Written by Raptors Broadcaster Patrick McColl

Marking the beginning of their 2024 West Coast League season, the Ridgefield Raptors arrived in Portland on May 31 to play the Pickles at a buzzing Walker Stadium. The Raptors lost both games in Portland, but the roster appeared much different than it does now. With a garrison of new talent, the ‘Raps welcome the Portland Pickles to the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex (RORC) for a three game weekend series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Ridgefield (8-11) enters the series with the Pickles having played six straight games against the Bend Elks. The Raptors ended a 4-2 road trip in Bend with a one-run win on Sunday (4-3).

The Raptors have seen consistency from infielder Taylor Takata, who leads Ridgefield with a .300 batting average in 10 games. Takata has also scored a team high 11 runs. On the mound, Pepperdine’s Dylan Stewart owns a 1.35 ERA in four starts, qualifying for the fifth lowest ERA in the West Coast League this season.

Portland (14-7) has been one of Ridgefield’s toughest opponents in recent memory. The Raptors southern rival knocked Ridgefield out of the postseason in 2023 with a 10-6 win on August 9. This year, the Raptors lost the two games they played in Portland to begin the year, scoring no runs on May 31 or June 1 to lose the series.

The Pickles have three players who have played in at least ten games and hit over .300. San Francisco Infielder Tyler Harries has the best batting average of this group, holding a .324 mark with one double and six RBI. In 14 games, the Washington native has scored seven runs and walked six times this season. On the hill, Northern Colorado’s Murphy Gienger and Dylan Smith have been effective. Smith owns a 1.68 ERA in 16 innings while Gienger’s 1.17 ERA is backed with 19 strikeouts and only six walks.

Friday and Saturday’s games at the RORC will start at 6:35 p.m. Sunday’s finale is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m.

Tickets to the home series against Portland are available on ridgefieldraptors.com. The live stream to watch or listen to the games will be available on ridgefieldraptors.com/stream. #GoRaps