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Coach Knight Leads Heat to ABL Post-Season.

January 24, 2011

Perth is Home to Former Knights

Coach Knight Leads Heat to ABL Post-Season.

The Perth Heat of the MLB-funded Australian Baseball League (ABL) finished second in the final standings of the six-team league. The Heat are managed by Corvallis Knights skipper Brooke Knight.

Perth finished the season 24-16, a half-game behind the first-place Sydney BlueSox, who they will face in the first round of the ABL playoffs at Sydney.

Game one of the three-game series opens Thursday, January 27.

Former Knights' southpaw Liam Baron of Linn-Benton CC/Gonzaga pitches for the Heat and will be used out of the bullpen in the BlueSox series.

Baron, a Perth native, went 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA over 14 appearances and 30 2/3 innings pitched during the regular season.

Perth is also home to ex-Knight Kevin Hooker (pictured at his home office), who is the Pacific Rim Scouting Coordinator for the Detriot Tigers. Kevin's brother Geoff Hooker is the CEO of the Perth Heat.

After a solid collegiate career at Oregon State ('91-95), Kevin Hooker played professionally in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and came home during the winter to play for the Perth Heat.

Following his playing career, he returned home to Perth to work for his dad's sporting goods business, Fielders Choice, before getting into scouting.

He was a scout for Phildelphia before accepting his current position with Detroit.

Liam and Kevin aren't the only ex-Knights in Perth. Ex-Knight Bryant Kraus of Linn-Benton CC/University of Portland plays for the South Perth Baseball Club, a State League team. Bryant also works on the grounds crew for the Perth Heat.

His brother Kyle, another former Knight and current ace of the Portland Pilots, recently visited Bryant in Perth for a month.

Bryant and Liam were teammates and key contributors on the 2008 Corvallis Knights WCL championship club.

The Heat's final two home dates featured record crowds at Barbagallo Ballpark, as Perth posted a league-best single game attendance mark of 2,390 this past Friday night. The next evening, the team's regular season finale drew a crowd of 1,999.