RIDGEFIELD – The Ridgefield baseball team doesn’t have to look far into the past to find a time when their bats were hot.
The Spudders now have to re-ignite the hitting that led them to a league championship in order to extend their season.
Ridgefield missed a shot to qualify for the Class 2A state baseball playoffs on Wednesday, falling to W.F. West 9-0 in the semifinals of the District 4 tournament at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.
The loss means the 2A Greater St. Helens League champion Spudders will face league rival Hudson’s Bay in a winner-to-state, loser-out game on Friday.
Ridgefield was the hottest hitting team in the 2A GSHL for the last half of the league season. The Spudders put together eight straight wins, scoring at least six runs in seven of those games.
But since a 7-1 loss to Hockinson in the regular-season finale snapped that win streak, the Spudders haven’t strung together hits in the way they’re used to.
That was the case Wednesday when Ridgefield had runners on base in six of seven innings, but couldn’t get a timely hit.
“We’ve got to get back to trusting our approach at the plate,” Ridgefield coach Nick Allen said. “We’re just in a bit of a funk and not sticking to a plan. We’ve got to get to work tomorrow and get back to some of the things we did well over the last month.”
The Bearcats (16-4) jumped ahead early, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first. W.F. West scored in four of the next five innings, leading 6-0 after four and 8-0 after five.
W.F. West starting pitcher Braden Jones never let a rally materialize for the Spudders. He scattered six hits and two walks over 5 2/3 innings, striking out four.
“He commanded the zone and kept us guessing,” Allen said. “They did a good job of adjusting their approach each time through the lineup. When a guy doesn’t give you much, it makes it tough, especially when you’re chasing runs the whole game.”
Ridgefield loaded the bases in the sixth inning, but W.F. West reliever Riggs Westlund took the mound and got a strikeout to end the threat.
Brody Masterson went 2 for 3 and Liam Ostrom had a double for Ridgefield (16-7).
W.F. West will face Tumwater for the district title Friday.
TUMWATER 5, COLUMBIA RIVER 1 — Starting pitcher Trenton Gaither scattered seven hits over six innings as the Thunderbirds won a semifinal clash and a rematch of last year’s Class 2A state championship game.
Evergreen Conference champion Tumwater (18-3) scored three runs in the top of the first and led 4-0 after the second inning.
Columbia River (16-7) scored its lone run in the fifth when Peter Lubisich doubled home Austin Habets. Lubisich went 2 for 4.
Rapids starting pitcher Noah Larson settled down after a rocky first two innings. He allowed four hits, three walks and struck out four over five innings.
Columbia River, which finished second in the 2A GSHL, will face Mark Morris in a winner-to-state, loser-out game Friday.
HUDSON’S BAY 2, ROCHESTER 0 — Sebastian Laddusaw threw a complete-game two-hitter to keep the Eagles hopes for a state tournament berth alive.
Laddusaw had nine strikeouts and allowed just two singles.
Chanz Flores drove in both runs for Hudson’s Bay (14-6) . He singled home Elias Estrada in the first inning and tripled home Tanner Koford in the sixth.
MARK MORRIS 7, SHELTON 2 — Stephen Hammergren went 3 for 3, including an RBI single that broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the sixth as the Monarchs kept their season alive.
The Monarchs (17-5) tacked on two more runs in the sixth inning to pull away despite being outhit 9-7.