Posted by admin on July 21, 2017
a game short of league title The Corvallis Knights, named after the wife of Nike co founder Phil Knight and main team nike boots sponsor Penny Knight, won their fifth West Coast League baseball championship on Tuesday. The South Division champion Knights, playing in their ninth league playoff final in 11 years, defeated the North Division champion Victoria HarbourCats 4 2 in the deciding Game 3 of the championship series Tuesday night at Goss Stadium in Corvallis, Oregon. The HarbourCats, playing in their first league championship final in the five years of franchise history, won the first game at Royal Athletic Park before the Knights rallied for two consecutive wins and another league title. Victoria had runners in scoring position to tie Game 3 in the top of the ninth inning with Taiwanese import Po Hao Huang on third base and Mississippi State slugger Harrison Bragg on second base with one out. But Noah Prewett and Justin Orton both struck out swinging for Victoria's final two outs of the season. "It was a frustrating way to end it, with two guys in scoring position in the ninth inning . . . we had two opportunities to bring them across, but could not get it done," said HarbourCats head coach Brian McRae. Victoria starter Blake Hannah (3 3) out of UC Davis took the loss by giving up eight hits and four runs, three earned, with nike qs six strikeouts and no walks over six complete innings. "We fought hard tonight and gave ourselves a good chance to win at the end," said Hannah. "But Corvallis had a deeper team than us in this final." Reliever Ethan Fox came in and allowed no hits and no runs with two strikeouts over two innings. Corvallis starter Trenton Toplikar from UC Riverside got the win by going seven complete innings with four hits and one run allowed. But these kinds of season ending moments, once the immediate disappointment passes for the losers, are also times to take the broader view. "A lot of growth was accomplished this season and we established ourselves [as a force] in the WCL," said McRae, the former 10 season major leaguer, who was in the first year of a two nike 07 kmtr year contract with the HarbourCats. The HarbourCats were chasing the first championship by a Victoria professional or summer collegiate baseball team since the 1952 pro Victoria Tyees of the Western International League. It's a lineage that goes through the New York Yankees farm team Athletics and independent pro Tyees of the 1940s and 1950s, Northwest League Single A Mussels and Blues of the late 1970s, and independent pro Capitals and Seals of the more recent past, heading into the summer collegiate HarbourCats the past five years. Kevin Collard of the Victoria HarbourCats, heading into Game 2 of the West Coast League final, said there is no feeling quite like "dog piling on the other's team's home field" after winning a championship in baseball. Collard and his HarbourCats teammates will have to wait until tonight to experience that, if it happens at all. The Corvallis Knights took the best of three WCL final to a deciding third game tonight with a 6 0 victory in the second game Monday night in Corvallis, Oregon. The game was a classically tight playoff encounter before the South Division champion Knights broke open the scoreless game with six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. North Division champion Victoria won Game 1 in a walk off by rallying for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Saturday at Royal Athletic Park. The Knights pitching was superb in Game 2, holding the best hitting team in the league (.293 team average) to just two hits by Shane McGuire and Andrew Shaps. Knights starter Dakota Donovan was throwing on a mound he knows well. The six foot six hurler plays for the Oregon State Beavers of the NCAA Pac 12, who share Goss Stadium with the Knights, in Corvallis. The righty spun a one hitter over 613 innings before 1,655 fans. Kolby Somers, a 2017 Seattle Mariners draft pick from up the road in the Pac 12 with the University of Oregon Ducks in Eugene, also allowed only one hit in 223 innings of clean up. "They [Donovan and Somers] hit their spots over the plate. And any time we made good contact, Corvallis made nice defensive plays," said Victoria GM Brad Norris Jones. "The ball was hit hard but just did not fall for us tonight. But all season we've hit the ball well and found the holes, and we have full confidence we will again in Game 3." About Corvallis' decisive eighth inning outburst, Norris Jones said: "It was a classic game, scoreless through seven, but they hit the holes in that eighth inning, and before you know it, the game is out of control." Garrison Ritter and Taylor Prokopis held Corvallis scoreless through seven before Prokopis was touched for four runs, and Lambrick Park Secondary thrower Mike Musselwhite for two, in the disastrous eighth. Tasked with the start tonight for Victoria will be Blake Hannah (3 2) out of UC Davis. The HarbourCats are providing a free webcast of tonight's deciding game that can be accessed through the HarbourCats' website. The Knights are playing in their ninth league final in 11 years and are after their fifth WCL title. The HarbourCats, in their fifth season, are playing in their first league final.