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Jan. 21, 2022

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Raptors soak in summer memories in home finale

Ridgefield falls to Corvallis, 7-3, but makes time for fans

By , Columbian Sports Editor
Published:

RIDGEFIELD – As he signed autographs after Sunday’s game, Ridgefield Raptors catcher Grant Heiser met a young fan with only a plain piece of paper to sign.

“Wait right here,” Heiser said, running into the Raptors dugout.

Heiser returned with a baseball, which he gladly signed and gave to the fan.

Ridgefield might have lost Sunday’s final regular season home game at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, falling to the Corvallis Knights 7-3.

But the Raptors took several moments to bask in the atmosphere of collegiate wood bat baseball and the memories they’ve earned.

“This is one of the best groups of guys and one of the most fun teams I’ve ever been on,” Heiser said. “We always come out and play hard. It has been a fun summer and I couldn’t ask for more.”

There’s a chance Ridgefield (24-21, 11-10 second half) could have another home game in the postseason. With Sunday’s win, Corvallis (36-9, 18-3) clinched the second-half title in the West Coast League South Division.

Because Corvallis also won the first half, the second postseason berth goes to the team with the next best full-season record. Ridgefield finished Sunday tied with the Portland Pickles and Bend Elks in that race.

The Raptors conclude the regular season with a three-game series at Walla Walla, which has lost 11 in a row.

But whether or not Ridgefield makes the playoffs, it has been a summer of baseball to cherish for the Raptors players. As a Camas High grad, Heiser believes this team represented Southwest Washington baseball well.

“Even the guys who aren’t from around here, they represent Ridgefield in a positive way,” Heiser said. “They put their best foot forward the whole summer.”

Three moments

RBI machine – Caden Connor extended his league lead in RBIs with a two-run single in the third inning. He drove in Brooks Dyer, who reached on a single, and Wade Meckler, who reached via error. After a perfect sacrifice bunt by Doyle Kane, Connor delivered his 46th and 47 RBIs to give Ridgefield a 3-0 lead.

Opposite Way – Riley Way launched a three-run homer to right, going to the opposite field with two outs. His first homer of the summer keyed a four-run sixth inning that gave Corvallis a 4-3 lead.

Padding the lead – Travis Bazzana laced a two-run double with no-out in the top of the ninth, extending the Corvallis lead to 6-3.

Three players

Ben Larson – The pitcher from Gonzaga got his second start for Ridgefield to go along with 11 relief outings. Larson threw three shutout innings, lowering his ERA to 0.99.

Sam Stuhr – The Corvallis starter lodged his best start of three outings this summer, allowing six hits and striking out six over six innings. Only one of the three runs the Oregon State pitcher allowed was earned.

Brooks Dyer – The Ridgefield infielder singled and scored in the third inning. After starting 0 for 10 since joining the Raptors on July 30, he has now hit in two straight games.

Three numbers

16-8 – Ridgefield’s home record, compared to 8-13 on the road.

21,942 – Home attendance for 24 games at the RORC, including 1,278 on Sunday. The average of 914 per game ranks fifth among the West Coast League’s 10 teams that played this season.

11 – Consecutive hitters retired by Corvallis pitchers from the fifth inning into the ninth.

CORVALLIS 7, RIDGEFIELD 3

Corvallis 000 004 003—7 12 3

Ridgefield 012 000 000—3 7 1

Corvallis

Pitching – Sam Stuhr 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 K, 1 BB; Chase Walter 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 0 BB; . Highlights – Travis Bazzana 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 2B, SB; Briley Knight 1-5; Nick Vogt 1-4; Kiko Romero 2-5, R; Tanner Smith 1-4, R; Tyler Stancato 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI; Riley Way 1-4, R, 3 RBI, HR; Jake Hoskins 1-2; Taison Corio 1-2, R.

Ridgefield

Pitching – Ben Larson 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; Josiah Nickel 2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Andrew Troppmann 1.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB; Byron Clack 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 2 BB. Highlights – Doyle Kane 1-2; Caden Connor 1-4, 2 RBI; Grant Heiser 1-4, R; Brady Kasper 1-4; Patrick Stark 1-4; Kody Darcy 1-4; Brooks Dyer 1-3, R.

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