RIDGEFIELD – Eli Shubert said it was fate that he give up his first home run of the year on Wednesday.
Or you could say it was preordained.
A pre-game wedding ceremony, in which Shubert married Erin Thum, was officiated by Josh Worden, the Ridgefield Raptors’ play-by-play announcer, who is also an ordained minister.
In his remarks during the ceremony, Worden pointed out that Shubert had not allowed a home run in either his 18.1 innings with Lewis-Clark State or the 18.1 innings of work with the Raptors.
“So don’t start now,” Worden said.
So, of course, when the newly-married Shubert entered Wednesday’s game against the Port Angeles Lefties, you can guess what happened. Nick Oakley hit a two-run homer to right center in the eighth inning.
“When he said that, I just knew it was going to happen,” Shubert said. “I told him ‘you just jinxed me.’ And he said ‘you’re not going to give up a homer.’ He jinxed me again, doubled down on it. And I knew the moment it left his bat, it was gone. I knew it was fate that tonight I was going to give up a home run.”
But it couldn’t spoil a memorable night for Shubert that started with his wedding to Thum and ended with him on the mound to close out a 9-2 win over the Lefties.
“I got two of my favorite things in the same day,” Shubert said. “I love pitching, and I love Erin.”
Shubert got the save in relief of starter Brock Gillis by pitching three complete innings of relief.
“Oh, OK, I didn’t know that,” Shubert said. “I guess that’s why they did that (bring him in the seventh inning), because Gillis was incredible. He was dealing. And it was like he’s going to go seven or eight innings. But I’m very blessed with what these guys have done for me.”
It was the season-finale for Shubert, who will now get ready for the more traditional wedding ceremony on Saturday.
“Getting to pitch on my wedding day is something I never thought I’d get to do,” Shubert said.
Coby Morales launched a long three-run home run to right-center to blow up the game at 6-0 in the fifth.
Brock Gillis got things started on a good note by striking out the side in the first inning.
John Peck made it a 9-0 game with his two-run homer to left-center in the sixth.
Brock Gillis threw six shutout innings, giving up two hits, no walks and striking out 10.
Reece Hernandez went 3 for 5 with three runs, a double and two RBI.
Coby Morales went 2 for 5 with a home run and three RBI.
3 – Number of runs scored by the Raptors in the third, fifth and sixth innings.
22 – Total number of home runs hit by the Raptors, after belting two on Wednesday. That leads the West Coast League.
3 – Consecutive wins by the Raptors who are now 4-1 in the second half of the WCL season. The Lefties (7-16) wrap up the first half of their schedule in Thursday’s season finale.