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Knights rally late, top Ridgefield Raptors 6-3 to claim WCL opener

Friday, June 2, Ridgefield, Wash. – The WCL defending champion Corvallis Knights rallied for six runs in their final two frames to defeat Ridgefield 6-3 in the West Coast League opener for both teams at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex.

Trailing 2-1, the Knights (2-0 all, 1-0 WCL) broke open a close game by erupting for five runs in the top of the ninth. They loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and singles by Luke Thiele (Central Arizona) and Tyler Howard (Portland). The tying run then scored on an error on a ground ball RBI by JC Ng (Pomona Pizer).

A walk to Stanley Schoppe (George Fox) drove in the go-ahead run. A sacrifice fly by Ty Yukumoto (Pacific) made it 4-2 and two more runs scored when the Raptors misplayed a fly ball off the bat of 2022 Knights MVP Tyler Quinn (Pacific).

Reliever Zach Johnson (Portland) then shut the Raptors down in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the win.

Yukumoto (pictured, above) led the Knights with a hit and two RBIs.

Ridgefield strung together three hits off starter Merit Jones (Utah) to take a 2-0 lead in the third inning. However, relievers Ethan Collins (Pomona Pitzer) and Nathan Marshall (Lane CC) combined for four scoreless innings to keep the Knights within striking distance.

Collins allowed one walk and struck out two and Marshall allowed one walk and fanned three as each turned in solid, hitless two-inning stints. Marshall, who played at West Albany High before enrolling at Lane CC, earned the pitching victory.

Corvallis halved the lead in the eighth. Jonathan Stone (George Fox) walked, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored on Yukumoto’s single. Quinn followed with another single, but the third out was recorded to end the threat.

The series resumes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday. Hawaii’s Sean Wiese, a 2022 first-team all-WCL selection, is the projected starter for Corvallis, opposed by Sawyer Allen of Rockhurst University in a matchup of left-handers.

Portland righty Morgan Codron is the Knights’ probable for Sunday’s 1:05 p.m. series finale. Ridgefield’s starter is TBA.

The Knights are idle on Monday and then open successive three-game series at Yakima Valley (June 6-8) and Kamloops (June 9-11). Their home opener is Thursday, June 15 vs. the Bend Elks.

Box score

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