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Knights Daily Update

A sweep in Victoria

July 30, 2013

The bottom of the ninth just about drove me crazy for the third game in a row, but we held on to defeat Victoria 6-5 on Monday night to sweep our first-ever series with the expansion HarbourCats.

We also stayed in first place in the South Division of the WCL, one game ahead of Bend. We're also 5.5 games ahead of third-place Medford, with 12 games to play. That's crucial because the top two teams in each division advance to the playoffs, which start Aug. 13 at the second-place finisher's venue.

We've gone 16-3 in our last 19 league games to surge past the Elks and in to first place. We're at Kelowna tonight, Wednesday night and Thursday night; Friday is a travel day back from British Columbia and we host the Falcons in a single game on Saturday and in a doubleheader on Sunday.

If we can get through the next six games in good shape, a seventh straight playoff berth looks probable. We've also won the South (formerly West) Division regular-season title all six years since moving to Corvallis from Gresham for the 2007 season, and we'd like to keep that streak intact also.

Now, on to today's Knights news.

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Pitching coach Connor Lambert has set our rotation for the Kelowna series.

* Righty Chris Bishop (2-2, 1.96) of Pacific Lutheran starts tonight.

* Righty Alex Nesbitt (1-0, 1.95) of Washington starts on Wednesday.

* Lefty Elliot Surrey (4-1, 1.26) of UC Irvine will start Thursday.

All three had strong outings against Medford in their most recent starts when we swept the Rogues at Goss Stadium on July 24-26.

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Don't forget, free GA tickets are still available at Wilson Motors for our Monday night against Bend. Get to the dealership at 5th Street & Buchanan Avenue in Corvallis to get your ticket(s). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm.

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It may have been the easiest choice in WCL history.

Kitsap pitcher Spenser Watkins of Western Oregon was selected as the WCL Player of the Week, for pitching the first perfect game in league history against Victoria on July 27. Here are the full details, from the WCL website.

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Here's a nice story from reporter Matt Schubert of The Daily News of Kelso-Longview, Wash., on Cowlitz's Story Field, a pretty nice place to watch a ballgame.

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West Michigan (A Midwest, Tigers) first baseman Dean Green (2008) was 1-for-3 with a double and three RBIs on Monday in a 4-3 win over South Bend to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* San Antonio (AA Texas, Padres) catcher Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 4-3 w2in over Corpus Christi.

* Great Falls (R Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) doubled, scored and had an RBI in an 8-4 loss to Billings.

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That's all for today. See you on Wednesday.


Great weekend for the Knights

July 29, 2013

It was a great weekend for the Knights.

We finished off a sweep of Medford on Friday night before a great Cap Night crowd of 1,755, and then took the first two games of our first-ever series against Victoria by defeating the HarbourCats on Saturday and Sunday in Victoria.

So we now lead the South Division of the West Coast League by one game over Bend heading into Monday night's series finale in Victoria. We also lead third-place Klamath Falls by five games; that's key because the top two teams in each division advance to the West Coast League playoffs, which start on Aug. 13.

We're off to Kelowna on Tuesday morning for a three-game series with the Falcons that concludes on Thursday night. Friday is a travel day, and we then open the final homestand of the regular season at 7:05 p.m. this Saturday, against Kelowna.

That game is our second $1,000 Kids Dash for Cash Night, presented by Dr. Curtis E. Trammell. Those games are always popular, so bring the whole family. The stadium gates open at 6:30 p.m.

Now, on to today's Knights news.

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The Knights are ranked No. 20 in PG Crosschecker's latest national summer collegiate baseball poll, released on Monday morning. Click here to find this week's rankings.

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Friday night's crowd of 1,755 pushed our season attendance to 32,804 for 25 dates, an average of 1,312 per opening. We're 1,053 ahead of last year's number through a corresponding number of dates.

We're on target to break our all-time record of 42,447, set in 2011. But we can't get there without your help, so get on out to the ballpark for our final homestand.

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Our 2012 game-worn camo jerseys are available for only $100. They will be auctioned off at our final regular-season home game on Thursday night, August 8.

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Charlotte (AAA International, White Sox) third basebal Brent Morel (2007) was 3-fgor-3 with a double, a run and three RBIs in a 6-1 win over Gwinnett on Sunday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Lots of honorable mentions.

* Indians (R Arizona Rookie League, Indians) third baseman Grant Fink (2011) was 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in a 10-7 loss to the Dodgers.

* Springfield (AA Texas, Cardinals) outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09) was 3-for-3 with a run, a double and an RBI in a 6-5 win over NW Arkansas.

* Brevard County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 3-for-5 with a run, a double and an RBI in an 11-9 loss to Bradenton.

* San Jose (A California, Giants) shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) was 1-for-3 with a solo homer in a 4-2 loss to Stockton.

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That's all for today. See you on Tuesday.


Big win over Medford

July 26, 2013

Major win for us against Medford on Thursday night, coming from behind in the last of the ninth to stun the Rogues 5-4. We're now tied with Bend for first place in the South Division, four games ahead of third-place Cowlitz with just 16 games remaining.

It was not a well-played game, and it seemed to drag on forever, for three hours and 21 minutes, to be exact. That might be average for the majors, but it's about a hour longer than is customary for a WCL game.

Maybe it was the heat, but nobody seemed to be in much of a hurry to do anything. Medford's pitching changes took forever, and the umpires didn't seem very motivated to move things along either. Hopefully tonight's 6:40 p.m. series finale will be a lot snappier.

It's Cap Night, and we've got 1,000 two-toned hats with the interlocking "CK" to give away at the gate. The stadium opens at 6 p.m., so get there early to guarantee yourself a nice new lid.

Now, on to today's news.

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Last night's crowd of 1,262 raised our season attendance to 30,529 in 24 openings, an average of 1,272 per game. We're 1,050 fans ahead of last year's number total through a corresponding number of dates.

We drew 41,834 in 2012, the second-highest total in franchise history. If we stay ahead of last year's number, we should break the all-time mark of 42,447, set in 2011.

We'd love to hit 45,000, so get out to the ballpark!

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We've got some alumni news to report.

* The St. Louis Cardinals have recalled reliever Marc Rzepczynski (2006) from triple-A Memphis.

* Toronto has assigned Matt Boyd (2010) to the Lansing Lugnuts in the low-A Midwest League. He made his pro debut last night and threw a scoreless inning against Dayton, with two strikeouts. Boyd was a sixth-round draft choice this past June.

The Giants have promoted shortstop Matt Duffy (2010) to San Jose of the advanced-A California League from low-A Augusta of the South Atlantic League. Nice move for Matt, a Californian who played at Long Beach State.

* First baseman Dean Green (2008) has completed a rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Tigers and is now with West Michigan in the Class A Midwest League.

* Pitcher Tyler Anderson (2009) is on injury rehab with Tri-City, Colorado's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He had been with Modesto in the California League.

* Pitcher Eddie Orozco (2008-09) is on injury rehab with Boise, the Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He had been at Kane County in the Midwest League.

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Salem-Keizer (A Northwest, Giants) pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) allowed three hits and had four strikeouts over six scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss to Hillsboro on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors. He got a no-decision.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Charlotte (AAA International, White Sox) third baseman Brent Morel (2007) was 2-for-3 with two runs and a double in a 5-4 win over Indianapolis.

* Richmond (AA Eastern, Giants) catcher Andrew Susac (2009) was 2-for-4 with a homer and an RBI in a 5-1 loss to Akron.

* San Antonio (AA Texas, Padres) catcher Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) was 1-for-2 with a double and a run in a 2-1 win over Frisco.

* Great Falls (R Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) was 1-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs in a 9-6 loss to Missoula.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .228 (18-79) with no homers and three RBIs in 33 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .333 (5-15) with no homers or RBIs in five games for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .235 (70-298) with five homers and 38 RBIs in 87 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .212 (36-170) with three homers and 12 RBIs in 50 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .276 (51-185) with three homers and 29 RBIs in 53 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .294 (5-17) with one RBI in four games for San Jose, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A California League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .205 (15-73) with one homer and five RBIs in 22 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .243 (28-119) with one homer and 14 RBIs in 44 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .278 (20-72) with one homer and five RBIs in 26 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .217 (13-60) with one homer and two RBIs in 20 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .143 (1-7) with no homers or RBIs for West Michigan, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League while on rehab assignment from Lakeland, its affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .245 (48-196) with six homers and 21 RBIs in 53 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .257 (18-70) with two homers and 13 RBIs in 19 games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .248 (57-230) with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 78 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

BRENT MOREL (2007): Brent is hitting .284 (74-261) with five homers and 41 RBIs in 71 games with Charlotte, the Chicago White Sox's affiliate in the triple-A International league.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .290 (106-365) with 19 homers and 63 RBIs in 101 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .237 (9-38) with a homer and four RBIs in 13 games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .259 (63-243) with 12 homers and 42 RBIs in 78 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .293 (24-82) with one homer and seven RBIs in 25 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 1-0, 0.00 in a rehab start with Tri-City, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in five innings.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-3, 5.40 in five games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 19 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 1-0, 1.35 in four games with the Arizona Rookie League Padres. He has nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings.

MATT BOYD (2010): Matt is 0-0, 0.00 in one inning in one appearance for Lansing, Toronto's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-3, 10.13 in seven games with the Arizona Rookie League Athletics. He has nine strikeouts in eight innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-2, 4.32 in nine games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has 13 strikeouts in 14 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 1-1, 0.00 in three games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has 13 strikeouts in 14 innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 3-3, 2.25 in nine games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 51 strikeouts in 52 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 2-2, 4.60 in seven games with Salem, Boston's affiliate in the single-A Carolina League. He has 16 strikeouts in 31.1 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 4-6, 4.36 in 19 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 96 strikeouts in 99 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 0-0, 6.75 in three games with Boise, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with four strikeouts in four innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-3, 6.26 in 36 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 36 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-2, 10.00 in eight appearances with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League. He has two saves and 12 strikeouts in nine innings.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 2.44 in 27 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 44.1 innings.

JIMMIE SHERFY (2011): Jimmie is 0-0, 0.00 in three appearances with Hillsboro, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has two saves and six strikeouts in three innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-7, 6.36 in 19 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 52 strikeouts in 97.1 innings. ----------------------------------------------------

That's all for today. See you at the ballpark tonight.


Back from Wyoming, back to work

July 24, 2013

Yes, the Blog is back, after a quick All-Star Break vacation to the banks of the Little Laramie River, at the base of Corner Mountain on the outskirts of bustling Centennial, Wyoming.

Hopefully five days of sunshine, Indian Paintbrush, bone-dry weather, walking/hiking, reading a great book ("The Echoing Green," about Bobby Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World in the 1951 NL playoffs) and a few Summer Shandys will recharge me for the remainder of the season!

I think there may be lots of Knights news to pass along, so let's get started!

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The expansion Medford Rogues pay their first visit to Goss Stadium tonight, and they'll bring a couple of very familiar faces with them to Corvallis.

Their head coach is Josh Hogan, a standout middle infielder for the Knights from 2007-09. Hogan coached at Klamath Falls last summer and nearly led the Gems to the playoffs in just their second year of existence.

One of his assistant coaches is Oregon State alum Dylan Jones, a two-year (2009-10) standout pitcher/infielder/outfielder for the Knights, Dylan earned West Coast League postseason honors both summers and was our 2010 Most Valuable Player.

The Knights won 2 of 3 at Medford on June 18-20 in the first series between the clubs. The Rogues (8-2) and Knights (7-3) were the two hottest teams in the WCL over their past 10 games heading into the July 22-23 All-Star break. Medford has six straight wins and set a WCL record for wins by an expansion team (20) by defeating the Gems on July 21.

We head to Victoria, British Columbia, on Friday for our initial series with the HarbourCats, the WCL's other expansion team. The Knights then head to Kelowna for a July 30-Aug. 1 series before returning home to host Kelowna on Aug. 3-4.

And, consider this an early warning: the Blog will be filling in for Mike Parker on our KEJO-AM 1240 redio broadcast on Thursday and Friday while he's at Pac-12 media days in Los Angeles.

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Our attendance is on the rise after our last two home games, which drew a combined 3,536 fans. We had 1,706 for the July 13 Walla Walla game, and an impressive 1,830 for last Thursday's game with the Mid-Valley Rockets.

That boosted our season total to 28,222 in 22 openings, an average of 1,283 per game. We're 823 fans ahead of last year's pace through a corresponding number of games.

This short homestand should be solid also.

* Tonight is the United Way Knight of Caring; 20 percent of all walkup sales will be donated to the United Way.

* Thursday is a Block 15 Thursday, with discounts on adult beverages, and a $1 hot dog night.

* Friday is Cap Night, presented by the Mario Pastega House. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free, two-toned Knights cap, with the interlocking "CK." They look very sharp indeed.

So, we'll see you at the ballpark. With your help we can still break our season attendance record (42,447, set in 2011) and break the 45,000 mark.

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Some alumni news:

* The New York Mets have sent pitcher Greg Peavey (2007) of Oregon State to the double-A Binghamton (NY) Mets. He'd been at triple-A Las Vegas in the Pacific Coast League and was 4-3 with a 6.00 ERA in 38 appearances.

* Toronto still has not assigned pitcher Matt Boyd (2010) to a minor-league affiliate. He was their 6th-round selection in the June MLB draft.

* The White Sox sent infielder Brent Morel (2006-07) back to triple-A Charlotte in the International League when they activated Paul Konerko on Tuesday. BeMo had been with the big club since July 3 (his second stint) and he hit .200 (5-25) in 12 games.

* The Los Angeles Angels have actived pitcher Tommy Hanson (2005) from the 15-day DL, after a rehab stint at Class A Inland Empire. He's 4-2, 4.92 in 10 starts with the Angels.

* The Padres have returned pitcher Max Beatty (2010-12) to the Arizona Rookie League after a short stay with the Eugene Emeralds in the Northwest League.

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San Antonio (AA Texas, Padres) catcher Rocky Gale (2007, 2009) was 2-for-5 with two runs, a double and an RBI in an 11-3 win over Corpus Christi on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day" honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Padres (Arizona Rookie League) pitcher Max Beatty had two scoreless innings and one strikeout in a 5-0 win over the ARL Diamondbacks.

* Brevard County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 1-for-4 with a homer, two runs and two RBIs in a 10-4 win over Fort Myers.

* Hillsboro (A Northwest, Diamondbacks) pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011) struck out the side in the ninth and got his second save in a 9-6 win over Salem-Keizer.

* Great Falls (R Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes 92010) was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI in a 5-4 win over Grand Junction.

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That's all for today. See you at the ballpark tonight!


Welcome back to first place!

July 17, 2013

It's a beautiful day at the WWHQ for the FIRST-PLACE Corvallis Knights.

Yes, you read it right. After a so-so start, we are now back on top of the South Division following last night's 14-3 thrashing of the Bellingham Bells in Bellingham.

We now hold a 1/2-game lead over the rival Bend Elks, who were thrashed 16-8 in Bend by Klamath Falls last night to fall out of first place. Bend had led the division from the start of the season before we moved ahead last night.

Our series in Bellingham concludes tonight. Washington sophomore-to-be Alex Nesbitt makes his Knights' starting debut; he's been very impressive as a reliever of late so he's earned a starting shot. He's allowed no runs and just two hits over eight innings in his last two appearances, with five strikeouts.

We'll make the long trip home after tonight's game and then face the Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team in a nonleague game at 6:40 p.m. Thursday at Goss Stadium. That game drew more than 1,400 fans last year and we're expecting another good turnout on a Block 15 Thursday.

The Knights are then idle until Wednesday (7/24), when we begin a three-game home series with the expansion Medford Rogues. It will be a homecoming for Medford coach Josh Hogan, a standout middle infielder for the Knights from 2007-09, and for Medford assistant coach Dylan Jones, an Oregon State alum and a 2009-10 Knight who was our 2010 MVP.

So, now you're all caught up, and we'll get on with today's news.

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There's been some movement by our minor-league Knights alums.

* The Boston Red Sox have promoted alum Kyle Kraus (2009-10) for the third time this season. He's now pitching for Portland (Maine) in the Class AA Eastern League. He started the season in low-A and twice was moved up to high-A before his most recent jump.

* The San Francisco Giants have promoted pitcher Chase Johnson (2011) to Salem-Keizer in the Northwest League from the Arizona Rookie League.

* First baseman Dean Green is on rehab assignment with the Gulf Coast League Tigers after spending nearly two months on the DL. He started the year at high-A Lakeland in the Florida State League.

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Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy was 1-for-1 with a homer, two RBIs, a run and two walks in a 6-3 win over Trenton on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Richmond (AA Eastern, Giants) pitcher Josh Osich (2008) threw two scoreless innings and had a strikeout in a 9-3 win over Binghamton.

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Good story in the Medford Mail-Tribune on Victoria HarbourCats coach Dennis Rogers, who also is a great friend of the Knights through his position as the head coach at partner school Riverside City College.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .234 (15-64) with three homers and three RBIs in 28 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .444 (4-9) with no homers or RBIs for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League. He's on the DL.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .234 (64-274) with five homers and 37 RBIs in 80 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .208 (32-154) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 45 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .287 (47-164) with three homers and 28 RBIs in 48 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .308 (82-266) with four homers and 42 RBIs in 72 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .196 (10-51) with one RBI in 16 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .235 (28-119) with one homer and 11 RBIs in 35 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .299 (20-67) with one homer and five RBIs in 23 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .265 (11-43) with one homer and two RBIs in 15 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .250 (2-8) with a homer and three RBIs with the Gulf Coast League Tigers while on rehab assignment from Lakeland, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .257 (43-167) with four homers and 18 RBIs in 45 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .250 (10-40) with one homer and six RBIs in 11 games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .225 (47-209) with seven homers and 23 RBIs in 70 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .291 (97-333) with 16 homers and 58 RBIs in 92 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .167 (4-24) with two RBIs in nine games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .265 (59-223) with 11 homers and 39 RBIs in 71 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .328 (21-64) with one homer and six RBIs in 19 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 0-1, 3.80 in eight games with Modesto, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A California League. He has 39 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, but is presently on the DL.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-2, 4.15 in four games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 15 strikeouts in 21.2 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 0-1, 13.50 in five games with Eugene, San Diego's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

MATT BOYD (2010): Matt has signed with Toronto but has not yet been assigned to a team.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-2, 12.00 in five games with the Athletics, Oakland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has seven strikeouts in six innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-2, 4.61 in seven games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has 13 strikeouts in 13.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 0-0, 0.00 in one game with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has five strikeouts in four innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 3-2, 2.70 in seven games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 41 strikeouts in 40 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 0-0, 0.00 in one game with Portland, Boston's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League. He has two strikeouts in four innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 3-6, 4.35 in 18 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 91 strikeouts in 93 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 3-3, 4.87 with two saves in 17 appearances with Kane County (Ill.), the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-3, 6.26 in 36 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 36 strikeouts in 54.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-2, 9.95 in five appearances with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League. He has eight strikeouts in 6.1 innings.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 2.68 in 24 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He has 19 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.

JIMMIE SHERFY (2011): Jimmie is 0-0, 0.00 in one appearance with Hillsboro, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has one strikeout in one inning.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-6, 5.91 in 17 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 46 strikeouts in 91.1 innings. ----------------------------------------------------

That's all for today. The blog is taking a little all-star break after today; we'll see you next Tuesday.


Tough loss in Bellingham

July 16, 2013

A tough loss for us last night in Bellingham. We failed to cash in on some excellent scoring chances early, and six (!!) errors led to all four runs for the Bells in a 4-3 loss at Joe Martin Stadium.

We could have tied idle Bend for first place in the South Division with a win. Instead we dropped 1/2 game and now trail the Elks by a full game.

Game 2 is tonight and starter Elliot Surrey of UC Irvine hopes to get us back on track. Game 3 is Wednesday night (Alex Nesbitt gets his first start) and on Thursday we're back home for a nonleague game against the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team.

We've got the weekend off. On Monday, South Division all-stars Dane Lund, Blake Drake, Cody Lenahan, Devon Barker and Brandon Choate and GM Bre Kerkvliet will head to Victoria for Tuesday night's WCL All-Star Game at Royal Athletic Park.

We're back home on Wednesday for a three-game series with the expansion Medford Rogues. We'll welcome back ex-Knights stars Josh Hogan (2007-09) and Dylan Jones (2009-10), Medford's head and assistant coach, respectively.

Now on to today's news.

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As we stated above, five Knights have been named to the South Division team for the West Coast League All-Star Game, set for Tuesday in Victoria. Here are full details on our all-stars from our webste, and here are details on the game and the complete ASG rosters from the WCL website.

It should be a great game. We revived the All-Star Game in 2011 after a two-year hiatus, drew more than 2,500 fans, and it's been a big success ever since.

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Broward County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) homered, singled, scored and drove in a run in a 2-1 loss to Palm Beach on Monday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) doubled, scored and drove in a run in a 6-5 loss to Trenton.

* Vermont (A New York-Penn, Athletics) catcher Ryan Gorton (2011) was 3-for-3 with a walk in a 6-2 loss to Mahoning Valley.

* Salem-Keizer (A Northwest, Giants) pitcher Chris Johnson (2011) allowed two runs in six innings, had five strikeouts without a walk and got the win in a 6-4 victory over Eugene.


How sweep it is!

July 15, 2013

It could all change tonight if we lose at Bellingham, but right now everyone's in a pretty good mood down here at the WWHQ of the Corvallis Knights.

That's what back-to-back sweeps, an 8-game winning streak, and a 10-1 homestand will do for you. We've moved to within 1/2 game of first-place Bend in the South Division, and we can pull into a first-place tie with the Elks if we win tonight.

So now it's off to Bellingham and three games with the Bells tonight, Tuesday night and Wednesday night. We took 2 of 3 from Bellingham at Goss Stadium on July 2-4 to start the recent homestand so they'll be looking to avenge those losses.

We return home for our annual nonleague game against the Albany Mid-Valley Rockets American Legion team on Thursday night. We then have the weekend off, and several of our players will then head to Victoria, B.C., for the July 23 All-Star Game at Royal Athletic Park.

Our next home West Coast League series is July 24-26 against Medford.

Now, on to today's Knights' news.

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As expected, we passed the 200,000 mark in total attendance since our move to Corvallis for the 2007 season on Friday night. Thanks to our loyal fans for making that possible.

For the season, we're at 26,392 for 21 openings, an average of 1,257 per game. We slightly ahead (+ 81) of last season through a corresponding number of dates.

We can still hit our preseason target of 45,000, as we've got some great promotions and possible playoffs remaining. So we'll see you at the ballpark.

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The Toronto Blue Jays still have not assigned recent pro signee Matt Boyd (2010), a left-handed pitcher from Oregon State, to a minor-league roster. When they do, we'll include him in our weekly stats update of our minor-league alums.

That's also the case with pitcher Jimmie Sherfy (2011), an Oregon alum who signed with Arizona. He's in Hillsboro with the Hops of the short-season Class A Northwest League, but he's not yet on their active roster and has not yet appeared in a game.

Here's a complete list of all WCL alums in affiliated baseball as of July 7.

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Here's a link to a Bellingham radio interview with new WCL President Dennis Koho on KPUG 1170 AM. It's interesting and informative about his plans in his new job.

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The Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League returned pitcher Matt Way (2007) to the active list on July 12, He had been inactive since July 2. He is 3-4, 4.60 in 12 starts, with 56 strikeouts in 58.2 innings.

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Springfield (AA Texas, Cardinals) outfielder Adam Melker (2008-09), the Knights' original Melkman, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs on Sunday in a 6-3 win over Arkansas to earn Corvallis Knights Player of the Day honors. His younger brother, Grant Melker, now plays for the Knights.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Reading (AA Eastern, Phillies) first baseman Jim Murphy (2007) was 3-for-6 with two doubles and an RBI in a 7-5 loss to New Hampshire.

* Broward County (A Florida State, Brewers) outfielder Mitch Haniger (2010) was 2-for-4 with a run and a triple in a 5-3 win over Palm Beach.

* Augusta (A South Atlantic, Giants) shortstop Matt Duffy (2010)was 3-for-4 with a triple and a run in a 5-4 loss to Charleston.

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The new Miss Oregon, Allison Cook, will appear at Medford's game on Saturday to help fund-raise for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. Here are more details from the Medford Mail-Tribune newspaper.

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That's it for today. See you on Tuesday.


We should hit a milestone tonight

July 12, 2013

Good morning, everyone. Another great one at the WWHQ, since we defeated Walla Walla 2-0 last night for our fourth West Coast League win in a row.

Last night's game drew 1,244 fans and brought us to the verge of a milestone. We've drawn 198,918 fans in the 6-plus years since we moved to Corvallis from Gresham, so sometime tonight (we expect) the 200,000th Knights fan will enter Goss Stadium to watch Game 2 of the series against the Sweets.

Here's more on that topic from Corvallis Gazette-Times reporter Brad Fuqua, who covered last night's win and who will be there again tonight for what we hope is a series-clinching victory.

Anyways, thanks to all the Knights fans out there who've helped make our team so successful, and by extension our jobs so fun.

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One thing mentioned in Brad's blog that we linked in the above segment was creative sound effects. And he's right, we do try to have a little tasteful fun with our music.

Our press box crew also includes music maestro Zach Zaremba of Crescent Valley and UMass; graphics coordinator Amanda Carraway of Oregon State; PA announcer Doug Blair and assistant to the president JK Dykes of Washington State. Everyone makes suggestions for the frequent musical and video interludes that help spice up the dead air between batters, innings and pitches.

Sometimes fans might wonder what we're doing (we do too). So here's a primer so you'll be informed and not have to scratch your head when you hear something that doesn't sound quite right.

* Every player and pitcher has a walkup song that's played each time he comes to bat, or goes in to pitch. The players request their music and as long as there are no explicit lyrics, we'll accommodate them.

* We try to get creative. For example, when the catcher and the pitcher confer, you'll sometimes hear this classic from "The Godfather" played. Last year we played this Godfather classic line.

* Sometimes when the coach and the catcher come out to the mound we'll play the "Three Best Friends" song from the movie "The Hangover."

* Last night we broke out "Kumbaya" when Walla Walla's entire infield, the catcher and a coach held a conference on the mound. We'd been waiting to do that one but Wenatchee never called that big a conference during the previous series.

* Every time outfielder Grant Melker gets a hit, steals a base or makes a great catch, we play this gem we discovered. Gotta love "The Melkman."

* We played the "Can I buy a vowel?" line from "Wheel of Fortune" when Walla Walla infielder John Skrbec came to bat.

* Last night we also Rick-rolled catcher Dane Lund's walkup song on his second at-bat.

We're always trying to think of more fun stuff, so don't be shy. If you've got any ideas, come on up to the press box and let us know.

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Knights alums Ben Wetzler and Scott Schultz of Oregon State, two key members of our 2011 WCL championship team, did not sign pro contracts and they will return to OSU for their senior seasons.

Wetzler was draftxed by Philadelphia in the fifth round; Schultz was a 17-round pick of the Miami Marlins.

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Great Falls (A Pioneer, White Sox) first baseman Danny Hayes (2010) was 3-for-4 with a homer and an RBI in a 6-4 win at Orem on Thursday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

* Jupiter (A Florida State, Marlins) outfielder Alex Burg was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI in a 6-1 win over Fort Myers.

* South Bend (A Midwest, Diamondbacks) third baseman Carter Bell (2009) was 2-for-4 with a run in a 6-1 win over Kane County.

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Here's a report of the West Coast League's weekly highlights for each club. And here's a good story from The Wenatchee World newspaper on Wenatchee owner Jim Corcoran's attempts to upgrade his team's venue, or build a new, bigger ballpark altogether.

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It's time to update the stats from your Corvallis Knights alums in affiliated minor-league baseball:

DAYTON ALEXANDER (2011): Dayton is hitting .246 (15-61) with three homers and six RBIs in 27 games with Beloit, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

BO ALTOBELLI (2010): Bo is hitting .444 (4-9) with no homers or RBIs for Elizabethton, Minnesota's affiliate in the Class A Appalachian League. He's on the DL.

TAYLOR ARD (2009): Taylor is hitting .240 (63-262) with five homers and 36 RBIs in 77 games with Clinton (Iowa), Seattle's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

CARTER BELL (2009): Carter is hitting .207 (31-150) with two homers and 11 RBIs in 44 games with South Bend, Arizona's affiliate in the Class A Midwest League.

ALEX BURG (2008): Alex is hitting .311 (47-151) with three homers and 26 RBIs in 44 games with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

MATT DUFFY (2010): Matt is hitting .304 (77-250) with four homers and 40 RBIs in 68 games with Augusta (Ga.), San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League.

GRANT FINK (2011): Grant is hitting .196 (9-46) in 14 games for the Indians, Cleveland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League.

ROCKY GALE (2007, 2009): Rocky is hitting .231 (25-108) with 10 RBIs in 32 games for San Antonio, San Diego's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

DREW GARCIA (2007): Drew is hitting .303 (20-66) with one homer and five RBIs in 22 games with Colorado Springs, Colorado's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League.

RYAN GORTON (2011): Ryan is hitting .194 (7-36) with one homer and two RBIs in 13 games for Vermont, Oakland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

DEAN GREEN (2008): Dean is hitting .333 (25-75) with a homer and six RBIs in 18 games with Lakeland, Detroit's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League. He's currently on the DL.

MITCH HANIGER (2010): Mitch is hitting .243 (37-152) with three homers and 17 RBIs in 41 games for Brevard County, Milwaukee's affiliate in the Class A Florida State League.

DANNY HAYES (2010): Danny is hitting .310 (9-29) with one homer and five RBIs in eight games for Great Falls, the White Sox affiliate in the Class A Pioneer League.

ADAM MELKER (2008, 2009): Adam is hitting .226 (45-199) with seven homers and 17 RBIs in 66 games for Springfield (Mo.), St. Louis's affiliate in the double-A Texas League.

JIM MURPHY (2007): Jim is hitting .287 (91-317) with 15 homers and 54 RBIs in 88 games for Reading (Pa.), Philadelphia's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JAKE RODRIGUEZ (2010): Jake is hitting .190 (4-21) with two RBIs in eight games for Tri-City, Houston's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League.

ANDREW SUSAC (2009): Andrew is hitting .265 (58-219) with 11 homers and 38 RBIs in 70 games for Richmond (Va.), San Francisco's affiliate in the double-A Eastern League.

JUSTIN VIELE (2010): Justin is hitting .300 (15-50) with one homer and five RBIs in 15 games with the Orioles of the Arizona Rookie League.

TYLER ANDERSON (2009): Tyler is 0-1, 3.80 in eight games with Modesto, Colorado's affiliate in the single-A California League. He has 39 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, but is presently on the DL.

MATT ANDRIESE (2009): Matt is 1-1, 2.50 in three games for Tucson, San Diego's affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 14 strikeouts in 18 innings.

MAX BEATTY (2010-12): Max is 0-1, 13.50 in five games with Eugene, San Diego's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

MATT BOYD (2010): Matt has signed with Toronto but has not yet been assigned to a team.

A.J. BURKE (2012): A.J. is 0-2, 10.13 in four games with the Athletics, Oakland's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has five strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

TREVOR FRANK (2012): Trevor is 0-2, 4.26 in six games for Mahoning Valley, Cleveland's affiliate in the Class A New York-Penn League. He has 11 strikeouts in 12.2 innings.

SAM GAVIGLIO (2009): Sam is 3-1, 3.67 in five games with Palm Beach, St. Louis's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 21 strikeouts in 27 innings. He is presently on the DL.

CHASE JOHNSON (2011): Chase is 0-0, 1.69 in three games with the Giants, San Francisco's affiliate in the Arizona Rookie League. He has seven strikeouts in 5.1 innings.

CHRIS JOHNSON (2011): Chris is 2-2, 2.65 in six games with Salem-Keizer, San Francisco's affiliate in the Class A Northwest League, with 36 strikeouts in 34 innings.

KYLE KRAUS (2009, 2010): Kyle is 1-2, 4.84 in five games for Salem, Boston's affiliate in the single-A Carolina League. He has 12 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.

SCOTT LYMAN (2010): Scott is 2-6, 4.62 in 17 games for Greensboro (N.C.), Miami's affiliate in the Class A South Atlantic League, with 88 strikeouts in 86 innings.

EDDIE OROZCO (2008, 2009): Eddie is 3-3, 4.87 with two saves in 17 appearances with Kane County (Ill.), the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the Class A Midwest League, with 17 strikeouts in 20.1 innings.

GREG PEAVEY (2007): Greg is 4-3, 6.37 in 35 appearances with Las Vegas, the New York Mets' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 36 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.

JOSH OSICH (2008): Josh is 0-1, 10.80 in three appearances with Richmond, San Francisco's affiliate in the AA Eastern League. He has four strikeouts in 3.1 innings.

JAMES NYGREN (2009): James is 4-2, 2.82 in 23 appearances with Jupiter, Miami's affiliate in the single-A Florida State League. He has 19 strikeouts in 38.1 innings.

NICK STRUCK (2009): Nick is 5-6, 5.91 in 17 games with Iowa, the Chicago Cubs' affiliate in the triple-A Pacific Coast League. He has 46 strikeouts in 91.1 innings.

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That's all for today. See you on Monday, or at the ballpark tonight and Saturday night.


Sweets next after our sweep

July 11, 2013

Happy Thursday, everyone.

And a happy one it is at the WWHQ, in the wake of our sweep of the defending WCL champion Wenatchee AppleSox this week. We're finally playing well (5-1 in our last 6), have a nice grip on second place in the South Division, and are now just two games behind first-place Bend.

There's another tough assignment coming up, though. We open a series with Walla Walla tonight and the Sweets are now in first place in the North Division following their sweep at Victoria this week. They are 8-2 in their last 10 WCL games to improve to 19-11 in the WCL; they're two games ahead of Wenatchee in the North.

So come on out to the ballpark tonight through Thursday for a good series, and help us reach another milestone (see next blog item).

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The Knights will reach a significant attendance milestone sometime during this weekend's series with the Sweets.

The 200,000th fan in franchise history will enter Goss Stadium, most likely on Friday night. Entering the series the Knights have drawn 197,674 fans in our six-plus seasons since moving to Corvallis in 2007, so the milestone will be reached Friday if the season average is maintained.

No special ceremony is planned to mark the occasion and the exact identity of the 200,000th fan will never be known. But he or she represents a major accomplishment for us. Here's the complete story, from corvallisknights.com

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Don't know how we missed this, but the Chicago White Sox recalled third baseman Brent Morel from triple-A Charlotte on July 3 to fill a roster opening created when Paul Konerko went on the 15-day DL.

BeMo had been up with the big club from June 26-29 while another player was on peternity leave, but had been sent back to Charlotte. Here's more from csnchicago.com.

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First baseman Jim Murphy (2007) of Reading was 0-for-2 for the East Division and catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Richmond was 0-for-1 for the West on Wednesday at the Eastern League All-Star game at New Britain, Conn.

The West won 5-0. Susac wasn't scheduled for play because of a finger injury but he did appear as a pinch-hitter.

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Nice story on Corvallis native Thomas McCarty in today's Corvallis Gazette-Times. There's no mention of it, but he played for the Knights in 2010 before heading off to Kentucky for his breakout junior season.

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Clinton (A Midwest, Mariners) first baseman Taylor Ard (2009) was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in a 6-1 win over West Michigan on Wednesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention goes to:

* Colorado Springs (AAA Pacific Coast, Rockies) second baseman Drew Garcia (2007)was 2-for-4 with two runs in an 8-3 win over Sacramento.

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Short and sweet today

July 10, 2013

We'll be brief, as it's already been a busy morning and we've still got a game tonight.

Great win last night over Wenatchee to clinch the home series, and to guarantee nothing worse that a season split with the AppleSox, the defending WCL champions. We're now 4-1 in our last five WCL games, have won two series in a row, and are 6-1 overall in our last seven games.

Tonight's series finale starts at 6:40 p.m. and matches lefty Devon Barker (2-1, 3.41) for the Knights and righty Jake Bruml (2-1, 3.22) for Wenatchee. The fifth annual Heart of the Valley Runners Take Me Out to the Ballgame 5K Run and Walk precedes the game, starting and finishing at Goss Stadium.

So, see you there. We've had great weather throughout our ongoing 11-game homestand and it looks super for the rest of the week, so we'll see you at Goss!

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Last night's crowd of 1,136 raised our season total to 21,293 in 17 dates, an average of 1,253 per opening. We're 610 fans ahead of last year's pace through a corresponding number of home games.

That's great but we'll need your help to crack our all-time record of 42,447, set in 2011, and to reach our target goal of 45,000. So come on out to Goss Stadium through the rest of the week. We host Walla Walla this Thursday through Saturday.

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Remember, first baseman Jim Murphy of the Reading (Pa.) Fightin' Phils, our 2007 MVP, plays in the Eastern League All-Star Game tonight in New Britain, Conn. Catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Richmond was also selected but he can't play because of an injury.

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Vermont (A New York-Penn, Athletics) catcher Ryan Gorton (2011) homered, singled and had a sacrifice bunt that led to the winning run in a 2-1, 10-inning win over Hudson Valley on Tuesday to earn Corvallis Knights Minor League Player of the Day honors.

Honorable mention went to:

Greensboro (A South Atlantic, Marlins) pitcher Scott Lyman allowed three hits and two runs over eight innings and got the win in a 7-2 victory over Lexington. He had seven strikeouts.

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That's all for today. See you on Thursday.