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June 27, 2022

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Black Bears attack Raptors’ bullpen late

Four-run eighth inning leads Cowlitz to victory

By , Columbian sports reporter
Published:

RIDGEFIELD — The red-hot Cowlitz Black Bears erupted for four runs in the eighth inning as the Ridgefield Raptors’ bullpen woes roared on in a 10-6 defeat on Saturday at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Portland’s Ryan Kim opened the eighth inning with a single up the middle. The Black Bears followed with singles by Josh Marchese (Niagara), Seth Beckstead (Grand Canyon) and Colton Sakamoto (Gardner-Webb) to take an 8-6 lead. James Arakawa (University of the Pacific) padded that to 10-6 with a two-RBI lined double to left field. Cowlitz finished with 14 hits to extend its league win streak to seven games.

Ridgefield tallied nine hits, dropping to 2-4 in the second half (15-18 overall). The Raptors have lost seven of their past 10.

“Just get better at the plate, have a better approach and pitching — just pitch strikes and no more walks,” Ridgefield outfielder Dusty Garcia said of what the team needs to improve upon down the stretch.

The Raptors finish the series with Cowlitz at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the RORC.

Three key moments

He’s back! — Boise State senior Michael Hicks hit his first home run in 17 games and fourth of the season with a two-run blast to right-center in the fourth inning to give the Raptors a 3-2 lead. Michael Yourg (San Diego) followed it with a double off the wall and came around to score on a pair of groundouts.

Raptors get wild — The Black Bears’ four-run sixth inning was aided in large part by Raptor pitchers’ inability to locate pitches. Cowlitz scored four runs on just two hits, a solo home run by Colton Sakamoto (Gardner-Webb) and a bloop single from Austin Bell. There were four walks, a hit by pitch and two wild pitches to give the Bears a 6-4 lead.

Dusty down the line — Ridgefield centerfielder Dusty Garcia ripped a double into the right-field corner to score Jack Bauer and Tyler Erne, tying the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh. He had to do so with a new bat after his splintered on a foul ball one pitch prior. “It was just a pitch inside and I turned on it,” Garcia said. “I was looking for fastball and I was ready for it.”

Three key players

Michael Hicks — The towering cleanup hitter saw his power return, going 1 for 4 with a deep two-run go-ahead fourth-inning home run. It was Hicks’ first home run since June 14, when he led the team with a .386 batting average and three home runs. Hicks is now hitting .310.

Colton Sakamoto — The Cowlitz left fielder hit a solo home run in the sixth inning and finished the game 4-5 with an RBI and two runs. It was the Gardner-Webb junior’s second homer in as many games.

Dusty Garcia — The Arizona State sophomore finished the game 3 for 3 with a game-tying double and two stolen bases.

Three numbers

4 — Double plays the Raptors hit into on Saturday night, including in each of the first three innings.

7 — Times that the Raptors have allowed double-digit runs this season, including twice against Cowlitz.

9 — Stolen bases for Dusty Garcia on the season, a team-high. He swiped second and third base in the fourth inning before scoring on a throwing error.

BLACK BEARS 10, RAPTORS 6

Cowlitz 100 104 040—10 14 1

Ridgefield 000 400 200—6 9 1

Cowlitz

Pitching — Jacob Biesterfield 3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K; Kyle Rich 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB; Rance Pittman 2.1 IP (W), 1 H, 2 K; Highlights — Austin Bell 3-6, R; Andres Sosa 1-4, R, RBI; Ryan Kim 2-5, R, RBI; Josh Marchese 1-3, R, RBI; Seth Beckstead 2-5, 2B, R, RBI; Colton Sakamoto 4-5, HR, 2 R; James Arakawa 1-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI.

Ridgefield

Pitching — Cameron Repetti 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER; Marc Lidd 2.1 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 1 K; Brandon Steele .1 IP, 2 BB; Trask Telesmanich 1.2 IP (L), 6 H, 3 ER, 2 K; Wesley Harper 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 K; Highlights — Jonny Weaver 1-5; Dusty Garcia 3-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI; Michael Hicks 1-4, HR, 2 RBI; Michael Yourg 2-4, 2B, R; Tyler Erne 1-3, 2B, R, RBI; Jack Bauer 1-3, R.

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Columbian sports reporter

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