The Corvallis Knights split a makeup West Coast League baseball road doubleheader with the Portland Pickles on Monday at Walker Stadium. The Knights won the opener 6-5 in eight innings, but lost the nightcap 5-2.
Both games were scheduled for seven innings. The Knights (17-7, 17-6 WCL) remained two games ahead of Bend, 2.5 ahead of Portland and three ahead of Ridgefield in the race for the South Division first-half championship and an automatic berth in the postseason playoffs, with three games remaining.
Corvallis is three games ahead of Ridgefield and Portland and four in front of Bend in the loss column, however. One more Corvallis win clinches a 15th consecutive playoff spot.
Future Oregon Stater Ely Kennel homered and had an RBI groundout and Kiko Romero tripled in the second game. The Knights could not eliminate an early 4-0 deficit and were held to five hits.
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In the opener, the Knights squandered a 5-2 sixth-inning advantage as the Pickles rallied to force extra innings with a two-run single with two outs in the seventh. However, in the eighth inning Tyler Quinn’s sacrifice fly scored Temo Becerra with the winning run.
Relievers Rylan Haider and Sean Wiese then protected the slim lead by blanking the Pickles in the home half. Making his Knights debut, Haider got the first two outs in the eighth before allowing a double. Wiese then induced a groundout to third to retired the side with his third save.
Second baseman Mason Le had three RBIs, center fielder Jonah Advincula had two hits and three runs and Quinn had two hits and an RBI.
The Knights opened a three-game series with Ridgefield on Tuesday in Corvallis.
Game 2 is at Ridgefield on Wednesday and the series concludes in Corvallis on Thursday. The probables for the Knights are Utah righty Jaden Harris (1-0, 2.07) and San Francisco righty Jesse Barron (3-0, 0.00), respectively.