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Knights Daily Update

Brooke Knight on the Joe Beaver Show

February 16, 2011

Welcome back to the Blog.

Our skipper, Brooke Knight, will talk about his experiences with the Perth Heat of the Australian Baseball League on the popular Joe Beaver Show at about 12:30 p.m. Friday.

The Joe Beaver Show is broadcast on AM 1240 KEJO, the flagship station of the Corvallis Knights. Our play-by-play broadcaster, Mike Parker, hosts the show and he'll conduct the interview.

As most Knights fans know, Knight led the Heat to the ABL championship last weekend. He's returning to the United States today and should have lots of interesting stuff to say about baseball Down Under.

So give a listen.

And our Director of Tickets, Jaimie Van Vleet is here at the WWHQ putting together our ticket order for the upcoming season. We want her to be plenty busy this summer so stop down and buy your season ticket or punch card, or go online and order at www.corvallisknights.com.

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Former Knights' lefthanded pitcher Matt Way (2007) is starting his third year in the Phillies organization. He's no longer among the team's top 30 minor-league prospects, according to the website The Good Phight, but their 2011 evaluation of the Washington State grad indicates he's still a prospect.

Way was 7-4, 3.65 at Lakewood, Fla., in the South Atlantic League and 0-1, 7.50 in a brief stint with Clearwater in the Florida State League in 2010. Here's how the website evaluated him:

"For some reason, the organization sent a 23-year old Way to Lakewood to begin 2010 after he had already laid waste to the SAL in six starts back at the end of 2009. The results weren't quite as impressive this time around (8.4 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.52 HR/9, 53%, 3.12 FIP in 86.1 IP), and his season ended with an injury just six innings into his Clearwater campaign, so 2011 represents an important year for Way.

"Southpaws who throw strikes are always in demand, so there's a future role for Way if he can successfully climb the organizational ladder."

Way's former WSU/Knights teammate Jim Murphy, a fellow Phillies' farmhand and our 2007 MVP, doesn't make the top-30 list or those who've been dropped from the top 30. He hit .239, with six homers and 43 RBIs, with Clearwater in 2010.

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Somehow we missed this last summer, but it's always worth a look. Here's a Batavian newspaper video interview with ex-Knights' outfielder (2008-09) Adam Melker of Cal Poly, one of the more popular players with the fans in our four-year history in Corvallis.

Melker played with the Batavia (N.Y.) Muckdogs in 2010,and hit .309 (0-11) in 35 games. They're a Cardinals' franchise in the short-A New York-Penn League.

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Some news from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

BEND: The Bend Kiwanis Club will sponsor Mini-bat Night at Vince Genna Stadium on Aug. 1 when the Bend Elks host our Corvallis Knights. The first 1,000 kids will receive a commemorative Louisville Slugger mini bat.

The Knights will also have a mini-bat night at Goss Stadium this summer, on Aug. 5 when we play the WCL Portland Dukes. Our bat night will be sponsored by our friends at Barker-Uerlings Insurance.

KITSAP: If you're in the neighborhood, the Kitsap BlueJackets annual Fan Fest is set for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 21 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds Eagles Nest. It is free, and will include a free youth baseball clinic.


We never sleep at the WWHQ

February 15, 2011

The Knights' blog never rests.

Lots of updates today, most importantly the countdown. We're at 108 days before the June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 112 before Home Opener V, a June 7 throwdown against the Klamath Falls Gems at Goss Stadium.

(Our record opening-night attendance is 822, and we want to smash that. So mark June 7 on your celendars right now!)

So, let's get started.

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First, we're please to unveil a new homepage for our mascot, Mack the Knight, on the Knights' website, Corvallisknights.com .

We'll be having a Birthday Bash for Mack on Saturday night, July 30, when we play the Bend Elks in a 6:40 p.m. game at Goss Stadiuym.

We're inviting mascots from all over Oregon to attend the party so if your school or organization has a mascot and wants to join the festivities, e-mail the blog at [email protected]

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Many Knights past, present and future get a mention in this Salem Statesman-Journal preview of the 2011 Oregon State baseball team by my former newspaper crony Gary Horowitz.

The Beavers open this weekend at Fresno State, where they will also play Gonzaga. This year's club features former Knights Carter Bell, Matt Boyd, Sam Gaviglio, Danny Hayes, Andrew Susac, Dylan Jones, Josh Osich, James Nygren, Jordan Poyer, Taylor Starr and Jake Rodriguez, and 2011 Knights Ben Wetzler, Tom Zarosinski, Brandon Defazio and Scott Schultz.

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You know we love stories on Brent Morel, the Chicago White Sox third baseman who last year became the first former Corvallis Knight to play in the bigs.

With that in mind, here's a story from the Chicago Examiner newspaper on the one-time Cal Poly star, who also played for the Knights in 2006, their final season at Mt. Hood Community College before the great journey south to the promised land.

And here's another story , from the Chicago Tribune.

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University of Portland junior pitcher Kyle Kraus, a standout on the 2009 and 2010 Knights' staff, was named a preseason West Coast Conference all-star in a vote of the coaches.

Kraus was 5-1, 1.75 in an injury-shortened 2010 season, and 6-2, 2.04 in 2009. He was a first-team WCL all-star both years.

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Several days ago we mentioned we didn't know the 2011 whereabouts of former Knights pitcher Brad Reid. Well, we're happy to report he'll pitch for the Joliet (Ill.) Slammers in the Frontier League this summer.

Incidentally, that's one sweet, relevant nickname for a team in Joliet, the Slammers. There's a huge Illinois state prison located there.

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Some news from elsewhere around the WCL:

BELLINGHAM: The Bells have signed two WCL veterans to help in their quest for an elusive playoff berth. They've added outfielder Chris Sturdivant, a returnee from 2010, and infielder Eric Lane, who played for the WCL-champion Wenatchee AppleSox in 2010.

Both play at Gonzaga University; Sturdivant is a junior, Lane a junior who transferred to GU from Lower Columbia CC.

A Redmond, Wash., native, Sturdivant hit .291 in 51 games with the Bells in 2010 and had a team-high 53 hits and 15 steals. He hit .400 (10-of-25) in their final seven games.

He hit .276 in 41 games at Gonzaga in 2010, with 26 RBIs and 26 runs scored.

A Port Angeles native, Lane hit .233 for the AppleSox overall, but had a .500 average in the playoffs. He also played on a NWAACC-championship team at Lower Columbia in 2010 and hit .404, with 43 RBIs.

Here's a link to the story on the Bells' homepage on the WCL site.

KLAMATH FALLS: The Gems have added Klamath Falls native Jessica Dutton, a student at Gonzaga, to their intern team. She's a 2010 graduate of Triad High in Klamath Falls, and is studying business management at GU.

She will assist in the Gems' game-day operations, with duties in game-day staff supervision, merchandise operations, and giveaway/prize item maintenance. She will also help with sales and on-field game promotions and in other areas as needed.


Your Monday Knights' update

February 14, 2011

We're back after a weekend that proved to be pretty newsworthy for the Corvallis Knights.

First, our manager, Brooke Knight, directed the Perth Heat to the Australian Baseball League championship on Sunday in Perth (Saturday night here in the states). The Heat rallied from an opening-game loss to defeat Adelaide 2-1 in the best-of-3 championship series.

The story is already up in the news section of our website, with the appropriate links.

So, congrats to coach Knight and former Knights pitcher Liam Baron, who played for the Heat.

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Some of our 2011 players on Division II, Division III and junior-college clubs have already started their respective seasons.

Here's an update after two weekends of play:

CAL POLY: Infieder Jimmy Allen doubled, singled and had three RBIs for the Mustangs in a 14-5 win in their alumni game. Former Knights Mitch Haniger (2010) doubled and D.J. Gentile (2009) had two hits for the varsity, and Brent Morel (2006-07) homered for the alumni.

CONCORDIA: Infielder Sean Myrom is hitting .364, with two homers and six RBIs, for the Cavaliers. Ex-Knight Tommy Whalen (2009) is hitting .400, with a homer and six RBIs.

FEATHER RIVER: Outfielder Dayton Alexander is hitting .345, with two homers and two RBIs.

RIVERSIDE CC: Infielder Nic Cuckovich is hitting .444 (4-9) with six RBIs and five runs. Pitcher Kyle McNutt is 0-0, 4.50.

PACIFIC LUTHERAN: Pitcher Max Beatty is 1-0, 0.00 in his lone start. Infielder Corey Moore is hitting .400, with two RBIs.

REDLANDS: Pitcher Kyle Hart is 0-0, 1.80.

WESTERN OREGON: Infielder Griffin Boyd is hitting .194, with two RBIs. Ex-Knights Daniel Dillard (2010) is hitting .258, with a homer and six RBIs, and catcher Miles Kizer (2010) is hitting .176, with two RBIs.

BARRY UNIVERSITY: Ex-Knight Dean Green (2008) is hitting .321, with two homers and eight RBIs.

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The West Coast League may be looking to expand to New Westminster, British Columbia, for the 2012 season, according to this story in the New Westminster News Leader.

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Our friends the Wenatchee AppleSox are asking their fans to pick their caps for the 2011 season. Here's a story, with photos of the three caps in the competition.

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Only 109 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 113 days until our June 7 opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

That's enough for now. We have a few items we kept in the bullpen for Tuesday.


Schwartz back in Corvallis

February 11, 2011

Another week down, another five days closer to Opening Night V, set for June 3 at historic Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla, Wash., against the Sweets. The countdown's at 112 days to Walla Walla and 116 until our home opener, June 7 against the Klamath Falls Gems.

Here's a few Knights/West Coast League notes of note to start your weekend off right:

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Former Knights No. 2 radio broadcaster Jason Schwartz, now doing play-by-play for the USC women's basketball team on USCTrojans.com, was Corvallis on Thursday for the Women of Troy's game at Oregon State.

We're happy to report that Schwartz - who this summer will be the play-by-play man for the Tri-City Dust Devils in the Northwest League, his first gig in affiliated baseball - was thrilled to be back in town, and stopped by OSU's practice to chat with Matt Boyd, Jake Rodriguez and Dylan Jones, who each played for the Knights last summer.

He also reconnected with his host family, Tom Loveday and Peggy Duncan, reinforcing the importance/significance of that unique aspect of summer league baseball that's been enthusiastically embraced by the Knights and our community.

He'll be back in our neck of the woods in June, when the Dust Devils start their season.

Jason's hiring was also mentioned in this story by Jack Millikin of the Tri-City Herald, the paper's Dust Devils beat writer.

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Those of you who receive our e-newsletter or read the Corvallis Gazette-Times know the Knights are looking for candidates to sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" before home games, and for candidates 18 years of age and older who wish to be our mascot, Mack the Knight this summer.

If you're interested in either, wish to receive our e-newsletter, or just have a question in general about the Knights, simply e-mail me at [email protected] and we'll do our best to help.

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Some news from around the WCL:

The Walla Walla Sweets have signed Niagara University freshmen righthanded pitchers Drew Fittry and Geoff Soja for the upcoming season.

Fittry is a 6-foot, 1-inch, 170-pounder from the Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda, N.Y., who was 6-1 with an ERA of 0.76 as a senior at St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute in 2010. He was named 2010 St. Joe's Pitcher of the Year and a first-team Catholic Team all-star, and honorable-mention all-Western New York.

Soja is a 6-foot, 3-inch, 210-pounder out of Fairport High School in the Rochester suburb of Fairport N.Y. He was a three-time all-Monroe County selection and was selected to the Section V Exceptional Senior Game as a senior.

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The Sweets have also signed Boston University graduate student Tristan Hobbes as their play-by-play radio broadcaster. A Utica, N.Y., native, he graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2009 and will graduate from BU this May with a Masters degree in broadcast journalism.

Hobbes comes to the Sweets with a wealth of broadcasting and media relations experience. Read all about him here.


Joe Beaver Road Show at the WWHQ on May 18

February 9, 2011

All this sunshine in Corvallis has us down here at the WWHQ oiling up our gloves and swinging the bats stored in the back storeroom in anticipation of the upcoming season, which now is (drumroll here for the daily countdown) only 114 days away.

We've got some news to whet your appetite for Knights baseball (BTW, home opener in 118 days, against Klamath Falls on June 7). The popular Joe Beaver Talk Show on KEJO (1240 AM) will do a remote broadcast from the WWHQ from noon until 2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18.

The show is hosted by Knights' play-by-play announcer Mike Parker and co-host Jon Warren. There will be prize drawings, food coupons, and our new nifty Nike team merchandise, which is arriving daily, will be available for purchase. We might even have clearance prices on our old merchandise, which is also quality stuff.

The WWHQ is located in the Madison Plaza building, on the corner of 4th Street and Madison Avenue, just down the hallway from Starbucks Coffee and Noah's Bagels, smack-dab in the heart of downtown Corvallis. So mark it on your calendars and make sure to stop by!

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Around the WCL:

Pepperdine pitchers Matt Maurer and Ricky Villareal have signed with the Cowlitz Black Bears.

Maurer is a 6-foot-3, 220-pound freshman lefthander from Medford. He was the Gatorade and Louisville Slugger Player of the Year for North Medford High School.

Villareal is a redshirt sophomore righthander from Edinburg High in Edinburg, Texas. He was 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA in 13 games for Pepperdine in 2010.

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The Klamath Falls Gems Gems have hired Klamath Falls native Michael D'Olivo as their Marketing and Promotions intern. He is a junior at Oregon, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Sports Marketing.

His responsibilities will include putting together each game's script; updating promotional information, and helping to assure the Gems can provide a great show every night for their fans. He will also be responsible for arranging player and mascot appearances during the summer.


Ex-Knight Grant Glover honored

February 8, 2011

Early start for the blog today. The boss, Knights president Dan Segel, is back in town after spending three weeks in sunny, hot Australia (nice work if you can get it, huh?) working for the Major League Baseball and the Perth HEAT, and we want to make sure he knows we've been on the ball while he's been gone.

So here's a few early notes, with updates possible later today:

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Former Knights infielder Grant Glover, a senior at Western Oregon University, shared Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Week honors for the week of Jan. 31-Feb. 6 with a teammate after his outstanding performance in a four-game series against No. 1 UC San Diego.

Glover hit .429 and figured in five of the Wolves' 11 runs, as he scored four times and drove in another. The senior second baseman from McMinnville had six hits in 14 at-bats; he hit safely in the three nine-inning games, but went 0-for-2 in the seven-inning contest to snap his GNAC record 32-game hitting streak.

Here's the complete release on Glover's selection from WOU.

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Several other players with Knights' connections played in that series for the Wolves.

Outfielder Daniel Dillard (2010) was 2-for-13, with two RBIs; catcher Miles Kizer (2010), formerly of the University of Washington, was 2-for-15 with two RBIs, and infielder Griffin Boyd (2010, 2011) was 4-for-16 with two RBIs and a three-hit game.

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The 2009-2010 WCL-champion Wenatchee AppleSox have added four players from Gonzaga University to their 2011 roster.

They are outfielder Payden Cawley Lamb, righthanded pitchers David Bigelow and Aaron Brooks, and infielder Thomas Henderson.

Cawley Lamb is a freshman from Buckley, Wash., who was first-team all-state his senior year at White River High School.

A freshman from Fox Island, Wash., Bigelow was second-team all-state and a Tacoma News Tribune all-area honoree was a senior at Gig Harbor High School, where he was a teammate of Knights pitcher and Oregon State freshman Scott Schultz.

Brooks is a freshman from Mountlake Terrace, Wash., who was all-state and led Mountlake Terrace High School to the quarterfinals of the 2010 4A state tournament.

Henderson is entering his first year at Gonzaga after transferring from Columbia Basin College. The junior from Kennewick, Wash., was a first-team All-Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges all-star, and the NWAACC West Division Gold Glove winner in 2010.

The AppleSox open their season on June 3 with a three-game home series against the Kitsap BlueJackets. They host the Knights on June 20-22, and visit Goss Stadium on June 30-July 2.


More honors for Andrew Susac

February 7, 2011

Welcome back to the Corvallis Knights blog.

We had a great time meeting many of our Linn County fans over at the Linn County Spring Home Show at the fairgrounds this past weekend. We're sure the Knights' caps and Big League Chew distributed to winners of BiCoastal Media's "Wheel of Fortune" game are as popular on the east side of the Willamette River as they are over here at the WWHQ on the west bank.

Even though the rain returned to the Valley today, that can't dampen our enthusiasm for the upcoming season, our fifth in Corvallis. Football season is finally over, and it's only 116 more days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 120 more days until our June 7 home opener against the Klamath Falls Gems.

And while it's only February, we have some news and notes concerning past and futgure Knights we'd like to share, so here goes:

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Ex-Knights catcher Andrew Susac (2009), an Oregon State sophomore, was named a second-team preseason All-American by Baseball America magazine last week. He's a draft-eligible sophomore at Oregon State.

Susac batted .260 in 2010 for the Beavers, with two homers and 13 RBIs. This past summer he was named the No. 5 prospect in the Cape Cod League by Baseball America, and last week he was also named the sixth-best sophomore in the country, and the second-best draft-eligible sophomore, by Baseball America.

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Oregon junior left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson, a Knight briefly during the 2009 season, was named a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America. It's the fourth pre-season honor for the Las Vegas native.

Anderson joined the 2009 Knights in midseason and was 0-0, 3.86 in five games before being shut down for the summer. He was 7-5, 2.98 ERA for UO in 2010, with a school-record 105 strikeouts.

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Learn more about ex-Knights infielder/catcher Jake Rodriguez, a freshman at OSU, in this profile by OSU baseball Sports Information Director Hank Hager.

Our man Hank also tells you more about 2011 Knights pitcher Ben Wetzler in this profile piece.


ChiSox coach has doubts about Morel

February 4, 2011

Another day on the Knights' blog, which by now you've bookmarked as the place to go for news about our team, and from around the West Coast League.

Today's top item is this nugget on ex-Knights infielder Brent Morel (2006-07) from MLB Rumors on MLBnewsonline.com.

Here's the story, written by MLB.com correspondent Greg Fieg.

"White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker continues to have doubts about 23-year-old prospect Brent Morel's readiness to win the starting third baseman's job out of spring training.

Returning to his Chicago home from a three-week workout of various players in Florida and California, Walker told ESPN Radio 1000 that Morel, who hails from Bakersfield, has ability around the bag but has "some misses" when he hits because he "comes up out of his swing."

"He's always hit," Walker said of the former Cal-Poly standout. "The thing we have to be careful about is his swing. Does he have some holes in there that pitchers can exploit?"

After the White Sox took Morel in the first round of the 2008 draft, he hit .326 at Double A Birmingham, then .300 in 60 games for Triple A Charlotte, where his defensive play reminded observers of former White Sox third baseman Joe Crede.

In a brief September call up, Morel hit a home run (for his first big-league hit), though he struggled overall.

"I think he's going to be ready to go," said Walker, but hinted that he may have to hold off journeyman Mark Teahen if Morel expects to win the starting third baseman's job on opening day."

Morel played in 21 games, started Chicago's final 17 games, and hit .231, with three homers and seven RBIs in 65 at-bats. He did strike out 17 times, however.

Morel is the first Corvallis Knight to play in the majors.

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We have more upbeat news on the Braves' pitcher Tommy Hanson, one of three pitchers from the old Aloha Knights to pitch in the majors (the others are Bud Norris of the Astros and Marc Rzepczynski of the Blue Jays).

This snippet from NCS Sports Hardball Talk indicated Hanson - 10-11, 3.33 with 175 strikeouts in 34 games in 2010 - might be ready for a monster third season in MLB.

Don't let the overgrown offseason beard fool you. Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson has been working hard this offseason, taking advantage of some new resources available to him.

Hanson spent the winter in Southern California working out at the Boras Sports Training Institute with a team of trainers, Hanson said Monday morning on the first day of the Braves' pre-spring pitching camp that he's gained 10 pounds of muscle.

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News from around the WCL:

Congrats are in order to the Wenatchee AppleSox, who earned an achievement award at the recent Northwest Baseball Coaches Convention in Portland for their 2010 WCL championship. The award was presented to AppleSox coach Ed Knaggs at the convention's "Walk of Champions" luncheon.

"It's always nice to be recognized. The award is a reflection on the whole AppleSox organization from our owners, players, coaches, fans, and host families," Knaggs said.

AppleSox pitching coach Rob Hippi was a featured speaker at the convention, held at the Embassy Suites at Portland International Airport.

The convention is an annual gathering of baseball coaches from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Over 400 coaches attend the event representing high school, college, and summer collegiate programs. Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge was a special guest and spoke at the luncheon.

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Finally, it wouldn't be a blog without our obligatory opening-night countdown: 119 days until our June 3 opener at Walla Walla, and 123 days until our June 7 home opener against Klamath Falls at Goss Stadium.


Knights at the Linn County Spring Home Show

February 3, 2011

Just a reminder: representatives of the Knights will be at the Linn County Spring Home Show at the Willamette Events Center at the Linn County Fairgrounds this Friday-Sunday. We'll be sharing a booth with KRKT radio, so stop by, say hello and maybe pick up some swag if we have some.

And reminder No. 2, only 120 days until our June 3 opening night at Walla Walla, and 124 until our home opener, June 7 against Klamath Falls at Goss Stadium.

We should have pocket schedules available shortly. The schedule is also available at Corvallisknights.com.

A few Knights-related notes:

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Former Knights' catcher Andrew Susac (2009) of Oregon State is ranked the No. 6 sophomore in the country by Baseball America, which released its annual rankings of the top 50 players by class on Wednesday.

A graduate of Jesuit High in Roseville, Calif., Susac is also ranked as the No. 2 draft-eligible sophomore, behind left-handed pitcher Matthew Purke of TCU.

Susac was selected by Philadelphia in the 16th round of the 2009 MLB draft, but elected to play with the Knights and OSU instead of signing. He struggled in his first exposure to college-level pitching and hit .208, with two homers and 13 RBIs, in 33 games for the Knights, but has obviously progressed, as he was a Cape Cod League all-star last summer.

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Former Knights' lefty Daniel Bibona (2007), who earned five All-American citations, and was a two-time Big West Pitcher of the Year during his career at UC Irvine, was recently named the Lowes Senior CLASS Award winner. Voting is done by Division I baseball coaches, national media and fans; the award honors the most outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I baseball.

Bibona graduated in 2010 with a 3.25 GPA in sociology. He was the 2010 Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A signee with the St. Louis Cardinals, he is a regular visitor at the Childrens Hospital of Orange County, and coaches youth baseball, Bibona is a member of a non-profit organization called American Home Dream, which assists children with terminal illnesses.

He was 2-2, 2.29 in 11 appearances for the Knights in 2007 and has subsequently credited former Knights pitching coach Trent Baysinger for helping him develop the changeup that made him so effective.

Bibona was 4-0, 191, in eight games with Quad Cities in the Midwest League after signing.

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Yesterday we ran down the whereabouts of some former Knights still in affiliated baseball. Turns out we've located a few more who are played independent baseball last year, and who are on rosters for this season as well.

Pitcher Ryan Platt, a second-team WCL all-star on the 2008 championship team, is on the roster of the Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums in the Frontier League.

Pitcher Trey Watt, who played briefly for the 2007 Knights, is also in the Frontier League, with the Windy City Thunderbirds.

And pitcher Brad Reid, a starter on the 2007 club, played with the Oakland County Cruisers in the Frontier League in 2010. We can't find him on a 2011 roster yet.


Knights pro baseball update

February 2, 2011

Spring training doesn't start until later this month and our opening day (June 3 at Walla Walla) is still 121 days down the road, but many Corvallis Knights alumni in affiliated baseball are getting ready to report to camp and discover where they'll play this season.

Most 2011 rosters haven't been set, obviously. But here's a quick rundown of where our alums played during the 2010 season.

MAJOR LEAGUES: Brent Morel (2007), Chicago White Sox.

TRIPLE-A: Jon Berger (2008), Portland (Padres).

DOUBLE-A: None.

SINGLE-A: Nick Akins (2007), Ogden (Dodgers); Jon Berger (2008), Lake Elsinore (Giants); Alex Burg (2008), Augusta (Giants); Rocky Gale (2007, 2009), Eugene (Padres); Drew Garcia (2007), Winston-Salem (White Sox); D.J. Johnson (2009), Gulf Coast League Rays (Rays); Blake Keitzman (2007), Casper (Rockies); Adam Melker, (2008-09), Batavia (Cardinals); Eric Massingham (2007), Lakewood (Phillies); Jim Murphy (2007), Clearwater (Phillies); Nick Struck (2009), Peoria (Cubs); Daniel Bibona, Quad Cities (Cardinals), and Matt Way (2007), Lakewood (Phillies).

Jared Eskew (2008), with the Marlins, missed the season after undergoing arm surgery. Greg Peavey (2007) signed with the Mets late and didn't play minor-league ball last summer.

Of course, alums from when the franchise was based in the Portland area Tommy Hanson (Braves), Bud Norris (Astros), Bobby Scales (Cubs), Mart Rzepczynski (Blue Jays) and Chris Stewart (Padres) spent all or part of 2010 in the major leagues.

And Daniel Turpen (Yankees) begins the 2011 season on the major-league roster after being taken from the Red Sox in the Rule 5 draft.

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News from elsewhere in the West Coast League:

Second-year Walla Walla Community College baseball coach Dave Meliah will be an assistant coach for the Walla Walla Sweets this summer.

He joins second-year manager J.C. Biagi and second-year pitching coach Mark Michaud on the Sweets' staff.

Meliah grew up in Walla Walla, helped DeSales Catholic High School win three state championshiops, and then played infield at Walla Walla Community College and the University of San Francisco. He was a first-team NWAACC Eastern Divison all-star at Walla Walla, and a West Coast Conference all-star at USF.

He was drafted in the 17th round by Texas in 1998 and played six years in their minor-league system, the final three at triple-A Oklahoma City. He retired in 2003, returned to Walla Walla, and started his coaching career as an assistant at WWCC.

His wife, Jill, is the girls basketball coach at Walla Walla High School. They have a daughter, Emily.