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The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

The Student News Site of Oregon State University

The Daily Barometer

Knights edge Raptors on Fireworks Night

Carter Pardue
Corvallis Knights players and fans watch the fireworks show after the Corvallis Knights vs the Ridgefield Raptors game on July 3, 2024, in Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium, in Corvallis, OR.

Streaks of gold flew across the night sky, exploding in grandeur.

It was not just Independence Day being celebrated, but another win for the hometown team.

The Corvallis Knights edged the Ridgefield Raptors in a 3-2 contest at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field on Wednesday, fully earning the glimmering display.

The game was set against the backdrop of a warm and sunny evening and offered a matchup of contrasting fortunes between the Raptors, with a record of 10-15, and the dominant Knights boasting a season record of 21-5.

The Knights, leading the league standings, entered the game with confidence, aiming to extend their two game winning streak and solidify their position at the top. The Raptors, meanwhile, sought to defy the odds, hoping to leverage their competitive spirit to upset the league leaders and improve their standing in the Northwest Division of the West Coast League.

From the first pitch, the crowd roared.

They roared at every pitch, at every swing, at every strike, at everything.

Fans cheer and holler to get a free pizza during the Corvallis Knights vs the Ridgefield Raptors game on July 3, 2024, in Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium, in Corvallis, OR. (Carter Pardue)

The Knights, playing in front of a home crowd of 3,306 enthusiastic fans, struck early in the game. Blake Wilson’s leadoff triple set the stage for the Knights, followed by Thomas Ferroggiaro’s single that advanced Kevin Takeuchi to second and drove Wilson home, putting the Knights ahead 1-0 in the first.

Undeterred by the early deficit, the Raptors responded swiftly in the top of the second inning. With Brody Mills’ advance to third on Julian Nunez’s sacrifice fly to right field allowed Hunter Katschke to score, the Raptors tied it at 1-1.

Neither team blinked in a contest that seemed to hinge on every pitch. In the top of the third inning, Ridgefield took the lead. Hunter Katschke’s single advanced Jack Salmon to second and Taylor Takata to third, with Patrick Engskov scoring to give the Raptors a 2-1 advantage.

The Knights responded emphatically in the bottom of the fourth inning, the crowd still thirsty for blood.

Kasen Khansarinia’s stolen base and subsequent advance to third, followed by Blake Wilson’s triple, tied the game at 2-2. Kevin Takeuchi’s sacrifice fly drove in Wilson, securing a 3-2 lead for Corvallis.

The Corvallis Knights dugout cheers as Kevin Takeuchi swings at the ball during their game against the Ridgefield Raptors in Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium on July 3, 2024, in Corvallis, OR. (Carter Pardue)

From that point onward, the Knights’ pitching staff took over. Garren Rizzo, entering the game in relief, delivered a standout performance with three scoreless innings. His ability to mix pitches effectively and keep the Raptors’ hitters guessing was pivotal in maintaining Corvallis’ lead. Kaden Segel, closing out the game with a solid ninth inning, secured the Knights’ victory with a final score of 3-2.

For the Raptors, despite the loss, had positive takeaways. Hunter Katschke’s standout performance at the plate highlighted his role as a key offensive threat for the team. His ability to drive in runs and contribute to the Raptors’ offensive efforts showcased his importance to the team’s lineup.

Following the game, fans were treated to a spectacular fireworks show, illuminating the night sky above Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The display marked a festive conclusion to the evening, providing a memorable experience for both spectators and players alike.

The Knights’ Blake Wilson showcased his offensive prowess with a standout performance that included a triple and a run scored in the pivotal fourth inning. 

On the pitching mound, Garren Rizzo delivered a standout performance for Corvallis, pitching 3 innings of near-perfect baseball. Rizzo allowed only 1 hit and no earned runs, showcasing his command and ability to stifle opposing hitters. 

With 3 strikeouts and no walks, Rizzo maintained control throughout his appearance, earning a pristine ERA of 0.00 for the game. His efficiency and poise under pressure were pivotal in securing the Knights’ victory, epitomizing his role as a reliable asset in the team’s pitching rotation.

Looking ahead, both teams will continue their respective campaigns in the league. For the Corvallis Knights, the victory is another testament to their championship aspirations and position as front runners in the West Coast standings. With momentum, they will aim to build upon this performance to strengthen their grasp on another division title.

Meanwhile, the Ridgefield Raptors will regroup and focus on areas for improvement as they prepare for their next challenge. 

Fans watch the Corvallis Knights vs Ridgefield Raptors game as seen through the reflection of a Raptors player’s sunglasses on July 3, 2024, in Oregon State University’s Goss Stadium, in Corvallis, OR. (Carter Pardue)

While Corvallis emerged victorious, the Raptors’ performance underscored that the Knights are not impervious to losing. As the season enters its final stretch, they will need to rely on their pitching staff to limit base hits and maintain strong batting performances. 

Next, the Knights will complete their three-game series against the Raptors on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex in Ridgefield, Washington.

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