Two returnees from West Coast League championship clubs are among five players to sign with the Corvallis Knights for the 2018 season, coach Brooke Knight announced Thursday.
The newest Knights are Dixie State redshirt junior left-handed pitcher Aaron Pope, a mainstay on the 2016 championship team’s pitching staff, and four current/future Portland Pilots, including freshman shortstop Chad Stevens, a starter on the 2017 championship team.
A 6-foot-3, 170-pounder from Chubbuck, Idaho, Pope earned honorable-mention all-WCL honors in 2016 after going 5-2 in 12 games, with a 2.16 ERA and 44 strikeouts in 50 innings. He missed the 2017 college and summer seasons while recovering from arm surgery.
The incoming Knights from UP are Stevens; redshirt sophomore starting center fielder Beau Brundage; freshman right-handed pitcher Eli Morse, and incoming freshman first baseman Trace Tammaro of De La Salle High in Concord, California.
Stevens hit .268 (40-149) in 51 games with no homers and 19 RBIs. He was a 40th-round selection by Seattle in the 2017 MLB draft following his senior year at Gig Harbor (Washington) High.
“We are thrilled Chad is returning,” Knight said. “He made great strides last summer and is going to be a big part of competitive Pilots and Knights teams in 2018. We’re looking forward to having more time with Chad and to watching him continue to develop.”
Brundage is the son of former Oregon State All-American Dave Brundage, now the manager of the Sacramento River Cats of the Pacific Coast League. The younger Brundage hit .283 with 51 hits and seven steals for the Pilots in 2017. He was picked by Philadelphia in the 38th round of the 2015 MLB draft.
Morse pitched for Portland's Cleveland High in 2017. He was a four-year letterman, earned all-PIL honors several times and was honorable-mention 6A all-state in 2017.
A left-handed hitter, Tammaro hit .333 (24-102) in 28 games in 2017 with four homers and 21 RBIs. He is from Clayton, California.