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Q2 AOW: Billings Mustangs OF Briley Knight 'barely snagged dual citizenship'

Briley Knight Mustangs
Posted at 2:47 PM, Jun 05, 2024

BILLINGS — Q2’s Athlete of the Week is a key contributor for the Billings Mustangs this early season — and one with roots down under.

“I barely snagged that dual citizenship, but it’s been pretty handy,” Briley Knight revealed to MTN Sports with an appreciative grin before a recent home game.

Handy enough to help the Australian-born Knight play not only for the Mustangs this summer, but also for his home country Adelaide Giants where fans may never forget him.

In February, with a league championship on the line, Knight delivered a title-winning, two-out, two-run double to break a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning and vault the Giants to a thrilling repeat.

Fast-forward to June where Knight now plays outfield for the Billings Mustangs, is currently one of the team’s top hitters, has the speed to steal bases and enjoys a little facial hair fun after shaving his goatee last week.

“I like to switch some things up," Knight admitted with a smile. "I’m hitting OK, so I figured why not, new week. Let’s get the ‘stache going and see how we do tonight.”

Next time fans see him after the Mustangs' current 12-game road swing, Knight may have lost the mustache, grown a full beard or even shaved his eyebrows depending on the team's record — and his swing.

Knight's story started in Australia where was born. But before hitting his first birthday, he and his parents moved back to the U.S. where Knight grew up in the Corvallis, Oregon, area. His dad had previously played both baseball and football for Oregon State University.

Knight's fortune of dual citizenship later allowed him one of the best experiences of his life — playing for Team Australia in the Asia Pacific Baseball Classic.

“(We) played in the Tokyo Dome against teams like Team Korea, Team Japan, Chinese Taipei,” he recalled.

And fans introduced a love for baseball he’d never seen.

“They have chants for every player and it’s just nonstop music and chants the whole game,” Knight said.

His jersey number has always been 14, but this summer with the Mustangs it's 37, which carries an entertaining irony.

“I was actually talking to my dad about it and one of my buddies — Travis Bazanna, who’s from Australia — he’s supposed to go like No. 1 in the MLB Draft this year," Knight said. "I was like, 'Oh, it’s pretty cool. I have the same number as Travis. Let’s see if I can live up to that number.'"

When his baseball road eventually winds to an end, Knight says he’d like to start his own landscaping business back in Corvallis, then hire young athletes to give them a head start and teach them strong work ethic.

Now, that’s a good Knight.