Riley Young delivers big hits for Summer Jacks, Dirtbags

RA Long’s rising junior Riley Young is in top form.

He had at least one hit in 11 consecutive games for the RA Long Summer Jacks, a winning streak that ended in a road loss to Centralia on June 26. However, he has had two hits in each of the next three games since then.

“I just put the ball in play and do everything for my team,” Young said.

He leads RA Long in nearly every hitting category, posting 22 hits, six doubles and 15 RBIs with a .524 batting average this summer.

Young was also the man on the mound for the Jacks, completing 22 2/3 innings and achieving the most strikeouts on the team.

During the school year, he was the No. 2 pitcher for R.A. Long as a sophomore, going 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA and a .196 batting average in 29 innings on the mound. He was selected to the 2A Greater St. Helens League second team and was also named to the TDN All-Area second team.

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“Riley is a talented player,” said Ryan Littlefield, coach of RA Long High School and the Summer Jacks. “I really enjoy coaching him. He has improved a lot over the last two years and is implementing what we teach well.”

“He was a force on the mound and as a hitter. We’re excited to see how he develops in his all-league season as a sophomore.”

Rural Baseball Incorporateds Boy

Rural Baseball Incorporated’s Riley Young catches a ball during a game against Prosser at Tam O’Shanter Park on Thursday, July 4. Young had two hits against Prosser during the game.

Emily Urfer

When he’s not playing for the Summer Jacks, Young plays for the RBI Dirtbags and rarely has days off. It’s his passion for the game that drives him.

“When I have free time, I play for RBI because I love the game,” he said.

He also had some standout performances in the Dirtbags’ run in the Babe Ruth State Tournament. He had three hits, including two triples, against Prosser on Saturday, a hit and an RBI against centerfield on Friday and two hits against Prosser on the Fourth of July.

“I changed my swing a little bit at the beginning of the summer,” Young said. “I extended the swing a little more and started putting the ball in play as much as possible. I was chasing the fastball early in the count. They leave it over the plate and I punish them for it.”

RA Long Summer Jacks Baseball Boy

Riley Young of RA Long throws during a game against Rural Baseball Inc. at the Lumberyard on Tuesday, June 25.

Emily Urfer

RBI pitching coach Nayt Taylor was able to assess Young’s strengths from an expert’s perspective on the mound.

“Riley is a stud,” Taylor said. “What I see from him as a pitcher in general is, I just think about how I would try to pitch to him. I just see a guy that’s really balanced, he doesn’t make any mishits, he just hits the ball. Even his (strikeouts) are loud.”

If Young continues at this pace, he will play more baseball after high school.

“Riley has a future in big-time baseball,” Taylor said.

RA Long Baseball Boy Foil

RA Long’s Riley Young slides safely into the game and scores on a passed ball in the second inning of a March game against Kelso. Young reached base on a 3-base error after hitting a deep fly ball to right field.

Anthony Dion