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Toplikar Shines in Knights’ Debut in Loss to Cowlitz

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Pitcher Trenton Toplikar threw 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in his Knights’ debut in a 14-7 loss to Cowlitz in Game 1 of a South Division Series at Goss Stadium.

A West Coast League season-high crowd of 1,940 on Latino Heritage Night saw the rising UC Riverside sophomore right-hander allow just one hit in his initial appearance. He struck out three and retired eight of the 10 Black Bears he faced.

Corvallis (10-4 all, 9-4 WCL) led 5-3 following a five-run outburst in the fourth inning, highlighted by catcher Troy Claunch’s two-run homer. However, starter Austin Crowson and the bullpen could not hold off the Black Bears (5-8 WCL).

An incoming Oregon State freshman, Claunch has five RBIs in his last two games. Shortstop Matt Kelly also homered, his second, and drove in two runs for the Knights. Corvallis now has 14 homers in 13 games.

Third baseman Gabe Matthews (Oregon) tripled, scored and drove in a run in his Knights’ debut. First baseman Dillan Shrum (Nevada) doubled, as did center fielder Emilio Alcantar (Lewis-Clark State), who also had an RBI.

The series continues at 5:05 p.m. Sunday.  Ross Massey (0-1, 4.82) of Tulane starts for Corvallis, opposed by Nico Tellache of Oregon of Cowlitz in a battle of left-handers. The series concludes at 6:40 p.m. Monday.

Box score

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