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Saturday, August 6, Corvallis, Ore. – The Knights closed out the home portion of their regular season with a 4-0 shutout of Ridgefield before a sold-out Fireworks Night crowd of 3,106 on a warm night at Goss Stadium.
The Knights (41-15 all, 39-14 WCL, 21-6 second half) evened the final regular-season series at a game apiece and raised their home league record to 22-5. Ridgefield won Friday’s opener, 7-4.
Designated hitter Brady Lavoie’s (San Diego State, pictured above) towering homer over the left field fence leading off the third inning gave the Knights a 1-0 lead they preserved until the eighth inning. It was Lavoie’s fifth homer of the summer, tying him with Kiko Romero (Arizona), Ely Kennel (Oregon State) and Zander Darby (UC Santa Barbara).
The Knights added two valuable insurance runs in the eighth inning for the final margin. Singles by Spencer Scott (Portland) and Logan Johnstone (Gonzaga) put runners at the corners; Jonah Advincula drove in one run with a fielder’s choice groundout, making it 2-0.
Romero knocked in the third run with a solid single to right-center. A walk loaded the bases and Lavoie made it 4-0 when he was hit by a pitch.
Corvallis starter Duke Brotherton (Washington State) spaced two hits and three hit batters over five scoreless innings and departed with a 1-0 lead. He had four strikeouts.
Brotherton was outstanding over his final three regular-season starts, with a 2-0 record and a 1.13 ERA. He allowed only two earned runs and seven hits over 16 innings, with 13 strikeouts and no walks and lowered his ERA from 6.43 to 3.60.
Neil Feist (El Camino College) escaped trouble in two scoreless innings, setting the table for closer Sean Wiese. He ended the seventh with a bases-loaded flyout to the warning track in left; he surrendered a leadoff double in the eighth, then retired the side on two popups and a groundout.
Wiese finished up to record his fifth save, striking out two and allowing two harmless singles in the ninth. He now has 33 strikeouts and only three walks in 36 total innings over 16 appearances while establishing himself as one of the WCL’s premier closers.
The teams conclude the regular season back at Ridgefield at 1:05 p.m. Sunday. Newcomer Nathan Marshall (0-0, 0.00) will make his regular-season starting debut; he threw four scoreless innings against the NW Star Nighthawks in a nonleague game on Aug. 1.
Saturday’s sellout crowd of 3,106 raised the season total to 55,111 in 30 dates, an average of 1,837 per outing and an improvement of about 15,000 fans over 2021 through a corresponding number of home starts.
The Knights clinched their 15th consecutive postseason berth on July 7 by winning the South Division’s first-half championship by two games over Ridgefield. As a reward for having the WCL’s best overall record, Corvallis will host the one-game South Division Championship on Aug. 13 and the WCL Championship Game on Aug. 15 if it advances that far.
It will also have home-field advantage in the best-of-3 opening round of the South Division playoffs, which start on the road on Aug. 9. Corvallis will open the home portion of the postseason with Game 2 on Aug. 10. If necessary, Game 3 will be at Goss Stadium on Aug. 11.