LONGVIEW, Wash. – The Corvallis Knights opened the 2017 West Coast League season with a 4-0 victory over the Cowlitz Black Bears on a pleasant evening at David Story Field.
Starter Cason Cunningham of Linfield tossed 5.2 scoreless innings to earn the win for the Knights (1-0 all, 1-0 WCL). He allowed just two hits, struck out seven and threw 63 strikes in 93 pitches.
Tanner Howell (Dixie State) added 1.1 perfect innings and Cameron Richman (Portland) and Chase Kaplan (Kansas) each added a scoreless frame to record the combined shutout. All three are returnees from the Knights 2016 WCL championship club.
Andrew Barrera (Concordia) doubled twice and Brady Rediger (Linfield) singled twice to lead a 6-hit offensive attack. Barrera scored twice and stole one base; Rediger scored once and had two steals. Jace Duty (Chemeketa CC) had the Knights lone RBI hit.
The Knights took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a double by Tanner Cantwell (Treasure Valley CC), a groundout and a passed ball. They made it 2-0 in the fifth on a double by Barrera, a wild pitch, a walk and a double steal.
Rediger singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the sixth to give Corvallis a 3-0 advantage. Barrera doubled again in the ninth and scored on a single by Duty for the Knights final run.
The series resumes at 6:35 p.m. Saturday; Tulane lefty Ross Massey will start for the Knights, opposed by Washington State righty David Wallum. Portland’s Jordan Horak is the scheduled starter for Corvallis in Sunday’s 5:05 p.m. finale. CJ Blowers of Edmonds CC is set to start for the Bears in a matchup of left-handers.
Corvallis is idle on Monday and Tuesday. The Knights host the Portland Sea Dogs at 10 a.m. Wednesday in a nonconference contest on the team’s sixth-annual Science, Art and Engineering Day at Goss Stadium.