Monday, June 27, 2022
June 27, 2022

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Complete effort lifts Raptors to victory

Ridgefield hits, pitches, plays defense in 9-3 win

By , Columbian sports reporter

RIDGEFIELD — With their playoff hopes dwindling, the Ridgefield Raptors put in one of their most complete performances of the year on Thursday in a 9-3 win over Bellingham.

Michael Hicks and Dusty Garcia homered, the team tallied 15 hits and Peter Allegro utilized some stellar defense to turn in seven solid frames at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Allegro (Portland) struck out five in seven innings, and Willie Cano, Garcia and Union graduate Jack Bauer all turn in brilliant defensive efforts to earn his third win of the year.

He also had enough run support to attack hitters, as Hicks opened with a two-run home run in the first inning and Garcia made it 9-1 with a two-run blast in the seventh.

“Immediately, when Hicks hit that two-run shot, I knew we’d have some run support,” Allegro said. “That gives me more confidence out there pitching. It’s really a life-saver.”

Allegro’s lone blemish was a solo home run from Cole Hinkelman. It was the Stanford freshman’s third home run in the past two days.

Ridgefield (8-10) moved to within 4 1/2 games of Corvallis in the second-half standings.

The Raptors begin a six-game road trip with Walla Walla on Saturday. The Raptors are five games behind Walla Walla in the race for the second-best overall record behind Corvallis.

Three key moments

Defense shines — Raptor second baseman Willie Cano (Cal Poly) picked up the first two outs of the game in thrilling fashion, as he snagged a hard line drive from Jack Machtolf on a hit-and-run to easily record a double play. Dusty Garcia (Arizona State) ended the next inning with a diving catch on a looping ball to shallow center field. Later in the game, Union High grad Jack Bauer (Campbellsville) made a leaping catch at the right-field fence to save two runs. “It really gets me hyped up and makes me want to pitch better, too,” Allegro said of the defense.

Hicks starts it again — For the second night in a row, it was Michael Hicks getting the Raptors on the board in the first inning. After doubling home a run in an 8-1 loss Wednesday, he smashed a two-run home run to left field in the first inning on Thursday.

Triples in two — Jonny Weaver (Grand Canyon) and Justin Boyd (Oregon State) hit back-to-back triples to left field and right field, respectively, to extend the Raptors lead to 4-1 after two innings.

Three key players

Michael Hicks — The Boise State senior hit his team-high seventh home run, finishing 2 for 5. He’s hitting .319 on the year.

Peter Allegro — The Portland sophomore had his best start of the season, going seven innings with just one run allowed and five strikeouts. His ERA dipped to 4.26.

Jonny Weaver — The Grand Canyon University sophomore went 3-5 with a double, triple and two RBI. He also started two double plays. He’s hitting .279 on the year.

Three numbers

1 — Home series left for the Raptors. A three-game stint with Bend starting Aug. 9 is likely the last chance for the Clark County faithful to see the squad in its inaugural season.

3 — Players currently on seven-game hit streaks for the Raptors, as Justin Boyd, Michael Hicks and Steve Ramirez all extended their runs on Thursday.

13 — Average number of hits per game for the Raptors in the past week, including 15 on Thursday.

Columbian sports reporter

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