The Ridgefield Raptors baseball team defeated the Corvallis Knights, 3-0, at a home game on July 6, continuing a steady streak of wins the team has experienced.
Coach Chris Cota is impressed with what he has seen so far this season.
“I think the team is playing well,” Cota said. “I think they get along, they’ve really come together and enjoy being around each other, and so I think the team’s playing well.”
He said the team, which started its season on June 1, has so far had a “strong offensive year.”
“I think we’re 15-9 now, which is pretty good for this league,” Cota said on July 6.
Cota said it can be tough to score runs in a summer wood-bat league, “so when you’re able to score eight, 10, or 12 runs, that’s a pretty good offensive performance. We’ve done that quite a few times and we hope to keep doing it.”
The coach highlighted a number of players who keep the team going strong. There’s Jacob Sharp, who Cota said has been having “a real good year,” as well as Jake Tsukada, Travis Welker, and Mikey and Doyle Kane.
“It’s been a really combined effort on the offensive side of things,” he said. “On the defense, Travis Welker has kind of solidified our defense at third base and he also played some second base, and Mikey Kane at short is playing well. Austin Caviness is playing a real good centerfield, Trent Prokes in right field, and a combination of guys in left (field), so I think the defense along with what we do offensively is why we’re 15-9.”
He also noted some highlights from previous games like when Caviness made diving catches in the centerfield. Cota said Isaac Lovings threw out runners behind the plate, and the pitching staff have completed two shutouts in a week, which he said was “pretty fun to watch.”
The team added Alex Sepulveda two weeks ago.
“We look for guys who want to play baseball better and want to commit to being a part of this organization, and obviously we’re looking for players. If we lose an infielder, we want to bring in an infielder,” he said.
Cota has coached baseball at the college level for 32 years, so he has “a lot of connections” across the country that help him bring in new players.
The COVID-19 pandemic created setbacks for the team over the course of the past few years. The team wasn’t able to play games in Canada like they normally do.
“It’s nice to see (the pandemic) has passed enough to where we can get back to Canada,” Cota said. “After three games this year, we went up to Canada for six days. There’s five teams in Canada which were shut out last year because of COVID.”
The team traveled to Kelowna on an 11-hour bus ride. They then went to Nanaimo and came back to resume their season in Washington and Oregon.
Cota also has some aspirations he hopes the players will meet by the end of the season.
“Our goals are really to come out, play hard, try to get better every day at the little things,” he said. “Normally, if that happens, you have a chance to win some ball games.”
A full schedule of the Ridgefield Raptors games can be found online at ridgefieldraptors.com/calendar/game-schedule.