The Corvallis Knights secured a spot in the 2016 WCL postseason by clinching a first-half South title with its win yesterday at Yakima Valley. The Knights can finish no worse than in a first-half tie with Yakima Valley after improving to 15-8 by edging the Pippins 2-1. Corvallis owns the tie-breaker advantage – highest winning percentage in division – over the Pippins.
Yakima Valley finished its first-half a day earlier vs. the Knights at Yakima County Stadium, dropping a Sunday home contest 3-1 to wrap its first-half with a 15-12 record.
Corvallis finishes the first-half with one remaining game tonight at Yakima Valley and three home games vs. Wenatchee July 6-7.
With the Knights first-half South title, Corvallis ensured an appearance in the WCL playoffs for a 10th consecutive season. Knights skipper Brooke Knight has led Corvallis to the postseason 9 times now. Current Chicago Cubs scouting director Matt Dorey guided the team to the playoffs in 2007 to start the streak.
It took a ninth-inning homer by frosh outfielder Cody Hawken of University of Portland to put Corvallis up 2-1, and junior southpaw Trenton Dupre of Washington State to close it out in the bottom half of the inning to earn the save and a trip to the postseason for the Knights.
Corvallis joins Victoria as first-half division champions.
ABOUT THE WEST COAST LEAGUE
The West Coast League is the premier summer collegiate baseball league west of the Mississippi. The 12-year-old, 11-team, professionally operated wood-bat league located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest features pro prospects from major conferences across the nation and an unparalleled history out west of great fan and player experiences in addition to the best summer weather in North America. In 2015, 59 players with WCL experience were selected in the MLB June draft, and more than 200 WCL alums appeared in affiliated professional baseball including 25 in the major leagues, such as home-run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore), NL Rookie of the Year runner-up Matt Duffy (San Francisco) and rising star pitchers Matt Andriese (Tampa Bay) and Josh Osich (San Francisco). Overall member attendance exceeded 400,000 in 2015. The 2016 54-game campaign opens tonight.