RIDGEFIELD – A few games have slipped away from the Ridgefield Raptors this season, but a collapse like Thursday’s was in a class of its own.
Edmonton came back from a five-run deficit with a combined eight runs scored between the seventh and eighth innings. The 13-12 win clinched the series for the Riverhawks at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex and dealt the Raptors (6-5) their third loss in four games.
The Raptors had four pitchers on the mound across the two-inning stretch, and were unable to find a rhythm with the Riverhawks charging back.
Gary Hall came on for Isaac Keehn to start the seventh and gave up three runs on an Ivan Brethowr home run, plus RBI from Tom Poole and Kelly Corl. That led to Jett Lodes replacing him and getting out of the frame with a strikeout and ground out.
Lodes walked two batters in the eighth and was replaced by Eli Shubert, who saw three Riverhawks score on a pair of passed balls, giving the visitors an 11-10 lead.
With a Corl RBI and a Jake Schulz RBI double, Edmonton’s three-run lead was enough to hold on for a win.
Ridgefield rallied in the bottom half of the eighth with a Jacob Sharp RBI and bases-loaded walk, but were unable to get the tying or go-ahead run across.
Raptors starting pitcher Ben Hart, who was named the West Coast League’s Pitcher of the Week on Monday, gave up four hits and four earned runs in three innings with four strikeouts.
Ridgefield will host the Cowlitz Black Bears in a three-game series starting Friday at 6:35 p.m. Cowlitz (7-6) was swept by the first-place Corvallis Knights (7-0) in a three-game series.
Bats on fire – The third inning was the latest instance of the Raptors’ lineup heating up from top to bottom and pouring on runs. Doyle Kane, Riley McCarthy, Jake Tsukada and Mikey Kane all contributed RBI.
Running down a (fly ball) – Ridgefield’s stellar outfield play continued in the fourth inning when Edmonton got two runners on base with no outs. First, Trent Prokes hustled in from right field to get under a fly ball, then Doyle Kane tracked down a screamer in left. The Riverhawks left two on base and came away without a run.
Raptors almost rally – In the eighth, Ridgefield loaded the bases with one out and got two runs back thanks to a Jacob Sharp RBI and bases-loaded walk. A Mikey Kane fly out to left field ended the inning with the Raptors trailing by one run.
Jake Tsukada – The leadoff batter continued his hot start to the season with the Raptors since arriving in Ridgefield this week. In three games against Edmonton, Tsukada batted .545 (6-for-11) with a double and six RBI.
Clayton Loranger – Loranger was a steady force for the Riverhawks throughout the series. Loranger had multiple hits in each of the three games against Ridgefield, with two doubles, three RBI and a home run.
Ivan Brethowr – Speaking of Edmonton batters, the Arizona State slugger also did a fair share of damage at the RORC. He finished the series with a pair of home runs and six RBI.
7 – Number of pitchers Ridgefield used on Thursday, including Isaac Keehn (West Texas A&M), Gary Hall (San Jose State), Eli Shubert (Lewis-Clark State) and Aiden Vestbie (Embry-Riddle Aero.) making their first appearances of the season.
6 – Ridgefield batters hit by pitch, four of which came against KJ Ward, the Riverhawks’ starter.
207 – Minutes of game action on Thursday.
EDMONTON 13, RIDGEFIELD 12
Edmonton 023 000 350–13 12 0
Ridgefield 016 300 020— 12 12 1