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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Dec. 9, 2023

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Ridgefield Raptors land 10 players on All-West Coast League teams

By , Columbian staff writer

The Ridgefield Raptors were well-represented on the All-West Coast League teams with 10 players selected for the list announced Thursday.

The first team included Ridgefield outfielder/catcher Jacob Sharp (UNLV), who was named co-MVP of the WCL on Wednesday along with Wenatchee second baseman Joichiro Oyama. Ridgefield infielder Travis Welker (Fresno State) was also a First-Team All-WCL selection.

Three Raptors landed on the second team: second baseman Jake Tsukada (Portland), outfielder Trent Prokes (Modesto JC) and starting pitcher Cooper Rons (Sacramento State).

An additional five Ridgefield players earned honorable mention nods for their contributions this season: outfielder/first baseman Doyle Kane (UC San Diego), infielder Mikey Kane (Oregon State), catcher Riley McCarthy (Portland), pitcher Jeter Schuerman (Cal State Bakersfield) and first baseman Safea Mauai (BYU).

The WCL’s expansion from 12 to 16 teams this season added more talent around the league, including Ridgefield’s roster. The Raptors finished with the fourth best record in the league, swept their best-of-three Divisional Series against the Portland Pickles before losing to the Corvallis Knights in the South Division Championship game.

Though Sharp left the team before the postseason started, he led the league with 14 home runs (one shy of the WCL record), had 40 RBI, reached base 83 times in 42 games and scored 47 runs.

Welker, who was recognized as a utility player, split time between third base and shortstop in the Raptors’ lineup. He hit .331 on 57 hits (seven doubles) with 24 RBI in 45 games.

On the second team, Prokes was the WCL batting champion with a .415 average. In 34 games, he had 54 hits, including 10 doubles and one home run, and 20 RBI.

Tsukada was limited to 27 games after arriving in Ridgefield two weeks into the season, then missed three weeks with a shoulder injury. He picked up right where he left off upon returning to the lineup July 24 and continued on as Ridgefield’s leadoff hitter through the end of the season. Tsukada finished with a .333 batting average (35 hits, four doubles, 16 RBI).

The right-handed pitcher Rons quickly established himself as Ridgefield’s ace pitcher after joining the team in mid-June. He went 5-0 in seven starts while limiting opponents to three earned runs in 30 2/3 innings pitched (o.88 ERA). He tallied 24 strikeouts, 13 walks and gave up 21 hits.

Ridgefield’s five honorable mentions included brothers Doyle Kane and Mikey Kane, both of whom returned to the Raptors for a second season after joining the team late in the 2021 campaign. Both played at College of the Canyons under Ridgefield head coach Chris Cota before landing at UC San Diego and Oregon State, respectively.

Doyle Kane’s .349 batting average ranked third on the team. In 47 games, he had 61 hits with six doubles and 23 RBI.

Mikey Kane played in a team-high 48 games. He hit .260 with 51 hits, including 11 doubles and two home runs, and 27 RBI.

McCarthy (Mountain View High School) was one of several players from Clark County who played for the Raptors this summer. In addition to working into the rotation as a catcher, McCarthy’s offensive proficiency earned him additional playing time as a designated hitter. His .366 batting average was second on the team behind Prokes. He slashed 37 hits with seven doubles, one home run and 26 RBI in 30 games.

Schuerman started the season as one of the Raptors’ top relievers, then became a starter late in the season, including getting the start for Game 1 of the Divisional Series against Portland. The right-handed pitcher led the team with 45 strikeouts with 15 walks and 30 hits allowed. He had a 2.90 ERA in 31 innings pitched.

The lefty-hitting Mauai carved out a role as the Raptors’ primary cleanup hitter and delivered 34 RBI, ranking second on the team behind Sharp. In 33 games, he had 41 hits, including seven doubles, one triple and three home runs.

WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer will announce the final batch of awards on Friday, including Coach of the Year, Top Prospect, Executive of the Year and the Team Sportsmanship Award.

First-Team All-WCL

C – Beau Sylvester (Oklahoma State, frosh.), Bend Elks
1B – Evan Scavotto (Portland, jr.), Bend Elks
2B – Joichiro Oyama (UC Irvine, jr.), Wenatchee AppleSox
3B – Tim Holyk (Cumberland, jr.), Nanaimo NightOwls
SS – Elijah Jackson (Chico State, jr.), Bend Elks
OF – Jacob Sharp (UNLV, soph.), Ridgefield Raptors
OF – Calyn Halvorson (Utah Valley, jr.), Cowlitz Black Bears
OF – Clay Loranger (Stephen F. Austin, sr.), Edmonton Riverhawks
UTL – Travis Welker (Fresno State, sr.), Ridgefield Raptors

SP – Trevin Hope (Lewis-Clark State, sr.), Bellingham Bells
SP – Tyler Frieders (MidAmerica Nazarene, jr.), Yakima Valley Pippins
SP – Ryan Beitel (British Columbia, jr.), Bellingham Bells
SP – Kaden Segel (Linn-Benton CC, soph), Corvallis Knights
SP – Jon Mocherman (Riverside CC, soph), Cowlitz Black Bears
RP – Sean Wiese (Hawaii, junior), Corvallis Knights
RP – Nathan Shinn (San Francisco State, soph), Portland Pickles
RP – Evan Tomlinson (Cal Poly, soph), Portland Pickles

Second-Team All-WCL

C – Michael Campagna (San Francisco, sr.), Portland Pickles
1B – Kiko Romero (Arizona, soph.), Corvallis Knights
2B – Jake Tsukada (Portland, jr.), Ridgefield Raptors
3B – Nick Hovland (Washington, sr.), Cowlitz Black Bears
SS – Aiva Arquette (Washington, frosh.), Wenatchee AppleSox
OF –Trent Prokes (Modesto JC, soph.), Ridgefield Raptors
OF – Joseph Redfield (Sam Houston State, soph.), Victoria HarbourCats
OF – Felix Chenier-Rondeau (Oklahoma City U, jr.), Kamloops NorthPaws
UTL – Elijah Hainline (Washington State, soph.), Bellingham Bells

SP – Josh Laukkanen (Niagara, sr.), Nanaimo NightOwls
SP – Sean Heppner (British Columbia, soph.), Kamloops NorthPaws
SP – Jesse Barron (San Francisco, junior), Corvallis Knights
SP – Cooper Rons (Sacramento State, soph.), Ridgefield Raptors
SP – Raul Herrada (Hope International, sr.), Cowlitz Black Bears
RP – Jake Green (Lewis-Clark State, jr.), Bend Elks
RP – Andrew Hauck (Utah Valley, jr.), Port Angeles Lefties
RP – Kolby Lukinchuk (Thompson Rivers U, soph.), Kamloops NorthPaws

Honorable Mention All-WCL

Bellingham: Cameron Dayton (Seattle U), Christopher Foster (Montevallo)

Bend: Decker Stedman (Linn-Benton CC)

Corvallis: Jonah Advincula (Washington State), Temo Becerra (Stanford), Zander Darby (UC Santa Barbara), Nathan DeSchryver (Gonzaga), Neil Feist (El Camino College), Joey Gartrell (Portland), Mason Le (Cal State Northridge)

Cowlitz: Alec Arnone (San Diego Christian), Ben Zeigler (Hawaii)

Edmonton: Aren Alvarez (UC San Diego), Riley Barrett (Arizona State), KJ Ward (Oklahoma Panhandle St)

Kamloops: Zack Beatty (Kansas Wesleyan), Tommy Green (Oakland), Ben Polack (San Jose State)

Kelowna: Jasper Nelson (Sacramento State), Nick Woodcock (Yavapai College)

Nanaimo: Garrett Goodall (Embry-Riddle)

Port Angeles: B.Y. Choi (New Mexico Military Institute), Trey Maeker (Fordham), Liam Paddack (Spokane Falls CC), Riley Parker (Cal State San Bernadino), John Pfeffer (Cal State San Bernadino)

Portland: Jason Doktorczyk (Sonoma State), Jacob Jablonski (Chico State), Kolby Kmetko (Washington State), Eddie Saldivar Jr. (Long Beach State), Kyler Stancato (Cal State Bakersfield)

Ridgefield: Doyle Kane (UC San Diego), Mikey Kane (Oregon State), Riley McCarthy (Portland), Jeter Schuerman (Cal State Bakersfield), Safea Villaruz-Mauai (BYU)

Springfield: Theo Millas (Central Arizona)

Victoria: Grady Morgan (Chico State), Flynn Ridley (Panola JC), Jack Seward (San Jacinto College), Russell Young (Johnson County CC)

Walla Walla: Nick Wilson (Southern)

Wenatchee: Matt Halbach (UC San Diego), Grant Sherrod (South Carolina Upstate)

Yakima Valley: Connor Coballes (Gonzaga), Jackson Reed (Seattle U), Spencer Shipman (Yakima Valley College), Michael Splaine (UC Santa Barbara)

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