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Sunday, February 25, 2024
Feb. 25, 2024

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Ridgefield Raptors surrender four runs in the ninth, drop series to Portland Pickles

By , Columbian staff writer

The Portland Pickles scored four runs in the ninth inning to post a 6-3 win over the Ridgefield Raptors in the series finale Thursday at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Portland’s Jack Metcho hit a two-out pop fly that bounced out of the glove of Ridgefield’s Reiss Calvin down the first-base line, bringing in three runs to break a 3-3 tie.

Ridgefield head coach Chris Cota and catcher Cole Sheehan contended to the home plate umpire the ball was in foul territory, but the call on the field was upheld.

After scoring a pair of runs in the first inning, Ridgefield was blanked until pinch hitter Jake Tsukada got on base with a single, stole second and scored the go-ahead run on an Andy Allanson ground out in the eighth.

Portland (16-8) starting pitcher Max Fraser, a Camas High alumnus and Washington commit, went four innings with six strikeouts, two walks and two earned runs allowed.

The Raptors (19-10) suffered their first series loss since the second week of the season at Walla Walla June 9-11. However, they got the result they needed Wednesday night with a 10-3 win over the Pickles to clinch the West Coast League South Division first-half title and an automatic playoff berth.

Key plays

— Base hits from Ridgefield’s Julian Nunez, Allanson and Nick Seamons loaded the bases in the first. Then, a Portland fielding error allowed Nunez and Allanson to score, giving Ridgefield a quick 2-0 advantage.

— The Pickles evened the score at 2-2 in the third inning after loading the bases against Ridgefield starting pitcher Dylan Stewart. A passed ball brought in Portland’s first run before Stewart gave up a bases-loaded walk to Dalton Mashore.

— With two runners on in the ninth, Portland’s Xiage Lancaster singled into right field, where Ridgefield’s Tristan Gomes committed an error, which allowed Kyler Stancato to score the tying run. Metcho then followed with a bases-clearing triple on the pop fly.

Ridgefield pitching

— Stewart (Pepperdine) had his shortest outing of the season in 2 1/3 innings on the mound. He struck out two, walked two, gave up four hits and two runs.

— Jake Geis (Gateway Community College) gave up just one hit in 3 2/3 innings with one strikeout and one walk.

— Hunter Holmes (Mt. San Antonio College) pitched two innings with two strikeouts and three walks, including one to begin the ninth that put Portland’s tying run on base. That brought up Peysen Sweeney (Washington), who was charged with the loss after giving up a pair of base hits and Metcho’s three-run triple.

Up next

Ridgefield will host the Bellingham Bells in a three-game series starting Friday at the RORC at 6:35 p.m. After the Raptors became the first WCL team to clinch a playoff berth with Thursday’s win, the Bells were the second thanks to a 7-5 win Friday over the Kamloops NorthPaws. Coupled with a Wenatchee AppleSox loss to the Port Angeles Lefties, 3-2, the Bells clinched the North Division first-half title.