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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Raptors Notebook: Bullpen emerges as midseason highlight

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: July 8, 2024, 5:12pm

In the middle of the season, the bullpen has emerged as a strength for the Ridgefield Raptors.

Over a four-game stretch from July 3-6, Ridgefield relievers surrendered just two runs over 20 2/3 innings. That included a 12-inning scoreless streak.

It has been a bullpen-wide effort. Nine different Raptors relievers pitched during that four-game stretch.

“There’s not a clique on the team or a specific group of guys that only hang out together,” said Zach Todd, who pitched three innings in an 8-5 win over Cowlitz on Friday. “I think that helps us push each other in the pen. It doesn’t matter who is out there. We love to see everyone out there and cheer them on.”

Isaiah Magdaleno (University of Hawai’i) has allowed just one earned run and struck out nine over 10 innings.

Carson Kruckman (Lower Columbia CC) has surrendered one run and struck out eight over nine innings. Quentin Moreland (Olympic CC) has logged 13.2 innings, striking out eight and surrendering four earned runs.

But the Ridgefield bullpen also has pitchers who have been resilient this summer. After losing all three outings as a starting pitcher, Tito Santos (Texas A&M) has not allowed a run in four relief appearances.

Todd (Dallas Baptist) shook off a summer debut where he surrendered four runs in one inning by allowing just two runs over his last seven innings.

“We’re out here, we want to win and we’re competitors,” Todd said. “But we also understand that we’re here to develop as baseball players. We’re not going to hang our heads because we’re not playing for the World Series.”

New arrivals settle in

Fluctuating rosters are a fact of life in the West Coast League. Ridgefield hopes two new arrivals give a jolt to an offense whose .229 batting average ranks 16th out of 17 teams.

Julian Nunez (Pepperdine) has started five games in the middle infield since joining the Raptors July 2 in Corvallis. After starting 2 for 12, he broke out in a big way Sunday against Cowlitz by going 3 for 3 with two doubles.

Colby Wallace (University of Washington) has started the past four games in the outfield since joining the Raptors on July 4. Though he has started 2 for 13 at the plate, Wallace has drawn five walks and drove in two runs in an 8-5 win over Cowlitz last Friday.

Beating the heat

Each game in Ridgefield’s current three-game win streak has started with the temperature over 90 degrees. That includes a Sunday game where first pitch was moved from 1 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. on a day that reached 99 degrees.

With forecast temperatures over 100 degrees, Tuesday’s home game against Walla Walla has been pushed back one hour to 7:35 p.m. Water stations will be available free of charge on the concourse.