The Knights’ youth movement picks up speed. Derek Birley (Centralia CC) is the latest collegian to shine hitting .390 with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 50 RBI. Birley leads the Knights to a City League three-peat. The team beats NW Ringor in a playoff series 2 games to 1 before ripping through the tourney bracket undefeated and beating the Portland Wildcats 9-6 in the championship game. The Knights host a pre-season tourney at beautiful Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Oregon. Named the “Praegitzer Select”, the tournament features the Knights, Seattle Studs, Portland Wildcats, an All-Star team, National League rules and wood bats. The Knights win the first annual Praegitzer Select, which showcases a team formed solely for the tournament consisting of Salem area collegiate stars. Brian Graham wins MVP honors and the Knights beat the Wildcats 4-0 in the championship game. The Knights show well in their second trip to Kamloops, British Columbia. The team goes undefeated to reach the championship game at the KIBT only to lose 10-3 in a single elimination tilt to City League foe the NW Twins. The Knights dispose of the West Seattle Cruisers, Tacoma Timbers, Ontario MeadowLarks and beat the Everett Merchants in an exciting come from behind 4-3 win in Saturday night’s featured winner’s bracket championship game before settling for second place. The club sweeps through Portland City League’s Diamond Dandy beating the NW Twins twice, once to open the tourney and again in the championship game. The Rose City Invitational title is the Knights for a third time. The club comes through the loser’s bracket and wins three games on Sunday to capture the first place trophy. To make things extra sweet, the Knights beat the Wildcats 4-3 in the championship game. The Knights go 3-0 in championship games vs. the Wildcats in 1998. The Knights make its first trip off the mainland and travel to the Hawaiian Islands. Guided by field manager Mick Ellett, the team plays its first Far East clubs at majestic Rainbow Stadium on the campus of University of Hawaii. The Knights don’t fare well dropping all four wood-bat tourney games.
Pitcher Doug Nichols wins his second straight City League championship game.
Brett Smith shatters the team’s single-season HR record with 16.
Geoff Loomis puts up huge numbers hitting .425 with 14 doubles, 11 HR and 54 RBI.
Derek Birley breaks the club’s single-season hits mark by collecting 80 knocks.
Birley and Smith both record over 200 at bats (205 and 215 respectively).
18 active collegiate players populate the Knights’ roster.
Mike Boire of Oregon State, Brian Graham of University of Portland and Tucker Urdahl of Gonzaga combine for 193.1 innings pitched, 46 appearances and 13 complete games.
Knights go 4-1 at the Kamloops International Baseball Tournament, place second. Ryan Hazelbaker of Willamette earns “Most RBI” award by collecting 11 RBI.
Praegitzer Select champs. Brian Graham named MVP.
Diamond Dandy champs.
Rose City champs. Tony Fair named MVP.
MABL champs, three-peat.