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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Ridgefield Raptors can’t come back from early deficit, fall 6-4 to Portland Pickles

Pickles capitalize on early three-run lead to even series

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: June 29, 2024, 11:21pm

RIDGEFIELD — A get-right week for the Ridgefield Raptors continued with another competitive game Saturday against the Portland Pickles.

Only this time, the Raptors couldn’t quite get over the hump in a 6-4 defeat, snapping a three-game winning streak.

Despite out-hitting the Pickles 8-7, the Raptors came up short of multiple scoring opportunities and were held without a hit in the final 3 1/3 innings against Portland reliever Noah Luchessi, who earned the win with five strikeouts and two walks.

The Pickles led for all but one inning, which came after Ridgefield’s Justin Tsukada hit a game-tying, two-run double in the fourth inning to knot the game at 4-4.

But Ridgefield was unable to take the lead in a scoreless fifth, and gave Portland the go-ahead run in the sixth on a passed ball with the bases loaded. Pinch hitter Tony Otis then gave the Pickles a two-run advantage with a solo home run in the seventh.

Luchessi retired nine of 11 Ridgefield batters faced over the final three innings, with only two baserunners on a pair of walks.

Meanwhile, Ridgefield’s pitching staff had an uneven outing after several strong performances earlier in the week. Starter Logan Anderson gave up four runs (three earned) in four innings with three strikeouts one walk and four hits allowed.

The Raptors were also plagued by three errors, two of which allowed the Pickles to take an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.

Ridgefield (10-12) will face Portland (16-8) in the rubber match of the series Sunday at 1:05 p.m.

Three moments

Overeagerness leads to errors – The Raptors committed a pair of errors as part of a three-run first inning for the Pickles. Short stop Andrew Grenert sailed a throw to first base after mishandling a ground ball then catcher Luke Iverson overthrew second base on a Portland steal attempt.

Clutch hit in the nine-hole – Batting ninth in Ridgefield’s order, Justin Tsukada capitalized with two runners in scoring position in the fourth, slashing a two-out double into shallow left field. Two runs scored to tie the game at 4-4.

Standing tall under pressure – After Portland scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball in the sixth, Ridgefield brought on reliever Jake Swenson for Damian Pantoya. With one out and the bases loaded, Swenson got two quick outs on a pair of fly outs to limit the Pickles’ damage to one run.

Three players

Noah Luchessi – The left-handed pitcher from Sacramento State earned his second win of the season by shutting down Ridgefield in the final 3 1/3 innings. Luchessi didn’t allow a hit while striking out five and giving up two walks.

Jack Salmon – The Hawai’i commit continued a strong series against Portland, going 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Luke Iverson – The Utah Valley product went 2-for-3 with a double, his team-high seventh of the season.

Three numbers

3 – Errors committed by the Raptors after putting together three straight error-free games earlier this week.

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4 – Portland batters hit by Ridgefield pitches. Three of the four came on consecutive at-bats in the sixth inning with Damian Pantoya on the mound.

2.87 – Portland’s team earned-run average following Saturday’s win, which ranks third in the West Coast League behind only Bellingham (2.68) and Corvallis (2.38).