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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Corvallis beats Ridgefield Raptors 6-2 to sweep opening series

Knights bats come alive after being held hitless through five innings

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: June 4, 2023, 4:58pm

RIDGEFIELD – There are few tougher ways to start a baseball season than facing a team that has won the past six West Coast League championships.

That’s why the Ridgefield Raptors were focusing on the long term after a 6-2 loss to Corvallis on Sunday at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

After being held hitless through five innings, the Knights’ offense came on strong. Corvallis tied the game 2-2 in the sixth, took a 3-2 lead in the eighth and added three runs in the ninth to sweep the season-opening three-game series.

In his second season with Ridgefield, shortstop Jake Tsukada said every team goes through a settling-in process.

“I think it’s just getting to know the guys,” Tsukada said. “Getting comfortable playing with each other is a big thing. Once you start doing that, the baseball will take care of itself.”

Raptors starter Dylan Stewart and reliever Nate Wenzel worked around trouble through five innings. They kept Corvallis in check despite four walks, two hit batters and an error. The pair combined to strand six runners, five of those in scoring position.

“They’re doing their job,” Tsukada said of Ridgefield’s pitchers. “We put a couple more runs up and it’s a different ballgame.”

Despite being held to five hits, Ridgefield had runners reach base in all but one inning. The Raptors drew 10 walks, but couldn’t find a clutch hit after scoring a run in each of the first two innings.

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“It’s a long season,” Tsukada said. “We’re playing baseball in the summer and there’s nothing else to do. It will be fun.”

Three moments

Costly error – Corvallis tied the game 2-2 with two unearned runs in the sixth. With two outs, J.C. Ng walked and Tyler Howard singled for the Knights’ first hit. Jonathan Stone then hit a soft grounder to second that resulted in a wild throw allowing Ng to score. Sydney Schoppe followed with an RBI single.

Pulling ahead – Corvallis shortstop Luke Thiele welcomed Columbia River High grad Nick Alder into the game with a double to lead off the eighth. Ng followed with a single to give the Knights a 3-2 lead.

Missed chance – Ridgefield had an opportunity to expand its lead in the fifth. Jack Salmon led off with a double and Tsukada followed with a walk. But Corvallis pitcher Kellen Segel struck out two of the next three hitters to escape the jam.

Three players

Jake Tsukada – The Ridgefield leadoff hitter reached base five times, going 2 for 2 and drawing three walks. He scored a first-inning run on Andy Allenson’s ground out and had an RBI single to give the Raptors a 2-0 lead in the second.

Dylan Stewart – The Raptors starting pitcher from Pepperdine worked around trouble during three scoreless innings. Stewart allowed no hits and struck out three, allowing him to get by three leadoff walks and two hit batters.

Cole Sheehan – The catcher drew three of Ridgefield’s 10 walks, scoring on Tsukada’s second-inning single.

Three Numbers

6 – Walks drawn by Tsukada in 18 plate appearances.

33 – Strikeouts tallied over the three-game series by Corvallis pitchers.

4 – Corvallis runners stranded in scoring position in the first three innings.

CORVALLIS 6, RIDGEFIELD 2

Corvallis 000 002 013—6 7 0

Ridgefield 110 000 000—2 5 2

Corvallis

Pitching – Morgan Codron 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 K, 4 BB; Kellen Segel 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K, 3 BB; Jonathan Stone 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 0 BB; Max Debiec 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 2 BB; Michael Freund 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB; Luke Kovach 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K,  1 BB; Brady Jones 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB. Highlights – Sam Stem 1-5, R, 2B; Blake Avila 1-3, R, 2 RBI; Luke Thiele 1-4, R, 2B; J.C. Ng 1-1, R, RBI; Tyler Howard 1-3, R; Tyler Quinn 1-2, RBI; Stanley Schoppe 1-3, RBI.

Ridgefield

Pitching – Dylan Stewart 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, 3 BB; Nate Wenzel 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 K, 1 BB; Ross Goldschlag 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 K, 1 BB; Nick Alder 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 K, 0 BB; Josh Mansur 0 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 2 BB; Logan Saloman 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Jake Tsukada 2-2, R, RBI, SB; Justin Stransky 1-3; Jack Salmon 2-4, 2B.

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