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Knights return to Goss Stadium, top Cowlitz 5-3 in home opener

Friday, June 18, Corvallis, Ore. – The Knights returned to Goss Stadium for the first time in 670 days and opened the home portion of their West Coast League season by defeating Cowlitz 5-3 before an energized crowd of 1,448.

The Knights (7-3) used consecutive two-out RBI singles by Kiko Romero (Central Arizona JC) and Braden Boisvert (Oregon State) in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie. Reliever Nathaniel Mendoza (CSU San Bernardino) then blanked the Black Bears on one hit for a two-inning save.

Corvallis had not played a home game since Aug. 18, 2019, when it defeated Victoria in Game 3 of the WCL Championship Series to capture its fourth consecutive league title. The entire 2020 season was canceled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thomas Dukart (OSU) and Romero each doubled and singled for the Knights, who are 6-1 in their last seven games. Romero drove in two runs, Boisvert, Jake Harvey (CSU Fullerton) and Nick Vogt (UC Santa Barbara) drove in one run each.

Knights’ starter Ty Uber (Stanford) allowed one run and two hits and struck out five in five innings and left with a 2-1 lead, but was not involved in the decision. Jake Vargas (CSU Fullerton) went two innings before handing off to Mendoza.

“It was a well-fought, team game,” Uber said. “We wanted to set the tone, since it was our first home game. Our mentality was to go out and perfect and get the W.”

Corvallis scored twice in the first inning, but Cowlitz rallied to tie 2-2 in the sixth; Harvey’s RBI single in the home half gave the Knights a 3-2 advantage. The the Black Bears drew even in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for the decisive rally in the bottom half.

The series resumes at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Utah sophomore right-hander Ben Kibbe (0-0, 15.00) is the scheduled starter for Corvallis. Oregon State right-hander Brock Townsend (1-0, 9.00) is the projected starter for Corvallis in Sunday’s 5:05 p.m. series finale.

The opening homestand concludes at 6:35 p.m. Monday with a nonleague game against the Northwest Star Academy of Ridgefield, Wash. WCL action resumes on Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series at the Portland Pickles.

Box score

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