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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Cumulative mistakes cost Ridgefield Raptors in 10-4 loss to Yakima Valley Pippins

Pippins total 10 hits, capitalize on five Raptors errors to even series

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 12, 2024, 10:21pm

RIDGEFIELD — The totality of five errors, uneven pitching and a quiet offense in the back half of Wednesday’s game was too much for the Ridgefield Raptors to overcome.

Ridgefield head coach Chris Cota was concise in describing the 10-4 defeat to the Yakima Valley Pippins at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex, telling his Raptors team 90 feet  — the distance in the diamond between bases — was where the game was decided.

“This game is all about 90 feet,” Cota said. “The errors, the missed cutoff men, the passed balls, the wild pitches, the free bases, the walks, the hit-by-pitches. (We were) just giving up 90 feet all night long. You’re not going to win many games doing that.”

The Raptors (3-7) played catch up from the start after trailing 4-3 at the end of the first inning, but stayed within arms reach until a five-run sixth inning all but sunk their hopes of a comeback.

One night after the they were no-hit against a trio of Ridgefield pitchers, Yakima Valley’s (6-5) lineup did plenty of damage by amassing five of its 10 hits in the sixth against Ridgefield reliever Logan Anderson.

Highlighting the Pippins’ surge was a Preston Allen RBI double and a two-run, two-out base hit from Drew Johnson that gave the visitors a commanding 10-3 lead.

The inning was compounded by a few extra miscues from the Raptors, including two errors and a wild pitch.

“That’s what normally happens,” Cota said. “Unless you can shut it down in a hurry, it’ll snowball effect, get bigger and bigger.”

Ridgefield trimmed the deficit to 10-4 in the eighth thanks to a Luke Iverson RBI double, followed by a Justin Stransky two-out base hit against Yakima Valley reliever James Rivera. Otherwise, the Raptors’ bats were held in check with six hits, and only two after the fourth inning.

“We just couldn’t get things going offensively, and then when you start giving away runs, it makes it tougher to come back,” Cota said.

The top six of Ridgefield’s lineup Wednesday was identical to the series opener one day prior when the team welcomed four new position players to the fold: Oklahoma’s Patrick Engskov and Dasan Harris, USC commit Richard Tejeda and Taylor Takata of Hawai’i.

All four players got their second consecutive start Wednesday in order for Ridgefield coaches and front office staff to evaluate their fit right away, Cota said. Coincidentally, the three infielders (Engskov at third base, Takata at shortstop and Tejeda at first base) were responsible for all five errors.

“I like our new players,” Cota said. “Patrick Engskov, Taylor Takata, Richard Tejeda and Dasan (Harris), I think they’re all going to be just fine. I think they’ve showed us a little bit these first two games that are going to carry over to have a good summer.”

With the series tied at 1-1, the rubber match will be played Thursday at 6:35 p.m.

Three moments

Eventful opener – The two teams combined for seven runs and three errors in the first inning, after which Yakima Valley led 4-3.

Back-to-back errors committed by Ridgefield infielders Patrick Engskov and Richard Tejeda allowed two Pippins runs to score with two outs. Drew Johnson followed with an RBI single and DJ Dillehay drove in another run on a double.

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Ridgefield countered with three runs in the bottom half. Two runs scored on a Yakima Valley throwing error, also allowing Ridgefield batter Luke Iverson to advance to third base after reaching on the error. Iverson then scored on a Tejada ground out.

Take your base … or not – Leading off the fourth, Justin Stransky appeared to be hit by a Yakima Valley pitch and trotted to first base, until the home plate umpire reversed the call. Stransky then got on base with a hit up the middle. The Raptors, however, were unable to put anything together behind him. Yakima Valley starting pitcher Ethan Salscheider struck out the next two batters and got the third out on a fly out.

Foreshadowing of things to come – After Ridgefield starter Hiroyuki Yamada strung together three straight scoreless innings, his replacement, Logan Anderson, gave up a Brennan Morgan ground-rule double and Drew Johnson RBI single in the fifth, putting the Pippins ahead 5-3. The very next inning, the Pippins erupted for five more runs.

Three players

Ethan Salscheider – Yakima Valley’s left-handed starting pitcher earned his second win of the 2024 season by putting together seven solid innings against Ridgefield. The Hawaii Hilo product posted five strikeouts and two walks while allowing four hits and three runs (two earned).

Drew Johnson – A strong Yakima Valley lineup was given a boost from Johnson (Tacoma Community College), who led the Pippins with three hits and four RBI.

Luke Iverson – The Utah Valley product continues to be a steady force in the Raptors’ lineup. With an eighth-inning double that drove in one run, Iverson is already up to five doubles and six RBI on the season.

Three numbers

5 – Errors committed by the Raptors’ defense, including three charged to Engskov at the hot corner.

2 – Hits from the Raptors over the final five innings, a quiet ending after starting with three runs on two hits in the opening frame.

97 – Pitches thrown by Salscheider, including 61 strikes, in seven innings.