Sports Zone, Springfield

Drifters having a blast on, off field

SPRINGFIELD – Fireworks? You want fireworks? The Springfield Drifters delivered on and off the field July 4 with an 18-4 victory over a college all-star team at Hamlin Sports Complex in front of the largest crowd in team history – 1,326. 

“This is the coolest – the atmosphere was great. It’s nice when you actually have to yell (to get a player’s attention) instead of just ‘Hey, do this.’ So it was great to see everybody come out,” Drifters coach Alan Embree said after the team’s win vs. Cascade Collegiate. “I’m glad we could put on a pretty good show for them. … the place was packed. Everybody knows we’re here. Come on out. It’s a good time.”

A victory wasn’t the only thing the boisterous crowd observed Wednesday, though. After the game, the packed crowd spilled onto the field to witness a fireworks showcase.

Drifters broadcaster Knight Jarecki said this past week’s event was far different from two years ago – before the team had permits to host fireworks at Hamlin. 

“The fireworks were happening a little bit away in Springfield. So you could see it from the stadium, and everybody kind of sat on the field and watched it, but it wasn’t actually at the ballpark,” Jarecki said.

This year … 

“It’s huge. A lot of people, they were there for their very first time to take in and experience a Drifters game,” he said. “It was awesome that we were able to deliver.”

Knight said the Drifters, who have the lowest average attendance in the West Coast League since their inception two years ago, see this year’s success and July 4 event as a launching pad. 

“It’s everything, we’re just trying to get bigger and bigger,” Jarecki said. “It’s our third year as a program, and we understand there’s gonna be some growing pains, but we’ve been trying to get bigger and bigger each season. Last season we had more fans than the year before, and this year we’re having more fans (than last year). So, it’s really awesome to have a big crowd like that. We knew July 3rd was gonna be our big night, and I think it exceeded all our expectations.”

To match their improving attendance, the Drifters have also improved their play on the field each year. Their win percentage has gone up every year in the league, starting at .315 in 2022, improving to .405 in ’23 and sitting at .444 midway through this season. As of July 8, the Drifters are 13-7 through their past 20 games. 

Looking ahead, the team’s focus is to keep that momentum moving, Embree said.

“We just have to come up with a way to win every night and be competitive. We want to be in a position to put the dagger in and get our first playoff appearance ever,” he said.



Tuesday, July 2
Drifters 10, Cascade Collegiate 2
Wednesday, July 3
Drifters 18, Cascade Collegiate 4
Thursday, July 4
Drifters 5, Sawtooth 4
Friday, July 5
Drifters 3, Sawtooth 2
Sunday, June 7
Corvallis 9, Drifters 4


Thursday, July 11
Portland at Drifters, 6:35 p.m.
Friday, July 12
Ridgefield at Drifters, 6:35 p.m.
Saturday, July 13
Ridgefield at Drifters, 6:35 p.m.
Sunday, July 14
Ridgefield at Drifters, 4:05 p.m.
Monday, July 15
Drifters at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.
Tuesday, July 16
Drifters at Corvallis, 6:35 p.m.


Wednesday, July 3
Drifters 18, Cascade Collegiate 4
123456789 R H E
010100200 – 4 10 4
Springfield 20362041x – 18 15 1
WP–T.Manyo. LP–A.Dillon
CCL Showcase: 2B–J.Barker (2), E.Ammerman. HBP–A.Brown. RBI–N.Merritt. CS–P.Rickard. Team LOB–9.
Springfield: 2B–K.Pagan (2), G.Bushnell. RBI–K.Pagan, R.DeAngelis, D.Woodcook, E.Kennel, E.Buckley (3), K.Pizano (2), G.Bushnell (3). SF–R.DeAngelis. SB–A.Gebhard, R.DeAngelis (2), E.Buckley, D.Womack. Team LOB–10.

Thursday, July 4
Drifters 5, Sockeyes 4 (14)
1234567891011121314 R H E
ID 100101100 0 0 0 0 0 – 4 14 1
SPR 001000120 0 0 0 0 1 – 5 15 0
WP–A.Gauna. LP–C.Hysell
Sockeyes: 2B–T.Martinez. HR–K.Brekke. RBI–T.Martinez, K.Brekke (2). Team LOB–9.
Springfield: 2B–D.Woodcook, E.Kennel. HBP–G.Bruce, A.Gauna. RBI–G.Bruce (2), A.Miller, D.Woodcook, R.DeAngelis. SF–R.DeAngelis. SB–A.Miller, R.DeAngelis, E.Kennel, C.Mullens. Team LOB–13.

Friday, July 5
Drifters 3, Sockeyes 2
123456789 R H E
Sockeyes 110000000 – 2 8 0
Springfield 010000002 – 3 7 0
WP–J.Upton. LP–B.Palmer
Sockeyes: 2B–T.Swygart, K.Schabot. HBP–J.Garcia, K.Schabot. RBI–T.Swygart, H.Kobayashi. SF–H.Kobayashi. CS–C.Miranda. Team LOB–8.
Springfield: 3B–D.Osbourne. HBP–E.Maris, K.Pagan. RBI–E.Maris, D.Osbourne, A.Gauna. SF–A.Gauna. CS–D.Osbourne. SB–C.Mullens. Team LOB–10.

Sunday, July 7
Knights 9, Drifters 4
123456789 R H E
Corvallis 500010030 – 9 14 2
Springfield 002000002 – 4 6 0
WP–C.Debban. LP–K.Larsen
Corvallis: 2B–B.Cabrera, K.Takeuchi (3), K.Khansarinia. 3B–Q.Dufort. RBI–K.Segel, K.Takeuchi (2), K.Khansarinia, Q.Dufort (2), T.Howard. CS–T.Yukumoto. SB–T.Ferroggiaro (2). Team LOB–10.
Springfield: 2B–G.Cooper. 3B–D.Osborne. RBI–G.Cooper, E.Maris (2). Team LOB–3.



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