RIDGEFIELD – Patrick Stark didn’t overthink it when he stepped into the batter’s box with the bases loaded.
The Ridgefield Raptors infielder liked the first pitch he saw and laced it to the wall in left-center field.
That three-run double keyed a five-run fourth inning and was the biggest hit in Ridgefield’s 6-5 win over the Bend Elks on Wednesday at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.
“I’m just trying to stay loose, have some fun up there and not think about it too much,” Stark said. “I just try to do my job when there’s runners in scoring position.”
Stark had two RBI in Tuesday’s series opener in Bend. Though this three-game set doesn’t count in the West Coast League standings, it has been a good time for Stark to build momentum. The Loyola Marymount player has hit safely in eight of 10 games he has played and is batting .353.
“I’ve gotten comfortable,” Stark said. “The guys helped me get comfortable. It’s a good environment, not stressful or anything.”
Ridgefield’s five-run fourth inning erased a 4-0 deficit. After Bend tied the game in the top of the seventh, the Raptors responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh on Dominic Enbody’s bases-loaded walk.
The 24-game second half of Ridgefield’s West Coast League season begins on Friday.
Not let off the hook – Bend loaded the bases with no out in the third. After a double play opened the door for Ridgefield to escape major damage, Gavin Logan came through with an RBI single for the second run of the inning and a 4-0 lead.
Shoestring save – Bend threatened to add to its 4-0 lead in the fourth with runners on first and second. Chase Matheny lined a sinking drive to right, but Caden Connor lunged forward to snatch the ball just before it hit the turf, ending the inning.
Walking ahead – Ridgefield took a 6-5 lead on Enbody’s bases-loaded walk. It came amid a seventh-inning rally that saw Ridgefield get two singles and two walks, all with two outs.
Jacob Kmatz – The Bend starter is an Oregon State signee from New Mexico who is also projected to be drafted in the first 10 rounds. With OSU coach Mitch Canham in the stands, Kmatz threw three scoreless innings before the Raptors chased him in their five-run fourth inning.
Ryan Pitts – The Skyview grad pitched a solid, if not unlucky, two innings in relief for Ridgefield. Pitts retired the first two hitters in the seventh, but then allowed two softly hit singles and a hit batter. Daniel Garcia followed with an infield single that ricocheted off Pitts’ glove and tied the game 5-5.
Eli Schubert – The Raptors reliever pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for the save. With a 1.72 ERA in six WCL appearances, the right-hander from Lewis-Clark State has become a solid late-inning option.
12 – Consecutive wins, league and non-league, for the Raptors against Bend.
9 – Games out of the first 12 in the WCL second half that Ridgefield will play on the road.
8 – Current or future Oregon State players on either Bend or Ridgefield.
RIDGEFIELD 6, BEND 5
Bend 202 000 100—5 10 1
Ridgefield 000 500 10x—6 9 1
Pitching – Jacob Kmatz 3.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 K, 2 BB; Ben Ferrer 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB; Eli Ankeney 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 2 BB; Brooks Juhasz 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Sam Linscott 2-5, R; Bryce Boettcher 1-3, 2 R; Chase Matheny 1-5, R; Julian Kodama 2-4, R, RBI; Gavin Logan 2-4, 2 RBI; Omar Veloz 1-4; Daniel Garcia 1-4, RBI.
Pitching – Jett Lodes 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; Carson Walters 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 2 BB; Ryan Pitts 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, W; Andrew Troppmann 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB; Eli Schubert 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB, S. Highlights – Reece Hernandez 2-4, RBI; Caden Connor 2-4, 2 R; Coby Morales 2-4, R; Kody Darcy 1-3, R; Patrick Stark 1-4, R, 3 RBI, 2B; Micah McDowell 1-4.