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Brooks Hatch Blog: Knights Host Pippins in Decisive Game 3

Happy Thursday, everyone, from the world-wide headquarters (WWHQ) of the Corvallis Knights, your 2016 West Coast League champions!

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And we’ll see you tonight, for Game 3 of the South Division playoff series!

The Knights (41-21) used a brilliant performance by starter Trenton Toplikar and a three-hit, two-RBI night by shortstop Chad Stevens to defeat Yakima Valley 8-4 in Game 2 on Wednesday night before a loud crowd of 1,436 at Goss Stadium.

We staved off elimination and evened the best-of-3 series 1-1, setting up tonight’s 6:40 winner-take-all finale. Cal Poly’s Connor Redmond (1-2, 3.72) will pitch for the Knights; Yakima Valley’s starter is TBA.

Tonight’s winner advances to the West Coast League Championship Series, where it will face Victoria. The HarbourCats defeated host Kelowna 11-5 on Wednesday to sweep their North Division playoff series. Victoria won 8-2 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of that series.

Tickets for tonight’s game are now available. The WCL playoffs are powered by Pioneer. For tickets, click here. Don’t miss out!

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Outfielder Jordan Qsar, a senior-to-be at Pepperdine, had an RBI single in the sixth inning on Wednesday to up his franchise-record total to 52. Qsar also has set season records for homers (14) and doubles (22) this summer.

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Wednesday night’s Game 2 of the South Division playoffs drew 1,436 fans, raising our season total to 49,626 through 33 openings, a decrease of 1,162 fans from last year’s attendance through a corresponding number of home dates. That’s an average of 1,504 fans per game.

We will have at least one more home game, tonight. We drew a franchise-record 53,803 fans in 35 home dates in 2016.

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Time to update the stats of our alums in minor league baseball. We’ll do the position players today, and the pitchers on Friday.

TAYLOR ARD (AA Jacksonville, Marlins): The utility player from Mt. Hood/Washington State (2009) is hitting .2220 (67-305) in 102 games, with 10 homers and 40 RBIs.

ANDY COSGROVE (R Elizabethton, Twins): The catcher from Washington/North Carolina State (2014) is hitting .212 (11-52) in 14 games, with a homer and six RBIs.

BLAKE DRAKE (A Palm Beach, Cardinals): The outfielder from Concordia (2013) is hitting .235 (60-255) in 66 games, with six homers and 24 RBIs.

NATE ESPOSITO (A Lakewood, Royals): The catcher from Oregon State (2012) is back in high-A after a brief stint at triple-A Omaha. He is hitting .257 (47-183) in 54 games, with no homers and 15 RBIs.

ROCKY GALE (AAA El Paso, Padres): The catcher from Portland (2007, 2009) is hitting .285 (80-281) in 85 games, with two homers and 33 RBIs.

ROMAN GARCIA (R Greeneville, Astros): The first baseman from San Diego (2016) is hitting .221 (21-95) in 27 games, with three homers and 15 RBIs.

CADE GOTTA (AA Montgomery, Rays): The outfielder from San Diego Christian (2011) is hitting .284 (78-275) in 73 games, with five homers and 42 RBIs.

KJ HARRISON (R Helena, Brewers): The first baseman from Oregon State (2015) is hitting .325 (25-77) in 20 games, with two homers and 12 RBIs.

DANNY HAYES (AAA Charlotte, White Sox): The first baseman from Oregon State (2010) is hitting .225 (84-373) in 107 games, with 16 homers and 59 RBIs.

LOGAN ICE (A Lake County, Indians): The catcher from Oregon State (2014) is hitting .233 (60-258) in 75 games, with eight homers and 32 RBIs.

DALTON KELLY (AA Montgomery, Rays): The outfielder from UC Santa Barbara (2014) is hitting .344 (42-122) in 33 games, with seven homers and 26 RBIs.

CHRIS RABAGO (A Lancaster, Rockies): The catcher from UC Irvine (2012-13) is hitting .264 (66-250) in 74 games, with one homer and 38 RBIs.

CHRIS SHAW (A Delmarva, Orioles): The catcher from Midland CC (2014) is hitting .205 (18-88) in 23 games, with two homers and 13 RBIs. He is on the disabled list.

NICK TORRES (AA San Antonio, Padres): The outfielder from Cal Poly (2012) is hitting .260 (95-365) in 95 games, with nine homers and 51 RBIs.

PETER VAN GANSEN (AAA El Paso, Padres): The infielder from Cal Poly (2013) is hitting .316 (15-46) in 15 games, with no homers and nine RBIs.

KEVIN WATSON (ARL DIAMONDBACKS): The outfielder from Beaverton HS (2017) is hitting .174 (4-23) in eight games, with no homers or RBIs.

CALEB WHALEN (A Carolina, Brewers): The infielder from Portland (2012) is hitting .111 (1-9) in three games, with no homers and one RBI.

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Palm Beach (A Florida State, Cardinals) outfielder Blake Drake (2013) was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in a 5-2 loss to Ft. Myers on Wednesday night to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. He played at Concordia.

Honorable mention goes to:

  • Lancaster (A California, Rockies) DH Chris Rabago (2012-13) was 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI in a 7-4 win over Visalia. He played at UC Irvine.

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That’s all for today. See you at Goss Stadium tonight, and right back here on Friday.