CORVALLIS, Ore. – Reliever Hazahel Quijada fanned seven of the first eight batters he faced and the Knights defeated Gresham 7-2 in the rubber game of their South Division series.
A rising junior at UC Riverside, Quijada entered the game in the top of the sixth with two on and one out and the Knights clinging to a 4-2 lead. He got two outs to end that inning, struck out the next six GreyWolves in order, and completed the 3.2-inning save with a scoreless ninth.
Corvallis (35-18, 30-18 WCL, 13-8 second half) won its second game in a row after dropping the series opener on Thursday night. Corvallis also won the season series 5-1.
“I worked on my fastball location and getting my secondary pitches to be strikes,” said Quijada, a rising junior at UC Riverside who also played for the Knights in 2016. “We’ve had a rough couple of games.
“It’s nice to finally win the series. We put up a lot more runs than we have in the past few games.”
Elliot Willy (Oregon State), Jordan Qsar (Pepperdine) and Zak Taylor (OSU) all homered for the Knights, who added four doubles to finish with seven extra-base hits. Qsar and Taylor also doubled; Qsar finished the series with three doubles, two homers and three RBIs.
Qsar leads the WCL in doubles (20) and homers (13); 33 of his 50 base hits have been for extra bases. The Knights lead the league with 42 homers.
Corvallis took a 4-0 lead in the second inning. Doubles by Taylor, Gabe Matthews (Oregon) and Darren Nelson (Cal Poly) made it 2-0 and Willy capped the rally with a two-run homer, his second in WCL play and third overall.
Qsar doubled and scored on Taylor’s RBI single in the sixth for a 5-2 lead. He and Taylor homered in the seventh to complete the scoring. Taylor, who had three hits and two RBIs, has four homers in WCL play and five overall.
Starter Cole Spear (UC Irvine) allowed two runs and five hits in a season-long 5.1 innings. He struck out six and improved to 3-1.
The five-game homestand end at 6:40 p.m. Saturday with a nonleague game against the Oregon Collegiate Baseball League all-stars. Nelson (2-1, 1.62) is the projected starter for the Knights.