Tuesday, June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022

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Raptors’ bats go silent in 8-1 loss

By , Columbian sports reporter

RIDGEFIELD — After scoring 44 runs the previous four nights, the Ridgefield Raptors’ bats went silent on Wednesday in an 8-1 loss to Bellingham at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

After Michael Hicks’ laced an RBI double in the first inning to make it 1-0, the Raptors tallied just three hits the rest of the way — all infield singles. The Raptors (7-10 second half, 20-24 overall) were hitless for the final six innings.

“We weren’t on time, we weren’t getting deep in the count and we gave up, kind of,” Raptor utility man Justin Boyd said.

Meanwhile, the Bells tallied another 15 hits, after going for 13 on Tuesday, to build a big lead.

Cole Hinkelman homered twice and the Raptor relievers struggled with command in the defeat.

Cameron Repetti started his second game of the year and was pegged with the loss, despite allowing just two runs and striking out four in five innings. He was later ejected for arguing a called third strike.

The Raptors now trail by 5.5 games in the second half and overall standings with 10 games to play.

Three key moments

Find the corner — In the first inning, Michael Hicks (Boise State) flushed a line drive into the left-field corner where the Raptors’ bullpen sits. As the relievers tried to get out of the way, the Bells’ left fielder struggled to find the ball, allowing Justin Boyd to score from first to open the scoring. Bells skipper Bob Miller discussed the call with umpires to no avail.

Boyd keeps it even–A long fly ball was easily caught by Raptor left fielder Justin Boyd in the second inning. It was destined to be a sacrifice fly that would give the Bells a 2-1 lead. Instead, a cannon from Boyd, the runner refusing to slide into home and a quick tag by catcher Steve Ramirez had the Raptors out of the inning with the game still square. “I just let it go, let it fly and had to show it off a little bit because I don’t play the outfield very much,” Boyd said.

Homerin’ Hinkelman — Stanford freshman Cole Hinkelman’s first home run of the season was a no-doubter. The two-run blast to right field from the left-hander nearly cleared the second fence that marks the park’s boundary, giving the Bells a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning. He added another two-run blast in the seventh inning to make it 8-1.

Three key players

Justin Boyd — The Oregon State freshman went 1 for 3, but also had two assists on defense. He threw out runners at home and third base from left field. He’s hitting .273 on the year and riding a six-game hit streak.

Cole Hinkelman — The Bells left fielder hit two home runs, drove in four runs and went 3-5.

CJ Varela — The Oklahoma State senior picked up his first win of the season by going five innings, striking out four and allowing one earned run and no walks for the Bells.

Three numbers

12 — Consecutive games catcher Steve Ramirez (Riverside City College) has reached base safely.

13 — Michael Hicks has recorded a hit in 13 of the team’s past 14 games. He has a six-game hit streak currently and is batting .316.

29 — Home runs allowed by Raptor pitchers this season, including two on Wednesday. It’s the second-most in the league behind only Victoria.

Columbian sports reporter

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