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Corvallis Unveils 2024 Roster

Monday, May 6, Corvallis, Ore. – Someday, the Corvallis Knights amazing run of consecutive West Coast League championships will be snapped.

However, head coach Brooke Knight said he and his coaching staff believe there is no reason the team’s streak of seven consecutive WCL titles can’t be extended to eight when the league’s 19th season gets underway later this month.

“We are really excited about the makeup of this 2024 club,” Knight said. “I can’t wait to get to know this new group and start working towards a ‘We over Me’ attitude from day one.”

The Knights open their season on May 23rd with its 11th annual Science, Education and Art Day, presented by Paventy & Brown Orthodontics, at Goss Stadium. They kick-off the WCL campaign at Cowlitz on May 31st, and begin the home portion of their schedule on June 14th vs. the Port Angeles Lefties.

Corvallis is scheduled to play 60 games this summer, a 54-game West Coast League regular season and six non-league contests, featuring 32 home tilts , including the team’s first-ever home game in Albany. The Knights will host the Yakima Valley Pippins at Dick McClain Field at Linn-Benton Community College on Wednesday, July 10 for Albany Night, presented by Copper Rock Real Estate.

Head Coach Brooke Knight enters his 16th season at the helm as the winningest coach in league history (666-276, .707 winning percentage).  The eight-time WCL Coach of the Year has directed the Knights to 10 league championships and to the WCL Championship Series (or Game) in 13 of his 15 seasons.

His coaching staff will be bolstered by the addition of new assistant Cole Stringer, a former University of Oregon standout who is currently the pitching coach at Linn-Benton CC. Associate head coach Ed Knaggs returns for his fifth season and veteran pitching coach Beau Kerns, whose staffs have led the league in ERA each of the past two seasons, is back for his fourth summer with the club.

Many other familiar faces from the 2022 and 2023 WCL champions return for another campaign in the Willamette Valley. Lefty closer Sean Wiese (Arizona Christian) and RHP Kaden Segel (Portland) will be back for their fourth seasons in Corvallis, as will third-year Knight righties Neil Feist (Cal State Northridge) and Nathan Marshall (Lane CC).

Nebraska lefty Grant Cleavinger, whose 2023 season was cut short by injury, is back for a second year; he was 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in four appearances. Utah righty Bransen Kuehl, who also saw his 2023 season cut short due to injury, was 1-0, 1.31 with one save in 12 appearances, will also return.

Lefty Dominic Tatone (Umpqua CC), an emergency starter in a key late-season game, will also be back. Tatone threw 3.1 scoreless innings in his lone appearance.

Wiese was 6-0 with a 2.80 ERA and two saves, and earned first-team all-WCL honors as well as being named the Knights’ team MVP in 2023. Marshall (2-2, 2.01 ERA) was an all-WCL honorable-mention selection last season.

All told, Corvallis will assemble a group composed of players from 22 different schools in seven different states in 2024.

The Knights will have a talented and deep pitching staff for Kerns to mold.

Kaden Segel, a 2022 all-WCL first-teamer, joined the 2023 Knights midway through the summer and was instrumental in their title run, going 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA. Feist was dependable out of the bullpen at 2-0, 3.07 and a save.

The projected first-year right-handers are Gabe Hernandez and Lucas Casey of Cal State Northridge; Colter McAnelly and Payton Riske (Utah); Garren Rizzo (USC); Jackson Flora (UC Santa Barbara); Ky Hoskinson (Portland); Tyner Horn (Nebraska); Mason Goodson (Oregon); Matthew Gobel (UCLA); and incoming freshmen James DeCremer III (Oregon State), Troy Cooper (Cal Poly), Wylan Moss (UCLA) and Cohen Gomez (Stanford).

First-year lefties are Josh Volmerding (Cal Poly); Caleb Debban (George Fox); and Oregon State commit Ethan Kleinschmit (LBCC).

“We’ve invited a few of our strike throwers back from last year and complimented that with some incoming power arms,” Knight said. “We tend to lean towards guys that can really pitch and don’t try to just light up the radar gun; we consider that a bonus.”

Catcher Tyler Howard of Portland returns from 2023, as does middle infielder Ty Yukumoto (Pacific) and pitcher/outfielder Kellen Segel (LBCC). Outfielder Titus Dumitru (New Mexico State), a key member of the 2022 title team, returns after a year’s absence. Dumitru has been one of the top offensive threats for New Mexico State this season, hitting over .300. Primarily a left fielder, he batted .269 for the 2022 Knights, with 19 RBIs and 10 steals.

Howard gives the Knights an experienced WCL catcher. He’s split the receiving duties at Portland in 2024 and has hit over .300, a big jump from last summer, when he hit .240 in 27 games with 11 RBIs. Howard will be joined at backstop by Stanford’s Luke Lavin and Phoenix College’s Cole Snidow, a 10-day signee and native of Portland.

Yukumoto, who hit .303 with 17 steals for the 2023 Knights, has been a season-long starter at Pacific and will anchor the infield. Middle infielder Peyton Miller (Gonzaga), and utility players Kevin Takeuchi (USC), Blake Wilson (Washington) and Thomas Ferroggiaro (Santa Clara) have all seen extensive action for their respective teams this spring.

Braxton Thomas (Cal Poly) has started to earn meaningful playing time later in the season and is ticketed for first base, along with incoming Oregon State freshman Paul Vazquez, who can also play third base and outfield.

The remainder of the outfield will be green, but talented. Incoming freshmen Kasen Khansarinia (UCLA), Hustyn Wheeler (Oregon State), and Coleman Hollabaugh (Portland) should all see action, as will Dumitru and junior CJ Coyler (Pacific).

“Our position player group is full of really good athletes that can get up and go,” Knight said. “We’ll continue to focus on the running game and putting pressure on opposing arms and defenses, along with manufacturing runs when and where it makes sense.”

Knights at a glance …

COACHING STAFF: Head coach Brooke Knight, 16th year; associate head coach Ed Knaggs, 5th year; pitching coach Beau Kerns, 4th year; assistant coach Cole Stringer, 1st year.

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS: Neil Feist* (Cal State Northridge); Gabe Hernandez (Cal State Northridge); Lucas Casey (Cal State Northridge); Garren Rizzo (USC); Troy Cooper (Cal Poly signee); Payton Riske (Utah); Bransen Kuehl* (Utah); Colter McAnelly (Utah); Wylan Moss (UCLA signee); Matthew Gobel (UCLA); Cohen Gomez (Stanford signee); Jackson Flora (UC Santa Barbara); James DeCremer III (Oregon State); Kellen Segel* (LBCC); Nathan Marshall* (Lane CC); Kaden Segel* (Portland); Ky Hoskinson (Portland); Tyner Horn (Nebraska); Mason Goodson (Oregon).

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS: Sean Wiese* (Arizona Christian); Josh Volmerding (Cal Poly); Grant Cleavinger* (Nebraska); Dominic Tatone* (Umpqua CC); Ethan Kleinschmit (LBCC); Caleb Debban (George Fox).

CATCHERS: Tyler Howard* (Portland); Luke Lavin (Stanford); Cole Snidow (Phoenix College)

INFIELDERS: Braxton Thomas (Cal Poly); Paul Vazquez (Oregon State signee); Ty Yukumoto* (Pacific); Blake Wilson (Washington); Kevin Takeuchi (USC); Thomas Ferroggiaro (Santa Clara); Peyton Miller (Gonzaga).

OUTFIELDERS: Kasen Khansarinia (UCLA signee); Coleman Hollabaugh (Portland signee); Titus Dumitru* (New Mexico State); CJ Coyler (Pacific); Hustyn Wheeler (Oregon State signee).

* indicates returner

View the full roster here.

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