The Corvallis Knights are hoping history repeats itself when they host the Victoria HarbourCats at 6:40 p.m. Monday in Game 2 of the West Coast League Championship Series.
Corvallis faced elimination last week when it returned home from Yakima Valley training the Pippins 1-0 in the best-of-3 South Division playoffs. But the Knights won two games in a row to advance to the finals for the ninth time in franchise history.
They will need a similar comeback to defeat the HarbourCats and to claim their fifth WCL championship. Victoria won the series opener 5-4 on Saturday when it scored twice in the last of the ninth to erase a 4-3 deficit.
If the Knights are able to win, they will force a winner-take-all Game 3, which would be played at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday, also at Goss Stadium.
Corvallis (42-22 overall) coach Brooke Knight is confident the Knights — who earned home-field advantage throughout the playoffs by posting the WCL’s best regular-season record (34-20) — can do it again and repeat as WCL champions.
“We have a veteran team that has proven itself to be very resilient,” Knight said. “We have enough pitching left to win two games. Our club is focused after Saturday night’s loss and we play very well at home.”
The projected starter for Corvallis has not been determined. Available candidates are right-handers Cole Spear (3-2, 6.60 ERA), Trenton Toplikar (3-0, 4.81), Dakota Donovan (1-1, 5.55), Darren Nelson (2-1, 1.25) and Dom Baker (1-0, 2.70), each of whom has at least five days rest since his last start.
Connor Redmond (1-2, 3.44) started Game 3 of the Yakima Valley series on Aug. 9 and might not be available until Tuesday. Louis Crow (0-1, 5.60) also has starting experience. All are right-handed.
Relievers Cameron Richman (1-0, 3.60), Miles Glazier (2-0, 1.44), Cole Johnson (2-0, 3.91), Kolby Somers (2-1, 3.45) and Trevor Wells (3-1, 2.53) are also fresh, as neither pitched in Game 1. Glazier, Somers and Johnson are left-handed.
The Knights have played in the Championship Series nine times in 11 seasons since relocating to Corvallis from Gresham before the 2007 season. They defeated Wenatchee in 2008 and 2013, Walla Walla in 2011, and Bellingham in 2016. Their finals losses were to Moses Lake (2007), Wenatchee (2009, 2012), and Bellingham (2015).