The Cowlitz Black Bears square off against the Ridgefield Raptors in the first Columbia River Cup series in West Coast League play this weekend in Ridgefield. The Black Bears beat the Raptors 4-1 in an opening night exhibition at the Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Complex on May 30. The Black Bears’ three-run eighth inning propelled them to victory, but fast-forward just over a month later, and these teams meet again.

Even though the WCL All-Star Game will be played on Wednesday, July 17, at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, this weekend marks the beginning of the regular season’s second half. Eight teams (four from the North and South divisions) make the WCL Playoffs. “The four qualifiers in each division will be the first-half winner, the second-half winner, and the two teams in the division with the best overall records who did not win the first or second half (or otherwise qualify)” (West Coast League).

The Black Bears dropped their first two games to the Pippins 6-4 and 10-9. Wednesday’s 10-9 loss featured seven lead changes and two ties. Pippins’ utility player Owen Egan stepped up to the plate with one out and the bases loaded and drove in the winning run on a single to center field. The Black Bears have an opportunity to secure the regular season series with a win on Thursday afternoon.

The Raptors come into this series following a three-game series with the Knights that will conclude on Thursday at the RORC. As of Thursday, July 4, the Raptors have lost four straight games and are currently in seventh place in the WCL South with a 10-15 record. The Raptors have won the Columbia River Cup in back-to-back years (2022 & 2023) since Cowlitz won the trophy in it’s inaugural season (2021).

The Black Bears-Raptors series will begin on Friday at 6:35 p.m. at Ridgefield Outdoor Recreation Center. Game 2 on Saturday is scheduled for 6:35 p.m., and the series finale will also begin at 6:35 p.m. on Sunday. For more information about upcoming games, stats, or tickets, follow us on social media: X (Twitter) (@CowlitzBBears), Facebook, and Instagram (@cowlitzblackbears). To watch, listen live, or view the 2024 promotional schedule, go to our website