Tuesday, September 26, Corvallis, Ore. – Oregon State University student Connor Heath, the Corvallis Knights…
Wednesday, August 4, Corvallis, Ore. – Kiko Romero drove in five runs as the Knights defeated Yakima Valley 6-2 to win their West Coast League series.
A rising sophomore at Central Arizona JC, Romero (pictured, above) clubbed a three-run homer in the sixth to erase a 2-0 deficit. He then added a two-run double in the seventh inning to break the game open and give the Knights a 6-2 advantage.
The Knights (32-9 WCL, 14-3 second half, 41-11 overall) thus captured the series, as they won the opener 7-1 on Tuesday night. Corvallis took a 3-2 lead in the season series with the Pippins, who clinched a playoff berth by winning the first half North Division championship.
Corvallis won the first-half South Division crown and has also earned a spot in the postseason. The Knights have advanced to the playoff all 14 seasons since relocating here from Gresham for the 2007 season.
Romero came up with two on and no outs in the sixth. After fouling off an attempted sacrifice, he crushed a 2-1 offering well over the scoreboard in right-center for his second homer in his last three games and fourth overall. He punctuated the blast with an emphatic bat flip, delighting a Goss Stadium crowd of 1,419. He had all five Knights RBIs.
“It felt really good,” Romero said. ‘I knew I got it right off the bat. We weren’t hitting that well so it felt great to put the team ahead in that situation.
“I couldn’t get the bunt down but I got another chance and was able to hit it out, so that was great.”
Lefty Bradley Mullan (Gonzaga) was stellar in relief, pitching four scoreless innings to earn the decision. He entered in the fifth with the bases loaded and no outs; one run scored on ground out and he retired the next two Pippins with no further runs scoring. He did not allow a hit and struck out five.
Ethan Ross (San Jose State) finished up with a hitless ninth.
Spencer Scott (Portland ) doubled twice and Kyler Stancato (Washington State) had two hits and two runs. Second baseman Travis Bazzana (Oregon State) was 1-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 18 games vs. WCL opposition.
The series concludes at 6:35 p.m. Thursday. Washington State right-hander Grant Taylor (5-2, 3.29) is the probable starter for the Knights, opposed by Nevada righty Peyton Stumbo (1-1, 5.47).
The home stand concludes at 7:05 p.m. Friday with a Fireworks Night game with the Ridgefield Raptors. The Knights play at Ridgefield on Saturday and Sunday.