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Knights knock off Pickles 5-2, complete series, season sweep

Thursday, August 3, Portland, Ore.  – Corvallis edged Portland 5-2 in the finale of their West Coast League series at Walker Stadium.

The triumph gave the Knights (41-14, 37-14 WCL, 20-4 second half) a sweep of the South Division series. Corvallis also won the season series 6-0 and now has defeated the Pickles 10 consecutive times over the past two seasons.

Corvallis remained in first place in the South Division’s second-half playoff race, 1.5 games ahead of Cowlitz. The Knights have already clinched a berth in the WCL playoffs for the 16th consecutive season.

They are the only WCL team to qualify for the playoffs in every season since the divisional format was introduced in 2007. Their seeding for the playoffs, which start Aug. 8, has yet to be determined.

Ethan Hedges (USC, pictured above) was 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a walk to lead the Knights, who prevailed despite striking out 17 times. Ethan Hott (Stanford) had two hits and a run scored; he and Hedges were the only players with more than one hit.

Portland took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but the Knights tied it in the third on an RBI single by Sam Stem (Gonzaga), his team-leading 36th of the season. Hedges sent Corvallis ahead 2-1 with his solo homer leading off the fourth, his second of the summer.

Ty Yukumoto (Pacific) added an RBI single later in the inning for a 3-1 advantage but back-to-back strikeouts with the bases loaded ended the inning and prevented Corvallis from extending its lead.

A wild pitch scored a run in the eighth for a 4-1 lead and Corvallis scored on a throwing error in the ninth to bump its lead to 5-2 and offset an unearned Pickles run in the bottom of the eighth.

Miles Gosztola (Gonzaga) started and allowed one hit and one run in 3.1 innings. Neil Feist (Cal State Northridge) followed with 3.2 scoreless innings, allowing only two hits while striking out one and earning the win.

The Pickles brought the tying run to the plate with one out in the ninth, but Kellen Segel (LBCC) started a game-ending, 1-4-6-3 double play to earn the save.

Thursday’s game took 3:32 to complete. Every game of the series took at least 3:15 to play, among the longest of the season.

The Knights close out the regular season at home against first-half South Division champion Ridgefield at 6:35 p.m. Friday, 7:15 p.m. Saturday and 1:05 p.m. Sunday.

Friday’s pitching matchup is Kaden Segel (3-0, 1.08) of Portland for Corvallis versus Charlie Royle (3-1, 1.68) for the Raptors. Saturday pits Ethan Ross (0-2, 4.00) of San Jose State for Corvallis against Brock Gillis (2-0, 0.69) of Portland.

Sunday’s regular-season finale has Jackson Van Eyk (0-0, 1.80) of Skagit Valley CC starting for the Knights against Camden Oram (3-0, 4.20) of Lower Columbia College for Ridgefield.

The best-of-3 divisional round of the playoffs starts on Aug. 8.

Box score

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