Written by Raptors Broadcaster Hunter Shumake
The final two weeks for the 2023 West Coast League season are set to get underway for the Ridgefield Raptors. The Raptors currently sit at 28-13 in the WCL and are coming off their “bye series” where they played their affiliated feeder team—the Northwest Star Nighthawks. The remaining regular season schedule for the Raps will feature an away series in Longview when Ridgefield plays Cowlitz early this week (July 25th-27th) then a six game homestand from July 28th to August 3rd. To follow the final homestand of the regular season, the Raps will play their final regular season series in Corvallis against the Knights on August 4th-6th.
Now the Raptors set their sights on the Cowlitz Black Bears. On this road trip to Cowlitz, the Raps will play four games instead of the normal three games. When Cowlitz visited Ridgefield to play their first WCL series of the year, game three was rained out on Father’s Day and now the fourth game of this series will serve as a makeup game. As a result, both teams will play a double header on July 25th. The double header will feature a pair of seven inning games with the start time of game one bumped up to 4:00 PM PDT.
In addition to the double header, these four games will decide who will be the victor of the Columbia River Cup. The Columbia River Cup is the best of seven series played between Cowlitz and Ridgefield over the course of the season to determine which team totes the title of Champion of the Columbia River. Currently, the Ridgefield Raptors are 3-0 in the season long series. The Raps had a victory over Cowlitz in a non-league game on Opening Day and bested the Black Bears on June 16th and 17th to take a 3-0 advantage in the Columbia River Cup. The Raps seek one more victory in the upcoming four game series to clinch the Cup.
Looking at the Cowlitz Black Bears, they had a 12-14 record to finish out the first half of the regular season, which was 4th in the southern division. Cowlitz has been doing well in the second half, as they have a record of 10-5 which is tied with Ridgefield as second best in the southern division. Cowlitz now has an overall record of 22-19.
This series will be important for both the Raptors and the Black Bears. Ridgefield has already found their way into the post season by winning the ϐirst half season championship; however, the Raptors still look to put games into the win column to secure home field advantage for the later rounds in the postseason. For Cowlitz, they are currently in a wild card spot to reach the playoffs with the Bend Elks 2.5 games behind them.
The first pitch in the double header on Tuesday July 25th is scheduled for 4:00 PM PDT at David Story Field. For more information, visit ridgefieldraptors.com. #GoRaps