Sunday, June 26, 2022
June 26, 2022

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Raptors’ bats can’t keep up with Cats

Four-run fourth inning helps Victoria pull away

By , Columbian sports reporter

RIDGEFIELD — The ball continued to fly out of the park on Friday, but the Ridgefield Raptors couldn’t find the clutch hits when they needed it most in a 7-3 loss to Victoria at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

The Raptors dropped to 5-7 in the second half (18-21 overall).

After exchanging a trio of home runs in the first four innings, the HarbourCats took the advantage in a four-run fourth inning. The Raptors couldn’t score again after Michael Hicks’ three-run home run in the third.

The bright spot, though, was the Ridgefield bullpen, which has struggled this season. Eli Schubert, Wesley Harper and Brenden Nipp combined for 5.1 innings and were credited with just on earned run.

“I think we just have to trust our stuff down there,” said Harper, who threw four innings of one-run ball. “We’ve got a lot of guys with some really good stuff.”

The Raptors travel to Yakima Valley (7-9, 18-24) for a three-game series starting Saturday. They return home on Tuesday for a three-game stand with Bellingham.

Three key moments

Sails away — Chase Meidroth (San Diego) got a ball up in the air and rode the heavy wind that blows from left to right field for a solo home run in the second inning to put Victoria on the board. It set the tone for what was another homer-filled night at the RORC.

Hicks and homers — Michael Hicks (Boise State) showcased his power by going against the wind for a three-run home run into the left-field bullpen in the third inning to give the Raptors their first lead of the game, 3-2.

HarbourCats respond — The Raptors lead lasted just two batters as Ty Schindel (San Diego Christian) tied things up with a solo shot to right field in the fourth inning. The HarbourCats kept piling on from there and finished the top of the frame with a 6-3 lead.

Three key players

Chase Meidroth — The University of San Diego freshman went 3-4 with a solo home run in the second inning and three RBI.

Michael Hicks — The Boise State senior went 2-5 with a three-run home run in the third inning.

Wesley Harper — The Boise State sophomore threw four relief innings with two strikeouts to keep the Raptors within striking distance. The only damage done to him was a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. “I was just able to locate really well and kind of had a mix off four of my pitches,” Harper said.

Three numbers

6 — Home runs hit to right field the past two games, as the heavy wind from left to right field carries ball out that direction. Michael Hicks was the only hitter to hit a home run to left field, against the wind. Coincidentally, it was also an opposite-field shot for the left-handed first baseman.

9 — Runners left on base by the Raptors, including seven in scoring position.

12 — Game homestand that wrapped up for the Raptors on Friday. It began with Victoria on July 11. The Raptors went 3-6 in WCL play and 2-1 in non league play during the run. “It was nice not having to worry about buses, and staying on the same schedule,” Harper said. “But it’ll be nice to get back on the road again.”

Columbian sports reporter

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