Ridgefield’s new baseball home to open Friday

Spudders will host spring games, Raptors to take over in the summer

This is a Ridgefield baseball story, but it also is a Clark County baseball story.

The new baseball field at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex is ready for its first season. The Ridgefield Spudders will play high school games there, while the Raptors await for their first summer season. Photo by Mike Schultz
The new baseball field at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex is ready for its first season. The Ridgefield Spudders will play high school games there, while the Raptors await for their first summer season. Photo by Mike Schultz

High school programs from throughout the region will be headed to Ridgefield today and Saturday, celebrating the all-weather baseball field at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC).

The RORC will be home of the Ridgefield Raptors in the summer. The Raptors are a new team in the West Coast League, a wood-bat league for college baseball players.

The new stadium, and the new baseball field, though, will be the home for two teams.

“The two main tenants of the baseball field are the Raptors and the Ridgefield Spudders. We are co-tenants of the field” said Gus Farah, the GM of the Raptors. “We’re building a nice alliance not just with the city and the school district, but with the Ridgefield Spudders baseball team.”

The new field for the Raptors is the new field for the Spudders.

The Spudders will open that new field with a 5 p.m. game Friday against Kalama. There will be a pre-game ceremony beginning at 4:40 p.m., with former Ridgefield coach Art “Ossie” Osmundson throwing out the first pitch.

“It’s a game changer, to be honest,” Ridgefield baseball coach Nick Allen said.

Batter up! The Ridgefield Spudders will play their first game on their new field at 5 p.m. Friday, with a pre-game ceremony at 4:40 p.m. A jamboree featuring three teams will begin at noon Friday. On Saturday, 11 high school baseball teams will take to the field for a jamboree. Photo by Mike Schultz
Batter up! The Ridgefield Spudders will play their first game on their new field at 5 p.m. Friday, with a pre-game ceremony at 4:40 p.m. A jamboree featuring three teams will begin at noon Friday. On Saturday, 11 high school baseball teams will take to the field for a jamboree. Photo by Mike Schultz

His Spudders will be going from a field that was not ideal to the “absolute best” facility, the coach said.

“The venue is gorgeous and will give us more tools to develop our athletes,” Allen added. “Beyond that, it gives us a venue to really connect with the community. Hopefully we can be a small part of making the RORC a place for the community to gather and enjoy baseball.”

Baseball will be played before the first official game. Mountain View, Union, and La Center will play in a jamboree starting at noon Friday. They will play each other in three-inning games.

On Saturday, 11 teams will meet up for a jamboree, with mini-games starting at 10 a.m. Scheduled to be there are: Hudson’s Bay, Woodland, Evergreen, Columbia River, Camas, Prairie, Battle Ground, Skyview, Kelso, Southridge, and host Ridgefield.

“Everything’s ready” to host high school baseball in the spring, Farah said.

The bleachers for the stadium have yet to be installed, but there are more than 600 premium seats plus picnic tables.

“This thing is coming together,” Farah said. “It’s pretty now.”

Long term, Farah said the goal would to one day host a WIAA final four for baseball.

For now, Clark County and Ridgefield are thrilled to have an all-weather baseball field.

The future of baseball starts today.

Note: For more information on the Raptors, visit their site at: https://ridgefieldraptors.com/

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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