RIDGEFIELD – Drivers on Hillhurst Road might want to take note when the Ridgefield Raptors play.
The way the Raptors have hit this season, the road behind the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex outfield fence might have some extra traffic.
Kody Darcy hit two home runs onto Hillhurst Road Sunday at the Raptors beat the Bend Elks 13-0.
The win gave the Raptors a dominating sweep of the three-game series to open the West Coast League season. Ridgefield outscored Bend 34-6 and outhit the Elks 46-16.
“It’s because of playing for each other, being aggressive and taking hard hacks,” said Darcy. “We’re not a tight team. We’ve been playing loose the whole time. That’s what showed.”
Darcy just finished his junior season at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The third baseman from Kent raised his average to .429, one of six Raptors who are hitting .400 or better.
One day after Raptors first baseman Koby Morales blasted a ball over the 20-foot-tall batter’s eye in center field, so did Darcy. His two-run shot in the fifth inning put Ridgefield ahead 9-0.
Darcy then followed with a two-run blast to left center, part of a four-run seventh inning that put Ridgefield ahead 13-0.
“I was just hunting the fastball,” Darcy said. “We try to be aggressive when we can – See the fastball and hit it. We try not to overthink anything.”
Ridgefield’s hot bats have been backed by solid pitching. Four Raptors pitchers allowed just four hits, holding the Elks hitless through six innings Sunday.
Darcy said the Raptors’ dominance during the opening series has set a high standard.
“Obviously, we’ve got some high expectations now,” Darcy said. “I think we’ll fill them.”
Not slowing down – One day after belting 22 hits in a 16-5 win, the Raptors got right back to work. Ridgefield scored twice in the first when Will Chambers’ sharp single off the left field wall scored John Peck and Morales.
Doubling the fun – Raptors leadoff hitter Caden Connor has been Mr. Double this season. Connor put Ridgefield ahead 4-0 in the second when he laced a double to left-center, scoring Dominic Enbody and Reece Hernandez. Connor (Cal State Fullerton) has doubled in every game this season, including the exhibition opener against Cowlitz.
Defense too – Raptors second baseman John Peck made an impressive diving stop of a ground ball in the fifth inning, then threw out Bend hitter Aaron Barber. As good as Ridgefield’s bats have been, so has the defense. The Raptors made just one error in the three-game series, making 44 putouts in the field.
Jett Lodes – The Raptors starting pitcher put a rough outing behind him. Lodes, who pitches for Oklahoma, allowed seven runs in one inning of relief during the Raptors’ opener against Cowlitz. He pitched four scoreless innings Sunday, allowing no hits and striking out three. He overcame early control issues, working around two walks in both the first and second innings.
Reece Hernandez – Just hours after arriving in Ridgefield, the senior from San Jose State was in the lineup. Hernandez started in left field, going one for two with three runs scored and an RBI double. West Coast League rosters fluctuate wildly early in the season as players finish either competition or academics at their colleges. Rosters are bolstered by players on short-term arrangements until the full roster arrives.
John Peck – The Raptors No. 2 hitter has been remarkably consistent at the plate. Sunday, the second baseman from Pepperdine went 3 for 5, raising his batting average to .429.
26 – The number of Bend hitters who stepped to the plate before the Elks recorded their first base hit. Jett and Skyview grad Ryan Pitts combined to hold Bend hitless through six innings.
40 in 20 – When Morales shot a line drive off the centerfield fence in the fourth, it made a nice round number to show how hot Ridgefield’s bats have been. It marked the 40th base hit in 20 innings for Raptors hitters.
83 to 33 – The amount Ridgefield has outscored Bend since joining the West Coast League in 2019. The Raptors are 8-1 all-time against the Elks.
RIDGEFIELD 13, BEND 0
Bend 000 000 000—0 4 2
Ridgefield 220 320 40x—13 14 0
Pitching – Jeffrey Nelson 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, L; Nate Wenzel 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 1 BB; Reid Madariaga 2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Aaron Barber 2-4; Daniel Garcia 1-3; Austin Hauck 1-2.
Pitching – Jett Lodes 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 4 BB; Ryan Pitts 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 2 BB, W; Hudson Leach 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 K, 1 BB; Andrew Troppman 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Caden Connor 1-4, 3 RBI, 2B; John Peck 3-5, R; Coby Morales 2-5, R, RBI; Tafton Hensley 1-5; Will Chambers 2-3, R, 2 RBI; Kody Darcy 2-5, 3 R, 4 RBI; 2 HR; Dominic Enbody 1-3, 2 R; Reece Hernandez 1-2, 3 R, RBI, 2B; Tanner Jacques 1-4, R, RBI.