Mascot | Knights Daily Update with Brooks Hatch | Gallery | SEA Day

Fan Zone

Knights Daily Update

Knights Daily Update

Knight-coached Perth advances to ABL Championship Series

February 1, 2011

Ok, so the weather today might be more appropriate for the NHL's annual Winter Classic than for a West Coast League baseball game.

But the sun's out, and that's a great reminder that warmer weather and more hours of daylight are on the way. It's only 122 more days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla against the Sweets.

And that means only 126 more days until our home opener at Goss Stadium against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Now, onto other things:

You may have read about this on the Knights e-newsletter that went out this week. If not, here's some news about the Perth Heat of the Australia Baseball League, who are coached by Knights' skipper Brooke Knight.

The Heat defeated the host Sydney Blue Sox 4-2 and 6-0 to sweep the best-of-3 opening-round series. Perth thus advanced to the Delta Air Lines ABL Championship Series, set for Feb. 11-13, where it will play either Sydney or Adelaide, who meet this week in a loser-outg series for the right to play Perth for the title.


We missed this last year, but it's never too late to report some good news.

Former Knights shortstop Richie Jimenez (2008-2009), the 2009 West Coast League Player of the Year and one of the most popular players in Corvallis Knights history, was named a first-team Mountain West Conference academic all-star for 2010.

A senior this season, Jimenez had a 3.35 GPA in physical education. He started 57 games in 2010 and hit .259, with no homers and 27 RBIs, in his first year with the Rebels after transferring from Riverside CC.


The Knights have enjoyed a great relationship with Cal Poly over the years and several future and former Knights figure prominently in the Mustangs' plans for the 2011 season. They started practice on Friday.

Mitch Haniger, the 2010 Big West Conference Freshman of the Year and a top player for the Knights last summer, is their projected starting right fielder.

He hit .326, with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 46 RBIs, for Cal Poly in 2010 and did not make an error, not surprising for anyone who remembers his fantastic catch in deep center field against Wenatchee last summer, one of the greatest I've seen in more than 20 years of covering baseball at Goss Stadium/Coleman Field.

Former Knight D.J. Gentile (2009) is projected to start at DH, and freshman pitcher Chase Johnson, a 2011 Knight-to-be, could contend for a spot in the starting rotation.

Future 2011 Knights Jimmy Allen and David Armendariz will battle for playing time in the infield.

Monday Knights, WCL update

January 31, 2011

Representatives of the Knights will attend the Linn County Spring Home Show at the Linn County Expo Center this Friday-Sunday. We'll have all the info/ticket applications you residents of Linn County - and anyone else who attends - need for the 2011 season.


Pretty slim pickings for the Knights and the WCL news on a Monday, but we always try to come up with something and here's an item from Bellingham.

The Bells have signed three plazyers from UCLA, the 2010 NCAA runner-up. They are sophomore outfielder Jeff Gelalich, freshman infielder Pat Gallagher and redshirt freshman right-handed pitcher Ryan Deeter.

Gelalich hit .321, with two homers, 13 RBIs and seven steals for UCLA as a freshman.

Gallagher was Nevada's All-North 4A Player of the Year as a senior at Reno High School ands was first-team all-state. He hit .505 with 18 home runs, 12 doubles, 56 RBIs, and 46 runs, and was a Baseball America prep All-American.

Deeter redshirted in 2010 at UCLA and then played with the Holyoke (Mass.) Blue Sox of the New England Collegiate League during the summer. He had two saves, 17 strikeouts and a 1.93 ERA in 23.1 innings.

Future Knights to play vs. Beavers

January 27, 2011

It's kind of a slow news day down here at the Knights' WWHQ (that's world-wide headquarters, for you newcomers to the Knights' blog).

But we want to keep all of you in the habit of stopping by daily, so we always try to have a little news about the Knights, or the West Coast League, to pass along.

So here goes.


The Oregon State baseball team announced Thursday the Beavers will host the Seattle University RedHawks at Goss on March 22 and March 23.

That's an opportunity for you to check out future Knights Nate Roberts, an infielder from Silverdale, Wash., and Cam Christian, a pitcher from Auburn, Wash., via Spokane CC.

Some of you more astute WCL fans may remember Roberts from last summer, when he played for the Moses Lake Pirates, hit .335 and led the WCL with 35 RBIs.

Other opportunities to see future Knights are March 8 and May 3, when OSU's hosts Oregon (pitcher Jimmie Sherfy and outfielder Connor Hofman); May 10, when OSU hosts Portland (catcher Beau Fraser, pitcher Chris Johnson and outfielder Nick Armenta), and April 21-23, when Washington State (infielder J.K. Dykes, outfielder Nate Blackham) comes to town.

And you can see OSU's future Knights: pitchers Ben Holmes-Wetzler, Scott Schultz and Tom Zarosinski, and infielder Brandon Defazio all spring.


And remember, only 127 days until the June 3 opening night at Walla Walla, and only 131 more until we open the home schedule on June 7 at Goss Stadium, against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Jason Schwartz hired by Tri-City Dust Devils

January 26, 2011

It's always a pleasure to announce some great news in the Knights family, and we've got some today.

Jason Schwartz, our No. 2 radio broadcaster last summer, has been hired by the Tri-City (Wash.) Dust Devils of the Northwest League to be their play-by-play broadcaster for the 2011 season. It's the first job in affiliated baseball for the 22-year-old Schwartz, who graduated from USC last June.

"I couldn't be happier," he said Wednesday in a telephone interview from Los Angeles, where he's living this winter while working as the play-by-play voice of the USC women's basketball team for

"This is exactly what I wanted. My goal was to break into affiliated baseball this summer ... I can't believe it's happening this fast."

The Dust Devils are the Colorado Rockies affiliate in the short-A Northwest League. They play at Gesa Stadium in Pasco, and will be in Keizer on July 7-11 for a series against the Volcanoes, and in Eugene on Aug. 2-6 for a five-game set with the Emeralds.

Their radio home is Newstalk 870 AM. He succeeds Mike Boyle, who moved on to the NWL's Spokane Indians after four seasons with the Dust Devils.

"We are excited to have Jason join our staff as the voice of the Dust Devils," Tri-City vice-president/general manager Derrel Ebert said. "Jason is an exciting broadcaster (who) will bring a freshness to our broadcasts our fans are going to enjoy."

It will be Schwartz's the third straight summer in the Pacific Northwest. He worked for the Wenatchee AppleSox in 2009 before joining the Knights last June.

"I was hoping to work in the Northwest League, because I'm familiar with the area," he said. "The Northwest League is a good step up for me."

The Dust Devils open the season on June 17, at home against the Everett AquaSox, and play 75 games in the next 77 days, so he'll get his fill of baseball. Barring a rainout, their only off days until the Sept. 3 finale are July 12 and Aug. 1.

Incidentally, he'll be in Corvallis on Feb. 9-10 for the USC-OSU women's basketball game on Feb. 10. So if you see him on press row at Gill Coliseum that night, offer him congratulations. Before or after the game, of course.


Some news from around the WCL:

COWLITZ: Bryson LeBlanc,the Black Bears coach in 2010 and the camp coordinator for the University of Oregon baseball program, has been named the Ducks' volunteer assistant coach.

LeBlanc will coach first base, work with the team's outfielders and assist with the offense.

LeBlanc is in his third year at Oregon. He's been the camp coordinator since the 2007 reinstatement of the program, developing camps and clinics from scratch.

WENATCHEE: Former AppleSox assistant coach Fletcher Vynne graduated with honors from the U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, R.I., this past December.

He is presently attending Naval Flight School in Pensacola, Fla. He joined the Navy after helping direct Wenatchee to the WCL championship last summer.

KLAMATH FALLS: The first 1,500 fans at Kiger Stadium to watch the Gems' June 3 season opener against the Bend Elks will receive commemorative t-shirts signifying the first game in franchise history.


It wouldn't be a blog without a countdown. Only 128 days until the June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and just 132 before the home opener against Klamath Falls.

Brooke Knight leads Perth to second place

January 25, 2011

It's only 129 days and counting untl Opening Night V in Walla Walla, and only 133 until Opening Night V at Goss Stadium.

A few updates from the intertwined worlds of Corvallis Knights and West Coast League baseball:


Knights manager Brooke Knight directed the Perth Heat to second place, and a playoff berth, in the six-team Australian Baseball League this summer.

Perth now faces the first-place Sydney BlueSox in a three-game playoff, starting on Jan. 27.

You can read all about it on our homepage at Corvallis, under the "news" portion.


The Knights brain trust (that excludes the blog, obviously) has their thinking caps on and are scheming for ways to make this year's games even more enjoyable, and for ways to strengthen our team's ties with the Corvallis/Philomath/Albany/Lebanon/all other points near and far community.

We'll detail some of those ideas when they become reality.

One thing we know for sure is, we'll be introducing a new line of sharp-looking team apparel this summer. I've seen the designs and even someone as fashion-challenged as myself knows it's mighty good-looking stuff.

And the popular Joe Beaver Show, co-anchored by Knights play-by-play broadcaster Mike Parker and Jon "Doc" Warren should be at the worldwide headquarters in downtown Corvallis for a remote broadcast sometime this May, previewing the upcoming season.

The Joe Beaver Show is on KEJO (1240 AM) and that station will again be the radio home of the Corvallis Knights this season.


Some news from around the WCL:

The league has a new group of officers for 2011.

Jim Corcoran of the Wenatchee AppleSox and Eddie Poplawski of the Bellingham Bells will serve as league vice-presidents. Our own president, Dan Segel, is the league secretary, and Tony Bonacci of the Cowlitz Black Bears will be treasurer.


The Cowlitz Black Bears, Walla Walla Sweets and Wenatchee AppleSox all made a huge impact in their respective communities in 2010. How so?

The expansion Black Bears were selected as the biggest sports story in Longview/Kelso by the Longview Daily News.

The Sweets were chosen the top sports story of the year in Walla Walla by the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin.

The 2010 WCL Champion AppleSox were the top sports story in their community, as selected by the Wenatchee World.

Our local paper, the Corvallis Gazette-Times, votes for the top 10 Oregon State sports stories and the top 10 high school sports stories every year. Maybe for 2011 we can get my good friends at the G-T to consider the Knights, the T. Gerding Construction Marketmen American Legion program and other community sports teams for consideration as well, if appropriate.


UCLA sophomore infielder/catcher Trevor Brown, who hit .333 with 16 RBI for Wenatchee in 2010, and UCLA sophomore outfielder Dennis Holt, who played for Walla Walla (.288, 2-11) in 2010, will play for the St. Cloud River Bats in the Northwoods League this summer.

They have also signed UC Irvine infielder Jordan Fox, who hit .331 for the Cowlitz Black Bears in 2010.

That's all for now.

Mack the Knight makes his season debut

January 24, 2011

It's a pretty quiet day here at the Corvallis Knights' downtown worldwide headquarters, smack in the center of what a group of scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico determined was the top city in the country for innovation.

El Presidente (team president Dan Segel) is in Australia doing some work for the MLB-funded ABL and the Perth Heat (and no doubt conferring with Knights' manager Brooke Knight, who coaches the Perth Heat in the Australia Summer League).

Co-worker Bre Kerkvliet is up in Portland at a Trail Blazers' job fair, scouring the best and the brightest for some summer employees who will enhance the Goss Stadium experience for the most important factor in the Knights' equation, you, the faithful fan.

But we're still grinding away with another installment of the Knights blog, with several items of interest from the homefront and from around the West Coast League.

So, without further fanfare, as we celebrate t-minus 130 days before opening night in Walla Walla:


Our players aren't the only ones who have off-season workouts. Mascot Mack the Knight made his first appearance of the year this past Saturday at Franklin School in Corvallis during the initial day of signups for the Corvallis Little League.

Mack was a little rusty, and wasn't quite ready to bust out the new moves and dance steps he's been working on for the 2011 season. But afterward he did sit down for a couple minutes for an e-mail interview. Mack can't talk, but once he takes his batting gloves off he's a wizard on the computer.

BLOG: So, how was your first gig?

MACK: "Pretty solid. I felt loose, comfortable, and creative, even if my muscles were still a little creaky from the Veteran's Day Parade over in Albany. That's quite a hike."

BLOG: How was the crowd?

MACK: "Not bad. It wasn't terribly crowded, so I could ease my way into a new season instead of being slammed right off the bat. Some toddlers were scared, and a couple kids playing football in the hallway threw a couple punches and tried to go all Ray Lewis on me, but I've got a pretty strong chin and they just bounced off.

"Mostly, the kids were friendly, and excited to see me; one girl earned mega-Mack Bonus Points because she was wearing a Knights tee-shirt. And it wasn't too warm, which is good, because I've been known to work up a pretty good sweat."

BLOG: Anything else new?

MACK: "Not much. I'm not sure when I'll resume my preseason training but with the San Diego Chicken and the ZOOperstars! coming to town this summer I'll have to be on the ball to keep up. So I'll be working on the QT to take my game to the next level so I can represent."


The Knights will use the June 18-19 Reser's All-Star Series for Oregon 5A/6A standouts to raise money for the Hansen Stadium at Taylor Field renovation project. All the details, including several artist's renditions of what the new stadium will look like, can be found on our website's homepage at


A few news items from around the WCL:

BEND: The San Diego Chicken will appear in Bend on July 15 when the Elks play the Wenatchee Applesox. He was last there in 2008, and the Elks drew a crowd of 1,536 to Vince Genna Stadium.

The Chicken will make his first Corvallis appearance on July 16, when the Knights play Kelowna.

WENATCHEE: Reliever Jeff Ames, one of the WCL's top closers in 2010, has been named a preseason junior college All-American by Baseball America magazine. The one-time Oregon State signee (2009) was drafted in the 30th round by Colorado in 2010 but turned the Rockies down and is now a sophomore at Lower Columbia College in Longview.

He is listed by the magazine as the country's 12th-best junior-college prospect. He was a first-team WCL all-star, was ranked as Baseball America's No. 3 WCL prospect, and had nine saaves, including three in the playoffs.

Ames was previously recognized by Baseball America in the fall when he was named the WCL's #3 pro prospect.


And finally, the obligatory plug for Knights season tickets.

Season tickets are available at the Knights worldwide headquarters downtown, or online at The 31-game Goss Stadium home schedule starts on June 7 against the new Klamath Falls Gems, and includes several very special events.

- The WCL All-Star Game is set for 7:15 p.m. on July 26. The Home Run Derby begins at 5:30 p.m., and a fireworks display will follow the game.

- The annual July 3 Fireworks Game is against the Bend Elks this year. It's sold out the past two years and should again this season.

- As we reported earlier in the blog, the world-famous San Diego Chicken is coming to Goss Stadium on July 16. It's his first appearance in Corvallis and you don`t want to miss the wacky antics of the most recognizable mascot in sports.

The ZOOperstars!, two $1,000 Kids Dash for Cash Nights, Miser Mondays, Military Appreciation Night, Cowbell Night, Wilson Motors Night, Pepsi Cap Night, Block 15 Thursdays, and lots of other fun promotions are planned.

So keep an eye on and future Knights blogs and e-newsletters for more information, and remember... Go Knights!

Knights add C Orrin Sears

January 21, 2011

Only 133 more days until the June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 137 before we start our fifth season at Goss Stadium on June 7 by welcoming the expansion Klamath Fall Gems on their first visit to Corvallis.

Here are several items related to the Knights and the West Coast League:


The Knights have signed former New Mexico high school standout Orrin Sears, a 6-foot-4, 227-pound catcher from Eldorado High in Albuquerque, for the 2011 season.

Sears, 20, signed with the University of New Mexico and participated in fall drills with the Lobos but he is now expected to attend Linn-Benton Community College.

He was a four-year letterwinner at Eldorado for coach Jim Johns, and was second-team all-state as a senior. He was also a first-team all-state honoree in football, and was named Athlete of the Year at El Dorado as a senior.

He played for Post 49 in American Legion baseball, and the Albuquerque Heat.

"I expect to gain more knowledge of handling other pitchers, hit .300, and fine-tune my defensive skills," Sears said, when asked about his expectations and goals with the Knights.

He strengthens what is already a pretty solid position. Portland junior Beau Fraser, who hit .316, with seven homers and 45 RBIs for the Pilots in 2010, and Wright State junior Corey Davis, who hit .284, with a homer and 12 RBIs, for the Knights last summer, are already aboard.


Knight-to-be Ben Holmes-Wetzler, a freshman lefthanded pitcher at Oregon State, is a finalist for the Oregon 6A/5A Boys Prep Athlete of the Year. The winner will be announced on Jan. 30 at the Oregon Sports Awards show at the Nike campus in Beaverton.

Holmes-Wetzler is from Clackamas, played at Clackamas High, and is one of three OSU freshmen scheduled to join the Knights this summer. The others are righthanded pitchers Tom Zarosinski and Scott Schultz, and infielder Brandon Defazio..


WALLA WALLA: The Sweets have signed Seattle University teammates Cory Mack and Eric Yardley for the 2011 season.

Mack is a freshman left-handed pitcher who played at Central Valley High in Spokane. He was a second-team Greater Spokane League all-star in 2010.

Yardley is a sophomore right-handed pitcher from Richland, Wash., who was 2-2, 1.85 in 21 games for the now-defunct Moses Lake Pirates last summer. He was 1-1, 5.06 in 12 appearances for Seatle U. as a true freshman.

BELLINGHAM: Utah Valley State sophomore Kai Hatch will return to the Bells after serving a two-year LDS Church mission, and the club has also signed BYU sophomore pitcher Chris Howard for the upcoming season.

A Bellingham native who played at Sehome High, Hatch hit .286 with 18 RBIs for UVSU, and .248 in 33 games with the Bells in 2008 before leaving on his mission. His uncle, Gary Hatch, is Bellingham's manager and also coached him at Sehome.

(Not sure if either Hatch is related to the author of this blog, but they could be, in a distant fashion. A branch of the Hatch family tree left New York State to head west on the LDS migration generations before we were born.)

Howard played at Fountain Fort Carson High in Colorado Springs and was 1-1 at BYU in 2010. His win was against then-No. 20 Kansas State.


Season tickets are available at the Knights worldwide headquarters downtown office, or online at The 31-game Goss Stadium home schedule starts on June 7 against the new Klamath Falls Gems, and includes several very special events.

- The WCL All-Star Game is set for 7:15 p.m. on July 26. The Home Run Derby begins at 5:30 p.m., and a fireworks display will follow the game.

- The annual July 3 Fireworks Game against the Bend Elks. It`s sold out the past two years and should again this season.

- The world-famous San Diego Chicken is coming to Goss Stadium on July 16. It's his first appearance in Corvallis and you don`t want to miss the wacky antics of the most recognizable mascot in sports.

The ZOOperstars!, two $1,000 Kids Dash for Cash Nights, Miser Mondays, Military Appreciation Night, Cowbell Night, Wilson Motors Night, Cap Night, Block 15 Thursdays, and lots of other fun nights are planned. So keep an eye on and future Knights blogs and e-newsletters for more information, and remember...Go Knights!

WCL president Ken Wilson to help the Mariners

January 19, 2011

T-minus 135 days and counting before opening night, June 3 at Walla Walla against the second-year Sweets (our home opener is June 7 against the new Klamath Falls Gems).

Here's a few Knights/WCL-related items, just to keep you in the habit of checking this blog frequently:


The Seattle Mariners announced today that a "committee of broadcasters" will help replace the late Dave Niehaus on the team's radio crew.

Among those on that committee is West Coast League president Ken Wilson, who worked with Niehaus on the club's broadcast crew from 1977, Seattle's first season, through 1982.

Other members of that radio committee are Ron Fairly and Ken Levine, and former Mariners' catchers Dan Wilson and Dave Valle.

Rick Rizzs will succeed Niehaus as the lead broadcaster. Dave Sims and Mike Blowers will handle the bulk of the TV broadcasts.

In case you're interested, veteran Mike Parker, the voice of the Knights since their 2007 relocation to Corvallis, will return as the team's primary broadcaster this summer.

--------------------- rates former Corvallis Knights infielder Brent Morel (2007) of the Chicago White Sox as the No. 3 third-base prospect in the majors.

Morel became the first former Corvallis Knight to make the majors in 2010, when he spent the final month of the season with the ChiSox. He started their last 17 games, played in 21 overall, and hit .235, with three homers, three doubles and seven RBIs.

We caught up with Morel in December at a Knights' function at the Rose Garden and our story on him will appear sometime in the near future on the "News" portion of the Knights' web page. Here's's evaluation of one-time Cal Poly star:

3. Brent Morel,White Sox: Morel fits more the mold of a batting-title contender than a power-hitting type, sort of a right-handed Wade Boggs, without the walks. That's not to say he has no pop, but it's not as big a part of his game right now.

He has hit .305 in the minors since being drafted in 2008, and that should continue. He's very good with the glove, even showing the ability to play shortstop if needed. A good spring could land him the job at the hot corner for the White Sox on opening day."


One of the advantages of this job is reconnecting with people from my past life covering Oregon State baseball. One of those faces popped into the Knights' worldwide headquarters today while on business in our fair city.

Former OSU outfielder Jeff Moore (1987-88), now of Tigard, works as a field sales engineer for the Linear Technology Corporation of Lake Oswego. He was one of the charter members of the Knights in the early 1990s - at that time we were more of a semipro team instead of one for players with college eligibility remaining - and he's on the club's Board of Directors.

Moore also coached at Jesuit High from 2005-10 with former Knight/10-year MLB veteran Eric Gunderson , who is also on our Board of Directors.


Former Bellingham Bells (2006-07) and Kelowna Falcons (2008-10) coach Kevin Frady has been named the new coach at Wenatchee Valley (Jr.) College in Wenatchee, Wash.


The two-time WCL-champion Wenatchee AppleSox have hired Sean Winston as an assistant coach. He coaches at Paradise Valley Community College in Phoenix during the school year.

That's all for now.

Jan. 17: Knights add WSU freshman

January 17, 2011

We're back, after a soggy weekend that made summer baseball seem about a million miles away. But, it's only 137 days until our June 3 game at Walla Walla, our fifth opener since the 2007 move to Corvallis. Seems like a long ways off, but it will go fast.

Here's a few news items to get the week off on the right foot.


The Knights have signed outfielder Nathan "Nate" Blackham of Washington State for the 2011 season, general manager/manager Brooke Knight announced Monday. He is a from Mt. Spokane High School in Mead, Wash. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Blackham was a first-team class 3A all-state outfielder as a high school senior in 2010, and was a Greater Spokane League first-team all-star as a sophomore, junior and senior. He won the Mt. Spokane team's "Silver Slugger" award twice and led the Wildcats to three state tournaments.

He also lettered three times in football and earned second-team all-state honors as a defensive back as a senior.

Blackham played left field in WSU's fall practices. His teammates include 2010 and 2011 Knights infielder J.K. Dykes , pitcher David Stilley (2008), infielder Cody Bartlett (2007)and slugger Taylor Ard (2009).


Former Knights Sam Gaviglio (2009) and Andrew Susac (2009) are ranked in the top 100 of the Baseball America magazine's collegiate draft prospects for the 2011 season.

A draft-eligible sophomore, Susac is ranked 23rd among all players, and second among catchers. He was named the No. 5 prospect in the Cape Cod League in 2010 by Baseball America. He was drafted in the 16th round by the Phillies in 2009, but did not sign.

A junior right-handed pitcher, Gaviglio is ranked No. 60. He was Tampa Bay's 40th-round pick in 2008 after his senior year at Ashland High School.


Corvallis Community Access Television (Comcast 29) may broadcast a few Knights' games on tape-delay this summer. Stay tuned for more news on that topic as the season approaches.


Early happy birthday wishes are also in order to Knights outfielder Corey Moore of Pacific Lutheran University, who turns 21 years of age on Jan. 24.


Some news items from elsewhere in the league:

BEND: Former OSU right-handed pitcher Nick Stiltner, now at Corban College, has signed on for his third season with the Elks.

BELLINGHAM: The Bells recently signed pitcher/hitter Kolton Emery and catcher Nick Andrews for 2011. Both players attend South Dakota State University.

Emery was the South Dakota Legion Player of the Year in 2009 after leading Rapid City Post 22 to the state title. Andrews is a graduate of Eastlake High in Sammamish, Wash.

KLAHATH FALLS: In an election sponsored by the Klamath Falls Herald & Review newspaper, fans of the expansion Gems voted to name their new mascot "Tater" by more than a 3-1 margin.

That's all for today. But remember to check back regularly.

Jan. 13: Knights bolster staff, offense

January 13, 2011

Welcome back to the Knights Blog. Please bookmark this site and stop by often, as we plan to update frequently as the season draws closer every day!

The weather outside is terrible but our fifth season (wow!) at Goss Stadium is rapidly approaching. In fact, we host the new Klamath Falls Gems in exactly 146 days, on June 7.

We've been compiling the 2011 roster for quite some time and expect to field a club that will contend for our fifth consecutive West Division championship, and a West Coast League title to bookend the crown we won in 2008. Toward that goal, we've bolstered our pitching staff with four signings in the past month, and added two key offensive players.

First, the pitchers.

Righthander Nick Hoover of UC Irvine will return for his third summer in Corvallis. He's a 6-foot-1, 204-pounder who was 2-1, 2.63 with the club in 2010. A junior with the Anteaters, he will join current assistant coach Billy Clontz and former infielder Josh Hogan in the exclusive fraternity of three-year Knights.

Hoover will be joined by two other Anteaters: Lefty Mark Trentacosta, a 6-4, 220-pound junior from Orange, Calif., who played at Golden West Jr. College, and 6-1, 180-pound freshman righty Sebastian Santos, the Cy Young Award winner on his Murieta Valley (Calif.) High School team in 2010 before signing with the Anteaters.

The other new pitching signee is Kyle McNutt, a 6-5, 240-pound freshman at Riverside Community College. He played at East Valley High in Redlands, Calif., the alma mater of former Knights pitcher Tommy Hanson, now with the Atlanta Braves, and infielder Robby Hudson, now at Triple-A Charlotte in the White Sox organization.

(BTW, we talked with Hudson in December at the Knights' annual board meeting, and will have an update on one of President Dan Segel's favorite all-time Knights in our news section in the coming months).

The offense gets a boost with the return of 5-11, 180-pound Washington State sophomore infielder J.K. Dykes, and 5-9, 170-pound Seattle University sophomore infielder Nate Roberts.

Dykes hit .300, with six RBIs, for the Knights in 2010. Roberts played for the Moses Lake Pirates; he led the WCL with 36 RBIs and hit .335, the sixth-best average in the league.

We open the season on June 3 at Walla Walla and play nine straight WCL games before some of our projected full-time players can join us with the end of their spring classes. So, we've also signed four players to 10-day contracts to fill the roster for that stretch, when we play at Walla Walla and Bend, and host Klamath Falls.

They are infielder Griffin Boyd of Western Oregon, a 2010 Knight; first baseman Sean Myrom, of Concordia; outfielder Nick Armenta of Portland, and pitcher Taylor Hill of Hawaii Pacific.


Some improvements were made at Goss Stadium over the winter. We'll detail those in a coming edition. Other WCL clubs have also been busy at their stadiums as well.

At Klamath Falls, the front four rows of bleacher seating at historic Kiger Stadium are being turned into the Diamond Terrace section, featuring two rows of cushioned chairback seating. It's almost sold out, reflecting the big interest in the WCL in a region with a rich history of minor-league baseball.

A kids' play area, an additional concession stand, a beer stand, an upgraded sound system, and a lot of paint are also part of the refurbishing.

Walla Walla, another WCL market with a history of minor-league baseball, is expanding Borleske Stadium from 1,600 seats to about 2,200 seats.

Improvements include the addition of 120 Diamond Seats and a press box behind home plate. The right-field fence will be lowered to make room for a picnic pavilion.

A satellite beer garden and a new bleacher seating area in right-center field will also be included in the expansion, and a a new sound system will be added.

The Knights open the season at Walla Walla on June 3. Hopefully, the Blog will be making that trip!


Remember Jason Schwartz, the Knights' No. 2 broadcaster from the 2010 season? He's now the play-by-play voice of the USC women's basketball team this winter, and probably having fun, since the Women of Troy are winning and he's a USC graduate.

Jason hopes to be broadcasting for a club in affiliated minor-league baseball this summer.

That's all for now; no need to hit a nine-run homer in our first installment. So check back regularly, and remember ... Go Knights!