baseball Coaches Association All-Star Game last June.

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Speaking of UC Irvine, there are lots of Knights in these photos of the Anteaters' annual "Baseball Spooktacular."

So check out the cosstumes worn by Sebastian Santos, Nick Hoover, Mark Trentacosta, Chris Rabago and Evan Brock. Looks like Mark has really taken to his adopted state of Oregon, as he's pretty spiffy in his Paul Bunyan logger outfit.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: The Elks have signed three University of Washington players for the 2012 season: junior right-handed pitcher Josh Fredenhall, sophomore outfielder Will Sparks and freshman catcher Parker Guinn.

Here's the complete story from the Bend website; it's the second item.


WCL sets attendance record for the sixth year in a row

November 9, 2011

All you faithful readers of The Blog (at least I hope there are some of you!) know I'm an attendance geek. It's one thing I ALWAYS look at in any box score, in any sport, at any level.

So obviously I was really geeked to read the WCL news release announcing the league's total attendance increased by 25 percent last season, to a record 330,445 fans.

You fans of the Knights certainly did your part. Our total attendance increased by nearly 11,500 to a franchise-record 42,447. That's more than three times the total attendance in our first year (12,729).

We hope to do even better in 2012, and help the league grow for a seventh year in a row.

And for any other attendance geeks out there, here's a link to summer baseball attendance throughout the country.

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As we've mentioned several times, former Washington State starter/reliever/graduate assistant coach Connor Lambert will return for another season as our pitching coach in 2012. Here's the complete story from the homepage of our website.

Corvallis pitchers set the WCL season record for strikeouts (401) and led the league in ERA (2.47) in 2011 in Connor's first season as pitching coach.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

KELOWNA: Second-year Falcons' coach Al Cantwell talks about the improvement he expects from his team in this video interview with Falcons' broadcaster Ryan Watters. He was a late hire in 2011 and led the Falcons to a 19-34 record and last place in the East Division.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems announced the hiring of Oregon assistant Mitch Karraker as their new pitching coach, and the signing of Arizona left-handed pitchers Tyler Crawford and Xavier Borde, and outfielders Leo Sierra (Cumberland University), Jake Ringold (West Virginia) and Lewis Sebrell (Herkimer, N.Y., Junior College).

Karraker will complete a coaching staff that already includes former Knights infielder Josh Hogan as their head coach and former Knights star/assistant coach Billy Clontz as the top assistant.

Here's the complete release from the Klamath Falls website. The Knights host the Gems on June 5-6 in our home-opening series.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets are teaming up with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation to help make the Holiday season a little nicer for kids in that city. Here are the details from the Sweets' website.


Oakland A's honor ex-Knight Dayton Alexander

November 8, 2011

Former Knights outfielder Dayton Alexander (2011) of Feather River College was named the Oakland A's Most Improved Player in the Arizona Fall League.

After a slow start, Dayton rallied to hit .243 in 44 games, with no homers and 12 RBIs. He was the A's sixth-round selection in the 2011 MLB draft.

A native of Wailuku, Hawaii, who had committed to Washington, Alexander hit .267 in four games with the Knights before turning pro. Congrats to Dayton!

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We just discovered that Knights catcher/designated hitter Corey Davis (2010-11) of Wright State tied a WCL record with five sacrifice flys in 2011. The mark was originally set by ex-Knight Dylan Jones, a 2010 teammate of Davis's.

A slew of new individual and team league records were established in 2011. Here's a link to the complete WCL record book.

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And speaking of Davis, he was ranked 11th in the Summer Ball website's ranking of the WCL's Top 25 position players for the 2011 season.

Our MVP, David Armendariz of Cal Poly, was ranked No. 12; playoff star Ryan Gorton of Oregon State was ranked 17th and Sean Myrom of Concordia was ranked No. 23.

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Here's a story from the West Australian newspaper on former Knights' catcher Alex Burg of the Perth Heat, the MVP of our 2008 WCL championship team.

Burg hit .400 (4-10) with two homers and four RBIs last weekend as the Heat swept Adelaide in their season-opening series. Perth's manager is Knights' skipper Brooke Knight (but you probably already knew that).

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Ex-Aloha Knight Darin Holcomb (2005), who played at Gonzaga before turning pro with the Texas Rangers, was forced to retire from pro baseball with a back injury after playing for the double-A Tulsa Drillers of the Texas League the past two seasons.

Holcomb recently attended the Major League Scouting Bureau's two-week scout school in Phoenix. According to Baseball America, he plans to complete his degree in sports management and promotion.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

BEND: Four University of Oregon Ducks will play for the Elks this summer, according to the second story on the team's website.

They are freshman catcdher Shawn Chase of Phoenix, Ariz.; infielder Eric Sapp of Oceanside, Calif.; outfielder Nick Wagner of Dove Canyon, Calif., a returnee from 2011, and pitcher Jared Priestley, a 2012 signee who is a senior at Roseburg High.


Connor Lambert coming back in 2012

November 7, 2011

As we reported on Friday, Connor Lambert will return as pitching coach for the 2012 Corvallis Knights.

We had a blurb on that on Friday, and will have a longer, more detailed story than this up on the website later this week, but here is a Cliff Notes version.

Lambert is a graduate of Washington State, was a four-year letterman (2007-10), and served as a graduate assistant coach at his alma mater in 2011. With the Knights, he directed a staff that set the West Coast League season record for strikeouts (401), and led the league in ERA (2.47).

"I learned and grew just as much as all of my pitchers did last summer," Lambert said. "I attribute this to the pitching staff (and) coach Brooke Knight and (assistant coach) Billy Clontz.

"Coach Knight gave me the freedom to learn from various mistakes as well as take a few risks. I really can't say enough about coach Knight and how his vision shaped our championship season. He is truly a great head coach to work with and I look forward to another summer on his staff.

"Coach Clontz was very helpful in getting me acclimated to the Knights' family and becoming not just a great colleague but a great friend. Coach Clontz's work ethic was a real inspiration to me last summer and made it really fun to head to the ballpark each day."

Knights' pitchers Mark Trentacosta, Ben Wetzler, Chris Johnson, Dylan Stuart, Jace Fry and Max Beatty were each all-league and played for the West Division in the WCL all-star game.

"I am really pleased Connor has chosen to return to our club," Knight said. "He has that special talent of being able to relate to the guys effectively, which enables him to share some of the knowledge he has gained in his own career.

"I expect that he will be even more confident and polished in 2012."

No successor has been named for Clontz, who left the Knights after two seasons as an assistant for a similar position with Klamath Falls Gems under new Gems' coach Josh Hogan.

The Knights open the 2012 season at Walla Walla on June 1. Their home opener is June 5 against Klamath Falls.

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Even more merchandise arrived this morning and we've got quite a display set up down here at the WWHQ. Included in the new stuff wwere many pairs of black mesh shorts, which were a very popular item last season and sold out quickly.

We've also got lots of hoodies, crew-necked sweatshirts, zipper sweatshirts, and lots of long- and short-sleeved tees. So come on down and check out our new stuff.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets announced that J.C. Biagi will return for his third season as their coach. He led the Sweets to second place in the WCL's East Division and to second-place in the WCL in 2011 in just their second season.

VICTORIA: Some updated news on the potential 2013 expansion team in beautiful Victoria, B.C. ann


We've got lots of new merchandise

November 4, 2011

It's a Friday down here at the WWHQ and we're ready to wrap up the work week. But first, the Blog must be updated.

New 2012 merchandise orders are starting to roll in down here at Madison Plaza - shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, in black, gray, white and cardinal.

So if you want to get a head start on your holiday shopping, or if you just need to update your Knights' gear, stop in and see us at the WWHQ in downtown C-Vegas, on the corner of 4th Street and Madison Avenue.

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Connor Lambert is returning as our pitching coach in 2012. He did a great job with last year's staff, as we set a WCL record in strikeouts and led the league in ERA.

We'll have a complete story on Lambert's return sometime next week on our home page.

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One of our top fans, Nicole Weathers, talks about her new gig as a guest commentator on Oregonian columnist John Canzano's radio show, the Bald-Faced Truth.

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Several former Corvallis Knights had big roles for the Perth Heat on Thursday night in a 6-1 victory over the Adelaide Bite in the Australian Baseball League opener for both teams.

Ex-Knights pitcher/first baseman Dylan Jones hit a two-out double in the last of the seventh and Alex Burg, the MVP of our 2008 WCL champions, singled him home with the go-ahead run.

The Heat are the defending ABL champions and they play Adelaide - who they defeated in last year's ABL Championship Series - throughout the weekend.

We also had an update on Berg on our website recently. He just finished a great season with the San Jose Giants in the California League.

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Some news from around the WCL:

KELOWNA: The Falcons have released their 2012 schedule. The Knights play a single game there on July 6 and a doubleheader on July 7.

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets, who lost to the Knights in the 2011 WCL Championship Series after they upset Wenatchee in the East divisional series, have also released their 2012 schedule. The Knights open the season at Walla Walla for the second year in a row on June 1-3.


Massingham was the Player to be Named Later

November 3, 2011

Learned an interesting factoid about former Knights pitcher Eric Massingham (2006-07) of Cal Poly while doing a "Where are they now" story for next year's program.

(Yes, we're actually working ahead. Why couldn't I ever do that in college?)

Anyhow, during the course of our research we discovered that Massingham, a former Phillies' farmhand who played for the Evansville (Ind.) Otters of the independent Frontier League in 2011, was actually TRADED FOR HIMSELF after a great season in which he set franchise records for saves (22) and ERA (1.38).

Here's the skinny:

Massingham was dealt to the Somerset (Mass.) Patriots of the Atlantic League on Aug. 31 for a player to be named later. And on Sept. 23, the Patriots sent Massingham back to the Otters to complete the Aug. 31 trade.

In other words, Massingham was the "player to be named later" that he was originally traded for.

"I was traded by Evansville with a few days left in our season to Somerset as a sort of promotion because the Atlantic League is a high-talented league with a ton of former big leaguers on each team," Massingham said in explaining how it all went down.

"The Atlantic League's season runs three weeks longer than the Frontier League, so not only was it a chance to play at a high level but it was a way for me to extend my season an extra few weeks.

"Essentially, I was just being loaned to Somerset through the end of the season and in case they made a playoff run. But the only way to 'loan' me officially would be to trade me for a player to be named later and then use myself as the player to be named later.

"Definitely a peculiar situation."

Massingham ended up pitching in five games for Somerset as a situational reiever, and then was returned to Evansville when the Patriots' season ended.

Bizzare, huh?

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Summer collegiate baseball continues to grow in popularity, not only in the Pacific Northwest, where the West Coast League set an attendance record for the sixth year in a row, but around the country as well.

You already know about the WCL's plan to expand to Victoria, B.C. for the 2013 season. That should be a wonderful addition, as Victoria has a nice ballpark and is a wonderful city.

Expansion fever has hit several other leagues as well.

* The D.C. Grays will join the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League in 2012 and play at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

* The Lakeshore Chinooks will join the Northwoods League in 2012 and play at Concordia U. in Mequon, Wis.

* Trenton, N.J. and Allentown, Pa., will have new franchises in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.

* The DuPage (Ill.) Hounds will join the Midwestern Collegiate League and play at Benedictine U. in Lisle, Ill.

* The Dayton (Ohio) Docs will join the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League and play at Wright State University,where former Knights all-star catcher Corey Davis is a star.

* And the Blog's birthplace, Olean, N.Y., will join the New York (State) Collegiate Baseball League in 2012.

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Some news from around the West Coast League:

COWLITZ: The Black Bears have released their 2012 schedule, according to the linked story on Our Sports Central.

The Knights play at Cowlitz on June 11, June 12, June 19 and June 20, and host the Black Bears on Aug. 2-4 in our final regular-season home series.


Summer Ball honors Matt Duffy

November 2, 2011

Former Corvallis Knights shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) of Long Beach State played for Orleans in the Cape Cod League in 2011 and apparently made quite an impression after placing third in the batting race with a .346 average, 16 runs, 16 RBIs and seven steals.

A second-team West Coast League all-star for us in 2010, Duffy was named the Cape Cod League's No. 5 prospect by the Summer Ball website, and the No. 80 overall prospect by Perfect Game USA.

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The Perth Heat, managed by Knights' skipper Brooke Knight, open their 2011-12 Australian Baseball League season at home on Thursday against the Adelaide Bite. Here's a preview from the Heat's website.

The Heat will have a definite Corvallis flavor to them this year, with former Knights Dylan Jones, Alex Burg and Liam Baron on the roster.

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Some news from around the WCL:

BEND: Three Utah Utes have signed contracts to play for the Elks in 2012. They are junior outfielder Conner Eppard of Lakewood, Colo., and pitchers Josh Chapman of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jackson Goulder of Cave Creek, Ariz.

A transfer from Western Nevada, Eppard was a first-team all-league player in 2011. He hit .335 in 55 games, scoring 47 runs, with 55 hits, 12 doubles, six triples, eight homers and 41 RBIs. He also stole 19 bases in 23 attempts.

Chapman is a sophomore righthander who appeared in 12 games and threw 26 innings as a freshman for the Utes. Goulder is a transfer Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix, where he was 2-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 24 innings in 2011.

KITSAP: Somehow we missed this last August, probably because we were busy with the Knights' run to the WCL championship.

The Blue Jackets have named Ryan Parker as their new head coach, succeeding Matt Acker, who'd coached the club since its inception.

Parker was a BlueJackets' assistant coach the past four seasons. He's also the head coach at Olympic College in nearby Bremerton for the past five years; here's his complete bio.

Here's a story detailing the change from the Kitsap Sun newspaper.


Dylan Jones makes the Perth Heat

November 1, 2011

Word from Down Under reached the Knights' WWHQ today that former Knights' pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Dylan Jones of Oregon State has made the opening-day roster for the Perth Heat, the Australian Baseball League's defending champions.

Jones played for the US All-Stars in a series of exhibitions against the Heat (so did ex-Knights player/coach Billy Clontz) and apparently played well enough to earn a spot with the Heat.

Jones played for the Knights in 2009 after his sophomore season at Mt. Hood CC, and again in 2010, after his junior year at OSU. He was a second-team West Coast League all-star in 2010 after a great season with the Knights in which he hit .329 with two homers and 22 RBIs and was 2-1, 4.05 with a save as a pitcher.

Knights' coach Brooke Knight is the Heat's manager. The roster also includes former Knights' star Alex Burg, the MVP of our 2008 WCL champions and a member of the San Francisco organization.

Perth opens its season on Thursday with a home game the against Adelaide Bite, who the Heat defeated in last year's championship series. For more information on the Heat, click here.

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Remember, Knights 2012 season tickets are now on sale, in a variety of price ranges. For more information, click here.

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Some news from around the WCL:

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have released their 2012 schedule. We play there Aug. 6-9 in our final games of the regular season.


Schedule finalized, season tickets on sale

October 31, 2011

We are still a long ways from Opening Day 2012.

But with the release of the official 2012 schedule and the news that 2012 season tickets are now on sale, that June 1 game at Walla Walla, and our June 5 home opener against Klamath Falls, seem all the closer.

For those of you wondering, the official countdown to opening day is 214; it's 214 more days until we hit 0 on June 1. And there's an extra day because 2012 is a Leap Year, so the wait is a tad bit longer than in 2011.

We don't get serious about that until were at about 150 or so. But it never hurts to know the exact number, even in October.

Here are our home games:

JUNE: 5-6, Klamath Falls. 13-15, Walla Walla. 18, Bend. 22, WCL Portland. 24, WCL Portland. 26-28, Bellingham. 29-30, Kitsap.

JULY: 1-2, Kitsap. 9-11, Wenatchee. 12, Albany American Legion. 15, Bend. 18-19, Bend. 20-21, Kelowna. 25-26, Klamath Falls. 28, WCL Portland.

AUGUST: 2-4, Cowlitz.

The All-Star Game is July 24 at Walla Walla. The playoff dates haven't been finalized, but are tentatively set for Aug. 10-13 for the divisional round and Aug. 15-18 for the WCL Championship Series, which will start in the West this summer.

A complete promotional schedule will be released in due time. We do know, though, that our annual holiday Fireworks Night has been moved up a day to July 2 instead of the customary July 3 because of a scheduling glitch.

We just sold our first 2012 season-ticket package, so hurry on down!

Here's the WCL's news release on the 2012 schedule.

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Knights' signee Alex Silver went 1-for-4 as the DH on Sunday for Texas in a 13-6 win over Texas State that concluded the Longhorns' fall drills.

Another 2012 signee, pitcher Justin Peters, threw an inning of one-hit, scoreless relief, with one strikeout.

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Some news from around the WCL:

WENATCHEE: Broadcaster Chris King, the play-by-play voice of the AppleSox the past two seasons, is leaving to become the Boise State women's basketball play-by-play broadcaster. He'll seek a job in affiliated baseball for 2012.


Season tickets go on sale Monday

October 28, 2011

Season tickets for the 2012 Corvallis Knights baseball team will go on sale Monday at our team's office in the Madison Plaza building downtown Corvallis or online at our website.

The Knights are the defending West Coast League champions. A 59-game schedule is planned, starting June 1 at Walla Walla. The 31-game home schedule begins on June 6 against the Klamath Falls Gems. A finalized schedule will be released shortly.

A variety of packages are available.

* Diamond Club reserved-seat season tickets (sections C, D, E) are $175.

* The Block (section A) season tickets are $150.

* General admission season tickets are $115.

* Ten-game punch cards are $40.

Membership in the Diamond Club also includes 10% off all Knights' merchandise; an exclusive catered meet and greet with the team; updated stat sheets before every home game; a special team gift, and other offers throughout the season.

For more information, call 541-752-5656 or visit www.corvallisknights.com.

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The University of Delaware concluded its annual Blue-Gray fall series on Wednesday and former Knights pitcher Eric Young (2009-11) was the winning pitcher in an 8-1 Gray victory that gave them a sweep of the three-game set.

Young allowed six hits and one run over six innings, with three strikeouts and no walks. He's a senior for the Blue Hens and was their Friday night starter in 2011.

Way to go, EY!

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Some news from around the WCL:

WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed returnees Chance Kopacz and Brett Jacobs for the 2012 season. Both are outfielders who helped the Sweets reach the WCL Championship Series in only their second year in the league.