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Ridgefield Raptors shut down by Portland Pickles in season-opening, 12-0 defeat

Pickles score 8 runs over two innings, hold Raptors to two hits

By Will Denner, Columbian staff writer
Published: May 31, 2024, 11:50pm

PORTLAND — On opening night of the 2024 regular season, incoming Ridgefield Raptors players were welcomed to the West Coast League unceremoniously.

A 12-0 loss at the hands of the Portland Pickles on Friday in front of 4,112 spectators served as a humbling moment for the Raptors and gave the team an early look at what they need to clean up before additional players join the team in the coming weeks. 

One night after the Raptors manufactured just one run in an exhibition game against the Cowlitz Black Bears, the Pickles held the visitors to two hits behind five shutdown innings from starting pitcher Brock Roundy (Grays Harbor College), who struck out six Ridgefield batters, gave up no walks and held the Raptors without a hit until the fifth inning. 

Shay Timmer (Salt Lake Community College) added three hitless innings with five strikeouts and Brock Snow (Southern Idaho) closed the game with two strikeouts in the ninth.

Portland did most of its damage at the plate in the first two innings by scoring a combined eight runs. The Raptors’ woes on the mound began with starter Tito Santos (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) allowing six runs (four earned) in the opening frame.

Santos started with back-to-back walks and a hit batter to load the bases with no outs, before Portland’s Dominic Chacon drove in two runs on a base hit, Conner Stewart added an RBI ground out and Kevin Ferguson tacked on an RBI single for a quick 4-0 lead.

The Raptors then pulled Santos in favor of Dillon Kirksey (Centralia College) with two outs. The Pickles scored two more runs after Ridgefield third baseman Kyle Memarian fielded a routine ground ball and missed on a throw to first baseman Jack Nehler — the first of five errors the Raptors committed.

Another came in the second inning when Kirksey fielded a ground ball from the mound and overthrew Memarian at third base, allowing one run to score. Portland’s Chacon added an RBI double to give the Pickles a commanding 8-0 advantage through two innings.

After tallying a combined five hits across their first two contests, the Raptors will attempt to get on track in game two of the series on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. Damian Pantoya (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi) is listed as Ridgefield’s probable starting pitcher.

Three moments

Golden glove – In addition to the Pickles’ strong pitching, an error-free game on defense was highlighted by two stellar diving catches from third baseman Patrick Keighran, the latter on an Andrew Grenert line drive to take away a would-be base hit in the fourth inning.

Too little, too late – Ridgefield broke its hitless spell in the fifth inning when cleanup hitter Jack Salmon connected for a hard-hit ground ball and reached base before Portland could field the ball cleanly. Nick Holm added a base hit two batters later, but Portland’s Roundy responded with back-to-back strikeouts to end the frame.

Three more score – Ridgefield reliever Wyatt Nichol (Pepperdine) had a tough start to the fifth with two hit batters, one walk and a passed ball allowing one run to score. The Pickles added two more runs on a Chipper Beck base hit before the Raptors stopped the run with a 5-4-3 double play.

Three players

Dominic Chacon – The Grand Canyon product posted a team-high three RBI on two hits, including a double.

Kevin Ferguson – In his second year with the Pickles, the Battle Ground High alumnus now playing at Hawaii went 2-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Ferguson was one of three Portland players with multiple hits.

Quentin Moreland – The right-handed pitcher from Olympic College tossed Ridgefield’s final three innings, tallying two strikeouts, three walks, one hit and no runs allowed.

Three numbers

46 – Strikes thrown by Roundy, Portland’s starter, on 62 pitches in five innings.

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5 – Portland batters hit by Ridgefield pitches.

June 13, 2023 – The last time Ridgefield lost a game by 10 or more runs. Coincidentally, the 11-1 loss was also against the Portland Pickles in game one of a three-game series at Walker Stadium.