The Bellingham Bells defeated the Kelowna Falcons, 14-2, in the teams’ series opener Friday night at Elks Stadium.
The Bells got the offense going early and the pitching staff followed with an excellent performance to secure the victory.
Bellingham plated four runs in the first inning, highlighted by an RBI triple from Troy Viola, which Cole Hinkelman followed with an RBI single. A Luigi Russo error on a Christian Dicochea fly ball to right scored two more before the inning was over.
Ahead 4-0, Guthrie Morrison singled in Collin Burns in the second inning to take a 5-0 lead.
The Bells didn’t slow down in the fourth, scoring four more runs on a two-run double from Hinkelman and a two-run single from Austin Kretzschmar to make it 9-0.
Viola tacked on another run for Bellingham in the top of the fifth with an RBI double to score Morrison before the Falcons got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning.
Trailing 10-0, Colton Schaper-Kotter, making his Kelowna debut, drove a Nick Proctor offering over the right field wall to make it 10-1.
The Bells responded with a homerun of their own in the sixth, though. With one man on, Ethan Smith launched a two-run no-doubter over the centerfield wall to extend the Bells lead to 12-1. It was his second homerun of the season.
The Falcons scored another off Proctor in the bottom of the sixth on a Marcus Guarin fielder’s choice, but it wouldn’t be enough to spoil another excellent start for the Bells all-star.
Proctor finished his day giving up two runs on four hits in six innings of work. He walked two and struck out one in his last start of the summer.
A.J. Geaslen took over in the seventh and quieted the Falcons before the Bells added two more runs in top of the ninth.
With Burns on first, Daniel Martin, playing in his second game with Bellingham, launched a moonshot over the right field wall to put the Bells ahead 14-2, all but securing the victory.
Geaslen then held the Falcons scoreless in the ninth to win it 14-2.
He tossed three scoreless, hitless relief innings, walking three and striking out another three.
The Bells and Falcons will face off in game two Saturday at 6:35 p.m. at Elks Stadium.