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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Shutdown pitching, timely hits send Ridgefield Raptors to 6-0 win over Edmonton

Raptors win their second straight, clinch a series win over the Riverhawks

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 7, 2023, 10:01pm

RIDGEFIELD — With efficient pitching, shutdown defense and timely hits to bring in runners, the Ridgefield Raptors put together a formula the Edmonton Riverhawks were hard-pressed to solve.

Ridgefield’s 6-0 win over Edmonton was a complete game in all those phases Wednesday at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Backed by an error-free defense, three pitchers combined to shut out Edmonton (0-5) with just three hits, led by starter Blake Hammond, who pitched four innings with two strikeouts and three hits allowed. Over the ensuing five innings — two pitched by Logan Saloman and the final three from Nate Wenzel — the Riverhawks’ only baserunner came on a walk in the fifth inning.

“Once again, the pitchers were outstanding,” Ridgefield left fielder Tristan Gomes said, “and if they keep doing that, we’ll have a lot of fun this summer.”

Ridgefield (2-3) held a 2-0 lead with one run scored in the first and fourth innings, respectively, before the Raptors delivered the knock-out punch in the eighth.

First, Trent Prokes slashed a single into right field, allowing pinch runner Royce Clayton Jr. to score after stealing second base.

With runners at the corners following a walk to Britton Beeson, Gomes connected on a fastball against Edmonton’s Graham Seltzer and found a gap in right center to plate a pair of runs. Gomes beat the throw to third for a triple, then scored on a Jeff Hoffman sacrifice fly to give the Raptors four runs in the inning and effectively put the game out of reach.

“I think (Ridgefield head coach Chris) Cota has done a good job of kind of just letting us do what we do (and) keeping us relaxed,” said Gomes, who just completed his junior season with University of Portland. “We knew that the bats would come around and the pitching staff did great tonight, so that absolutely helped.”

The win was Ridgefield’s second straight and clinched a series win ahead of Thursday’s series finale at 6:35 p.m.

Right-handed pitcher Nick Bonn, who was named the West Coast League Pitcher of the Week following a strong debut last week against Corvallis, is Ridgefield’s projected starter for Thursday.

Three moments

Death, taxes and first-inning runs – Like they’ve done in four games already this season, the Raptors scored a run in the first inning. Jake Tsukada opened the game with a base hit, then scored from third base when Edmonton threw out Ridgefield’s Andy Allanson attempting to steal second.

Heating up – In the fourth inning, Prokes followed a base hit two innings prior with a triple, putting a runner in scoring position. Beeson then put a ball in play that bounced off an Edmonton glove for an error and gave Prokes a lane to score. Ridgefield took a 2-0 lead.

Three-bagger dagger – Looking to put the game out of reach with a 3-0 lead in the eighth inning, Gomes provided the knockout punch with a two run triple to score two runs.

Three players

Trent Prokes – After a quiet start to the season, Prokes (Modesto Colege), last year’s West Coast League batting champion, broke out for three hits with a triple, RBI and two runs scored.

Blake Hammond – The right-handed pitcher from Northwest Nazarene made his first start of the season and set the tone for a steady evening from the Raptors’ staff. Hammond scattered three hits across four innings with two strikeouts, no walks and no runs allowed.

Halen Knoll – Edmonton’s starting pitcher limited Ridgefield scoring chances in seven innings on the mound, striking out 10 with one walk, seven hits and one earned run allowed. Knoll also pitched seven scoreless innings last week against the Bellingham Bells.

Three numbers

0 – Errors committed by the Ridgefield defense. Coming into Wednsday, the Raptors had 12 errors through four WCL games, the most in the league.

20 – Pitches thrown by Wenzel (Allan Hancock College) in three innings as the Ridgefield relief pitcher retired all nine batters faced.

.533 – Tsukada’s batting average through five games, which ranks second in the WCL. Though it’s a small sample size, the second-year Raptor from University of Portland continues to deliver as the team’s leadoff hitter.

RIDGEFIELD 6, EDMONTON 0

Edmonton 000 000 000—0 3 2

Ridgefield 100 100 04x—6 10 0

Edmonton

Pitching – Halen Knoll 7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 10 K, 1 BB; Graham Seltzer 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 0 K, 1 BB; Brendan Wabick 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Daniel Calabrese 1-4; Mark Ossanna 1-3; Tommy Takayoshi 1-3.

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Ridgefield

Pitching – Blake Hammond 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB; Logan Saloman 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 K, 1 BB; Nate Wenzel 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 0 BB. Highlights – Jake Tsukada 2-4, 1 R; Julian Nunez SB; Royce Clayton Jr. 1 R, SB; Andy Allanson 1-4; Isaac Lovings 1-4; Trent Prokes 3-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI; Britton Beeson 1 R, RBI; Tristan Gomes 2-4, 3B, 1 R, 2 RBI; Jeff Hoffman 1-3, RBI.

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