Knights say Aloha to first NBC title

Oregon team blanks Mat-Su Miners in championship game

Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2004

WICHITA, Kan. - The Aloha (Ore.) Knights didn't make many mistakes in the 70th National Baseball Congress World Series.

The Knights also didn't lose any games.

Aloha, an unincorporated suburb of Portland, claimed its first NBC World Series title Saturday, stopping the Mat-Su (Alaska) Miners 7-0 at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita. Aloha finishes the tournament 7-0 while Mat-Su finishes 7-2. It's the first time an Oregon team has won the tournament since the Drain (Ore.) Black Sox in 1958.

The Miners, who won in 1987 and 1997, were trying to win their third NBC title, and the 17th for an Alaska League team since 1969. Mat-Su was coming out of the losers' bracket and had to win twice Saturday to claim another NBC crown.

"We really knew about that 1958 team out of Drain, Oregon," Knights manager Geoff Loomis said. "We wanted to add our name to that. We wanted to represent Oregon and the northwest. All of our kids are from the northwest. It's really big to go back to Oregon with this thing."

Aloha pitcher Kyle Parker, a sophomore at the University of Washington, went the distance, allowing five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.

"I came out in the first game of this tournament and didn't throw as well as I'd like to," Parker said. "I had a rough start tonight. I had to battle and keep at it. After that, I did what I needed to do. It was great to have seven runs put up behind me. We've been able to do that the whole tournament. ... My curveball kept getting better and better as the game went on. I was able to get it down for a strike or to get someone swinging on it."

The Knights entered the tournament 27-26, but finish the season 34-26. Mat-Su, which won the Alaska League title, finished 34-17.

"We didn't schedule any games that we didn't think we couldn't win," Loomis said. "That schedule really got us ready for this thing. We were third in our league (the Pacific International League) behind Seattle and Bend, Ore., but up there through the middle of the season, we were up there at the top."

Mat-Su designated hitter Scott Simon of Northern Illinois was named tournament most valuable player, hitting .514. He was 19 of 37, one hit shy of tying the tournament record for most hits. Simon was hitless in four trips to the plate in the championship game, striking out all four time.

"This was a bittersweet award considering how we finished today," Simon said. "We had a great team and a great season and I couldn't ask for anything more."

The other Alaska League team in the tournament was the Anchorage Bucs, which finished in a tie for seventh place with a 5-2 tournament record.

Also in the 46-team tournament was Wade Walter of Juneau, who played for the Cape Girardeau (Mo.) Capahas. Walter played first base and went 4-for-12 with a double as the Capahas finished 1-2.

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