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Knights complete 10-1 road trip with thrilling win over Pickles

Thursday, June 13, Portland, Ore. – They had to go extra innings to do it, but the Knights completed their season-opening 11-game road trip in grand style with a 5-3, 12-inning win over Portland at Walker Stadium.

Corvallis (11-1, 10-1 WCL) finished a two-week swing to Cowlitz, Bend, Yakima Valley and Portland to open the West Coast League season with a sparkling 10-1 record. They won all four series and finally headed home after sweeping Portland.

The Knights broke the 3-3 standoff that had existed since the seventh inning when Ty Yukumoto (Pacific) walked on four pitches with one out in the 12th. He advanced to third on a throwing error by the pitcher on a possible double-play grounder to the box, and then scored on CJ Colyer’s (Pacific) base hit to left field.

A walk loaded the bases and incoming Oregon State freshman Hustyn Wheeler plated an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to left field.

Reliever Gabe Hernandez (CSUN) then shut the Pickles down in the bottom half to wrap up the team’s 13th consecutive win in the South Division rivalry. Corvallis has not lost a regular-season game to Portland since July 4, 2022.

Hernandez’s two scoreless innings capped a heroic night by the Corvallis bullpen. Incoming Stanford freshman Cohen Gomez allowed one hit and struck out three in 3.1 scoreless innings in his 2024 debut. Dom Tatone (Umpqua CC) had 3.2 scoreless innings, with three strikeouts.

Hernandez, Gomez and Tatone combined for nine shutout innings, with eight strikeouts and only four hits allowed, enabling Corvallis to come back from an early 3-1 deficit.

Brandon Cabrera (Lewis-Clark State) and Kevin Takeuchi (USC) were 2-for-6 with a run scored. Cabrera added an RBI and Takeuchi finished the series hitting .538 (7-13), with two homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored.

Incoming UCLA freshman Kasen Khansarinia doubled and had an RBI in his Corvallis debut.

The Knights increased their South Division lead over Portland (6-4), Bend (7-5) and Yakima Valley (7-5) to 3.5 games with their fifth win in a row. The champion of the 27-game first half automatically advances to the postseason playoffs.

Corvallis finally kicks off the home portion of the season on Friday, June 14 when it hosts the Port Angeles Lefties in a 6:35 p.m. contest at Goss Stadium. It is Opening Night Presented by Jessica Smith, Realtor at Town & Country Realty.

The first 1,000 fans will receive a magnetic 2024 Knights schedule. The probable starting pitchers are John Vaara (0-0, 1.68) of Edmonds CC for the Lefties and Payton Riske (1-0, 0.00) of Utah for the Knights.

June 15 is Champions Night, starting at 6:35 p.m. The first 500 fans will receive a replica 2023 Knights WCL championship ring. The probables are Riley Ricken (0-2, 14.29) of Cal State San Bernardino for the Lefties and Kaden Segel (1-0, 1.03) of Portland for Corvallis.

The June 16 Father’s Day series finale begins at 1:05 p.m. The first 500 fans receive a Knights poster schedule; the first 200 receive LBCChat. Nine $1,000 scholarships will also be given away. Jackson Flora of UCSB is set to make his season debut for the Knights; the Port Angeles starter is undetermined.

Box score

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