There are games during the baseball season that you would just as soon forget, turn the page, and get ready for the next game.
Walla Walla played one of those games here Monday in West Coast League baseball action.
Ridgefield scored in every inning but one, pounded out 16 hits, and defeated Walla Walla 17-3.
The good news is that Corvallis defeated Port Angeles, 11-3, and holds a four-game lead over Portland with six left for the second half South Division title.
If Corvallis holds on for the second half title, the Sweets magic number to clinch the wild card spot remains at three. Walla Walla only has five games left due to a July 10 cancellation with Bellingham.
Monday’s first inning may be all you need to know.
Johnny Weaver blooped a single to left to lead off the game, stole second and third, and a Michael Hicks grounder produced the WCL RBI leader’s 40th RBI of the year.
The Sweets’ Ryan Johnston was hit by a pitch, but two groundouts, plus a pick off, ended the first with the Sweets down 1-0.
It only got worse.
Walla Walla starting pitcher Dimick Wood walked the bases full to open the Raptors second, and a two-run single from Wyatt Hoffman, his first of four hits, chased Wood and produced a 3-0 Raptor lead after two.
The Sweets pitching woes continued as a hit-batsman and a walk contributed to a two-run Raptor third.
Another hit batsman and a walk plus doubles from Weaver and Hicks added up to a five-run fourth and a 10-0 Raptor lead.
“The guys came out flat,” Sweets manager Frank Mutz said. “Our pitchers were not prepared. We walked guys right and left (nine walks and four hit batsman for the game). It (the game) blew up after we walked the bases loaded in the second. We were always behind in counts and you can’t do that.”
In the home fourth, Caleb Farmer got the Sweets on the board with a solo home run over the left field wall, but the Raptors led 10-1 after four.
Any thoughts of a Sweets comeback ended when the Sweets couldn’t stop the Raptors.
Ridgefield added solo runs, a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, and an RBI Jack Bauer single in the sixth to increase the lead to 12-1 after six.
The Sweets held Ridgefield scoreless in the seventh, but it was too little too late.
“We had to put some zeroes on the board to give our offense a chance,” Mutz added. “Our pitching just went flat.”
Zac Berryman reached on an error to open the Sweets seventh, and Chazz Martinez singled before Emanuel Dean doubled home Berryman.
A Carson Green grounder got Martinez home with the last Sweets run of the night.
Hoffman, Weaver, Bauer, and Hicks blasted consecutive doubles to highlight a four-run Raptor eighth to add salt to the wound.
One more Raptor tack on in the ninth for the final 17-3 verdict.
Farmer and Martinez led the Sweets with two hits each.
Connor Lemma, a Wa-Hi grad via PLU, caught the last six innings for the Sweets.
Hayden Minich, on the mound for the Raptors, made history for the first-year franchise as the first Raptor to throw a complete game.
Minich went all nine innings, allowed three runs on six hits, struck out three, but walked only one and hit two.
The Sweets will look to rebound tonight when Kelowna returns for a two-game series that will conclude the Sweets regular-season home schedule. Tonight’s first pitch goes at 6:35 p.m.
Raptors 17, Sweets 3
Minich and Enbody; Wood, Patterson (2), Schwehr (3), Irwin (8), Martinez (9) and Vitt, Lemma (3).
HR — WW: Farmer.
Hits — Ridge: Weaver 4, Hoffman 4, Cano, Hicks 3, Repetti, Bauer 3; WW: Farmer 2, Folz, Martinez 2, Dean.