RIDGEFIELD – A number of late arrivals joined Ridgefield’s roster and a few even cracked the starting lineup for its series opener Tuesday against Edmonton, but none were able to provide the offensive spark the Raptors needed.
In its first trip to Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, Edmonton scored six unanswered runs and dealt Ridgefield a 7-4 loss.
Ridgefield took a 3-1 lead through two innings following RBI singles from Jake Tsukada and Safea Mauai in the bottom of the second, but was held scoreless for the following six innings until a late, two-out run in the ninth with the game out of reach.
The Riverhawks (5-8) went ahead 4-3 in the fourth on an Ivan Brethowr three-run home run, and didn’t let up from there.
Brethowr added a sacrifice fly in the fifth, before Austin Chouinard added an RBI single in the seventh and Kelly Corl scored on a wild pitch in the eighth.
Tsukada was one of three newcomers, along with Justin Trimble and Austin Caviness, who got their first starts for Ridgefield on Tuesday. Batting leadoff and playing short stop, Tsukada finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored the Raptors’ first run on a Jacob Sharp sacrifice fly in the first.
“I had a lot of fun just meeting new guys and playing with new faces,” Tsukada said. “I mean, we didn’t come out with the win, but it’s progress – we’re going to hopefully come back better tomorrow and then a long season ahead.”
It’s common for players to arrive late to their summer-league teams from college, whether they’re finishing up academic terms or have other commitments.
Tsukada, a University of Portland sophomore who hails from Aiea, Hawaii, had a good excuse for arriving late. He flew back to Hawaii to attend his brother’s high school graduation and enjoy time with family.
“I was there for a little bit, spent some time with them, because I won’t see them again until winter break,” Tsukada said. “I try to catch up with them, spend some time with them whenever I can.”
In his second start for Ridgefield (5-4), left-handed pitcher Brayden Marcum pitched four innings with four hits and three earned runs given up, while striking out three Edmonton batters.
Also making his first appearance of the season for the Raptors, Jett Lodes (Oklahoma) came on in the ninth inning and struck out two of Edmonton’s final three batters.
Quick strike – Edmonton did a lot of its damage in the fourth inning after getting two runners on with no outs, including one on a Raptors error. The next batter, Ivan Brethowr (Arizona State), blasted a three-run home run over the center field wall to put the Riverhawks ahead 4-3.
Back against the wall – Edmonton threatened to blow the game open in the fifth with the bases loaded and a deep fly ball to left field. Ridgefield’s Doyle Kane had other ideas. Kane trotted back to the fence near the Raptors’ bullpen and climbed high to make a crucial catch.
Missed opportunities – Ridgefield threatened to come back in the seventh and eighth innings, but ultimately came up empty. The Raptors got two runners on in the seventh before Edmonton pitcher Izaak Martinez recorded three straight outs. In the eighth inning, a Martinez strikeout with the bases loaded stranded three Ridgefield runners.
Safea Mauai – Along with Tsukada, Mauai also recorded two hits with an RBI to lead the Raptors offense.
Ivan Brethowr – The Arizona State product hit one of two Edmonton home runs (Clayton Loranger also hit a solo homer) and had four RBI.
Jacob Sharp – The catcher plated Ridgefield’s first run on a sacrifice fly and scored the final run on a wild pitch.
10 – New players who joined Ridgefield this week to start its six-game homestand.
6 – The number of unanswered runs Edmonton scored after facing a 3-1 deficit through two innings. Ridgefield did answer with a run in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.
10 – Runners left on base for Ridgefield, which had nine hits, one more than Edmonton.
EDMONTON 7, RIDGEFIELD 4
Edmonton 100 310 110–7 8 1
Ridgefield 120 000 001—4 9 2
Pitching – Wyatt Clark 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB; Kyle Bratset 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; Izaak Martinez 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB; Aren Alvarez 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, o BB. Highlights – Javy Esponiza 1-4; Will Rogers 2 R; Clayton Loranger 2-3, 2 R, RBI, HR; Ivan Brethowr 1-4, R, 4 RBI, HR; Tom Poole 1-3, Austin Chouinard 2-5, RBI; Kelly Corl 1-3, 2 R.
Pitching – Brayden Marchum 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 K, 0 BB; Jacob Kokeny 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 1 BB; Chandler De Jong 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2 BB; Jett Lodes 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Jake Tsukada 2-4, R, RBI; Trent Prokes 1-5; Jacob Sharp R, RBI; Justin Trimble 1-5; Will Chambers 1-5, R; Doyle Kane 1-4; Safea Mauai 2-4, R, RBI; Travis Welker 1-2.