Ridgefield’s summer baseball squad to take on club teams from Salem and Vancouver
The Ridgefield Raptors have a break in the West Coast League schedule but they don’t have a break from baseball.
The Raptors will play three non-league games at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex over the next four days, taking on the Hawesville Hammers on Friday and Saturday, then returning to the field Monday to face the Northwest Stars.
Who are they playing again?
The Hammers are a club team based out of Salem. The Stars are based in Vancouver. They play a high-level academy style schedule during the season, according to Gus Farah, the Raptors general manager.
One could describe the Stars as a developmental squad for the West Coast League, Farah added. The Stars have a couple players who have already seen action with the Raptors but are getting more playing time with the Stars.
Farah called it a win-win situation. The athletes get in a routine of playing almost every day, which their college coaches appreciate.
The Hammers and Stars play other WCL teams when the schedule allows, plus the Stars travel throughout the West to take on similar programs.
While this weekend’s games do not count in the WCL standings, fans will still get to cheer on the new team in Clark County. The first two home series have been memorable, Farah said.
“The community has bought into the idea that this is their team,” Farah said. “Southwest Washington is saying, ‘We have a team of our own now.’ Last weekend was a very exciting time at the park.”
The Raptors won back-to-back games in walk-off style. Port Angeles rallied to take the first game of a three-game series, then the Raptors went for the dramatics.
Aaron Zavala got the first walk-off RBI in Raptors history on Saturday with a single in the 11th inning. On Sunday, Cameron Repetti hit a pinch-hit grand slam to tie the game in the eight inning, and Steve Ramirez got the walk-off single in the ninth.
Sending the fans into a frenzy again.
“They love it, and they can’t wait to get more of it,” Farah said. “We’re excited (the fans) are here. We want it to be their team, too.”
Ridgefield went on the road and took two of three from the Cowlitz Black Bears. Dusty Garcia and Ramirez each drove in three runs in Tuesday’s win. Michael Hicks drove in three runs in Thursday’s victory.
The Raptors return to league play with a three-game series in Corvallis next Tuesday. The next home league games are set for June 28-30 against first-place Walla Walla.