RIDGEFIELD – The Ridgefield Raptors started the West Coast League season with a bounce.
Now the Raptors will try to bounce back.
Ridgefield suffered its first loss of the season, falling to the Portland Pickles 5-4 on Wednesday at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.
Ridgefield (4-1) entered the game as the WCL’s lone unbeaten team. But Portland broke a 3-3 tie with a two-out rally in the sixth, then added an insurance run in the eighth.
Ridgefield scored one run in the ninth, but stranded the tying run on third.
“In the game of baseball, you win some and you lose some,” Ridgefield’s Koby Morales said. “Tonight, we came up short. Tomorrow we’re going to come out with fire under our butts.”
Morales went 2 for 5, stroked an RBI double in the ninth and made a diving catch in his first start this season in left field.
The Pickles used seven pitchers, with none working more than two-and-a-third innings. That happened in part because starter Alex Giroux was forced from the game in the second inning with a blister on his finger.
Seeing a different pitcher every at bat kept the Raptors’ hitters off balance.
“It’s a little bit challenging because you adjust to one pitcher really quick,” Morales said. “When another comes in, you have to adjust again. That can mess up your timing because every pitcher is different.”
Skyview vs. Skyview – Portland struck first when Noah Guyette lined a Nick Jennings pitch for an RBI single in the second inning. Both attended Skyview High and are among four Storm players who played Wednesday. Ridgefield’s Tanner Jacques started at second base and Ryan Pitts pitched two scoreless innings.
Two-out rallies – With two out in the top of the sixth, Guyette doubled then scored on single to put Portland ahead 4-3. It wasn’t just a timely run, but marked the seventh run in Wednesday’s game that scored with two outs. Five of Ridgefield’s eight hits came with two outs, as did six of Portland’s eight hits.
Comeback falls short – Ridgefield made Portland sweat in the bottom of the ninth. Morales’ two-out double scored Jacques, who opened the inning with a single. With runners on the corners after Will Chambers walked, Pickles closer K.J. Ruffo struck out power threat Kody Darcy, who has homered three times this season.
Will Chambers – The Raptors’ switch-hitting designated hitter blasted his second home run, an opposite-field shot to left. The two-run blast tied the game in the bottom of the third. Chambers (College of the Canyons) ranks second in the West Coast League with a .471 batting average.
Tommy Snyder – Portland’s 4-3 lead was in jeopardy in the bottom of the sixth, when Ridgefield loaded the bases with one out. Snyder was brought in and escaped the jam, getting a strikeout and groundout. Snyder was the 3A Greater St. Helens League MVP in 2018 at Evergreen High. He was a two-way player this spring at Pacific Lutheran, playing 21 games in the field and starting 11 games on the mound.
Tanner Jacques – One day after making a memorable backhand glove flip to start a double play, the Raptors second baseman’s bat heated up. The Skyview grad went 3 for 4 with three singles and nearly homered, flying out to the wall in left. Jacques raised his batting average from .267 to .368.
6 – The number of innings before Ridgefield had a baserunner with less than two outs.
2 – The number of errors the Raptors have made this season, including one Wednesday. Ridgefield leads the West Coast League with a .989 fielding percentage.
55 – The number of pitches Portland hitters forced Jennings to throw in the second and third innings.
PORTLAND 5, RIDGEFIELD 4
Portland 012 001 010—5 8 1
Ridgefield 012 000 001—4 8 1
Pitching – Alex Giroux 1.2 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 K, 1 BB; Eric Hill 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Andrew Del Biaggio 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB; Josh Mollerus 0.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB; Tommy Snyder 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; Nick Brink 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB; K.J. Ruffo 1 IP 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Jacob Jablonski 1-4, R; Ole Arntson 1-4, 2 RBI; M. Shor 1-3, R; Ryan Guardino 2-4, R; Noah Guyette 2-3, R, RBI, 2B; Gabriel Arellano 1-3, RBI.
Pitching – Nick Jennings 3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB; Ryan Pitts 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER; 3 K, 1 BB; Byron Clack 1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 K, 0 BB; Hudson Leach 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 3 BB; Jett Lodes 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Coby Morales 2-5, R, RBI, 2B; Will Chambers 1-2, R, 2 RBI, HR; Cole Urman 1-3; Reece Hernandez 1-3, RBI; Tanner Jacques 3-4, R.