The Bellingham Bells beat the Victoria HarbourCats 8-2 on Tuesday night in Victoria to take a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the West Coast League playoffs.
The Bells got three-hit games from Malcolm Moore (3-3 with three RBI and a run) and Willis Cresswell (3-4 with three runs), as well as two hits and four RBI from Cameron Dayton to propel their dynamic offense. Brandt Pancer earned the win, tossing five innings with two runs allowed, with Wesley Moore backing him with four scoreless innings of two-hit ball to secure the key victory for Bellingham.
The Bells jumped out to an early lead in the second inning, as Macolm Moore hit a 2-run single that scored Evan Overmars and Cresswell. Victoria evened it up in the fifth on a bases-loaded double by Jessada Brown that scored two, but it would be all Bellingham from there on out.
With no outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, Malcolm Moore hit a sac fly that scored Cresswell, then Cameron Dayton reached first on a fielder’s choice that drove in Robbie Vandegrift and Alex Fernandes to cap off a three-run inning. The Bells tacked on three in the eighth for good measure, when Dayton cleared the bases with a 3-run double.
Elsewhere in the North Division, the Wenatchee AppleSox blew out the Kamloops NorthPaws 12-1 to take a 1-0 lead of their own as the second-half winners of the division.
The Bells and Cats will face off for Game Two on Wednesday night in Bellingham, with their ace, and 2022 Bell of the Year, Trevin Hope making the start as the Bells look to win the series and advance.