Raptors excited to reward their fans with franchise’s first playoff appearance
The Ridgefield Raptors woke up Thursday with a small chance to make the West Coast League playoffs.
They woke up Friday preparing for a home playoff game.
A lot happened in 24 hours. Just like a lot has happened throughout the final push of the summer wood-bat league season.
“It was a crazy ride for a few weeks,” said Gus Farah, the team’s general manager. “What had to happen Thursday night was about a 10-percent chance, you know? But it happened.”
Ridgefield earned the second seed from the South Division to earn a spot in the playoffs. The Raptors will host top-seed and defending champion Corvallis at 6:35 p.m. Saturday at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex in Game 1 of a best-of-three series. Game 2, Sunday, and Game 3 if necessary, on Monday, will be played in Corvallis. The winner will advance to the WCL finals.
Just to get to the playoffs, the Raptors needed to win on Thursday, Portland had to lose, and Bend had to win. All three happened. That forced a three-way tiebreaker, and the Raptors won based on head-to-head records against Portland and Bend. The Raptors would have lost a two-way tie with Portland.
The odds continue to be against the Raptors going into the playoffs. Ridgefield went 0-6 this season against Corvallis.
“It’s a new season,” Farah said proudly. “At this point, it comes down to opportunity. Take advantage of your chance. Somebody’s got to win.”
The real winners just might be the fans, Farah said.
He noticed on social media that there were a lot of folks following the Raptors’ games in Walla Walla to conclude the regular season. They were following the results from the other games, too.
“Not only Ridgefield, but Southwest Washington has been rooting for us through these ups and downs the last few weeks,” Farah said. “They’re excited.”
Now, those fans get at least one more home Raptors game.
Season ticket holders already got the opportunity to purchase playoff tickets, just in case. The team opened ticket sales to the general public just recently.
“For the last 12 hours, ticket sales have been brisk,” Farah said.
The Raptors last home game in the regular season was Sunday. Farah said he left the stadium that day not knowing if they were going to make the playoffs. But he did know it was another great season of Ridgefield baseball. The franchise debuted in 2019, the 2020 season was cancelled, and now in 2021, the fans returned to the RORC.
“When we left the park Sunday, I was happy because we felt like the community had continued to fall in love with us, that our partnership with the community had grown,” Farah said.
Now, thanks to a series of fortunate events for the Raptors and their fans, there is at least one more home game to play.
“We are happy and pleasantly surprised that this all came together,” Farah said. “A lot of moving parts had to happen.”For playoff ticket information, go to: https://ridgefieldraptors.com/