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Hoskinson’s big save preserves Knights fifth straight victory

Tuesday, June 25, Corvallis, Ore. – Reliever Ky Hoskinson pitched out of a huge ninth-inning jam and the Knights opened a four-game series with Cowlitz with a 4-3 victory over the Black Bears.

The rising sophomore at Portland inherited a two-on, no-out predicament. He struck out the first batter; the lead runner took third when Hoskinson got the second out on a fly ball to center field. With the Goss Stadium crowd of 1,150 on its feet, he then fanned the third batter on a 1-2 pitch to end the game with runners on the corners.

Hoskinson earned Washington Park Advisors Player of the Game for his heroics.  He has a 0.00 ERA in his last five appearances, striking out three and allowing just two hits over six innings.

Corvallis (19-3, 18-3 WCL) won for the fifth consecutive time and remained 3.5 games in front of second-place Portland in the first half South Division pennant race. The first-half champion earns an automatic postseason berth and the top seed in the South Division playoffs.

Shortstop Blake Wilson (Washington, pictured above) was 2-for-2 with a run, was hit by pitches twice, stole a base and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances.

Right fielder Kasen Khansarinia (UCLA) was 2-for-4 with a first-inning RBI, a run scored and a steal. First baseman Quin Dufort (Portland) had a crucial two-out, two-run single in the first to give the Knights a 3-0 lead they would not relinquish.

Tyler Howard’s (Portland) seventh-inning triple scored the eventual winning run and gave the Knights a 4-2 advantage. Cowlitz scored once in the eighth and had runners at second and third with one out, but reliever Grant Cleavinger (Nebraska) struck out the next two hitters to preserve the slim lead.

Hoskinson replaced Cleavinger after two walks leading off the ninth. The free passes snapped Cleavinger’s consecutive strikeout streak at 10 batters over a four-game span.

Kevin Takeuchi (USC) was 2-for-5 and made an outstanding catch in left field to rob a Black Bear hitter of a double, saving a run and preserving a 3-2 lead.

Corvallis stranded 15 runners, 11 on second or third base.

Starter Tyner Horn (Nebraska) allowed one earned run and one hit over four innings, with four strikeouts. Reliever Kaden Segel (Portland) gave up one hit and struck out three in three scoreless innings and was credited with the victory to improve his lifetime record to 13-1 in three seasons with the team.

Center fielder Brandon Cabrera (Lewis-Clark State) left the game in the seventh inning after being hit in the face by a pitch. He left the field under his own power and no information on his condition was available after the game.

The series resumes on July 26 with a 5 p.m. doubleheader; both games will be seven innings. It’s Napoleon Dynamite Night; join us as we celebrate the hilarious cult comedy classic.

Corvallis will be the visiting team in the opener, the makeup of a postponed game at Longview on June 2. Utah’s Colter McAnelly (2-1, 2.45) and Payton Riske (1-0, 1.65) will start for the Knights; Jack Tuttle (0-0, 3.00) of Northern Colorado and Tyler Schott (0-0, 0.00) of Dallas Baptist will start for the Black Bears.

The June 27 series finale against Cowlitz is Brooke (K)Night, as we celebrate longtime head coach Brooke Knight. Presented by Coral Construction, all Brookes get free admission with a valid ID.

Oregon State redshirt freshman James DeCremer (0-0, 0.00) is the projected Corvallis starter, opposed by Mac Robertson (1-2, 4.50) of Arizona Western College.

The Knights will play nonleague home games against the Cascade Collegiate League showcase team on June 28 and 29. The showcase team features the top players from the CCL and is managed by Ben Krueger, the head coach at Yakima Valley CC.

Established in 2018, the CCL is comprised of players from regional NCAA, NAIA and NWAC schools. The four teams play on weekends in June and July at Wheeler Field in Centralia, Wash.

The Knights then host the Albany Mid-Valley Southpaws American Legion team on June 30.

In other team news, a wrist injury will sideline incoming Oregon State freshman Paul Vazquez for the balance of the season. An infielder from Covina, Calif., he hit .229 (8-35) in 13 games, with four RBIs. He had a key two-run single in a 7-4 win at Springfield on June 24 in his final appearance.

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