Written by Raptors broadcaster Josh Worden
The Ridgefield Raptors aren’t done yet with the 2022 season. The playoffs begin Tuesday with the Raptors hosting the Portland Pickles at 6:35 p.m to begin a best-of-three series between the Southern Divisional rivals.
The series continues Wednesday at Walker Stadium and Thursday (if necessary) also down in Portland.
If the Raptors win the series, Ridgefield would play a one-game Divisional Championship, with the date determined by the West Coast League and the teams involved. If the opponent is Corvallis, the Raptors will play on the road. If Corvallis loses, Ridgefield would host the second round.
Ridgefield is the #3 seed in the southern division, finishing with a franchise-best 32 wins. The Raptors 32-21 record is also the best winning percentage so far in a Ridgefield season, and the Raptors finished with a series win against Corvallis.
In fact, there are three teams in the WCL league with a better overall record than Ridgefield, and the Raptors had a winning record against each. Ridgefield beat Corvallis four out of six games, swept Bellingham in one series, and won two series against Portland.
The Raptors and Pickles have played two series each season since Ridgefield joined the league, with both teams tying three games apiece in 2019 and 2021, but this year Ridgefield went 2-1 in both series. Neither team has swept the other in any series.
Ridgefield and Portland tied last year at 26-22, with Portland holding the tiebreaker. But because Bend also finished 26-22, forcing a three-team tie, Ridgefield had the three-team tiebreaker since the Raptors had the best head-to-head record among the three teams and so Ridgefield made the playoffs.
Now the Pickles and Raptors are both in the playoffs for the second time in team history. Portland made the playoffs in their first WCL year in 2018 and were swept by Corvallis. Ridgefield suffered the same fate in its only playoff berth in 2021. Now, one of these teams will win its first playoff game on Tuesday and first playoff series by Thursday.
The WCL championship game date will also be determined by the league once the playoffs reaches that point, and also will be a one-game winner-take-all contest. If the Raptors make the WCL championship game, Ridgefield would host unless Bellingham is the opponent, since Bellingham is the only team in the North with a better record than Ridgefield.
The Raptors set plenty of team records this year: Jacob Sharp hit his league-leading 14th home run on Sunday, the most in Raptors team history and second most in WCL history. Trent Prokes finished the year with a .415 batting average, also the best in Raptors history and second best in WCL history. Ridgefield had never had a player with a .435 on base percentage before, but six players recorded an OBP higher than that this summer.
Jacob Sharp also scored 46 runs, one more than Jonny Weaver in 2019, to set the single-season Raptors record.