The Bells defeated the Port Angeles Lefties by a final score of 4-2 on Sunday, July 4th. Bellingham was out-hit 6-3, but committed just one error to the Lefties’ three.
Will Armbruester (2-0) dominated the Port Angeles batters through the first five innings. He allowed three hits and walked one, but struck out five batters (two in the first two innings). All of his strikeouts came via his changeup. He left the game after five scoreless innings, earning the win and Player of the Game honors.
Bellingham kicked off scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Daniel Gernon led off with a walk, stole second base, and came around to score on a throwing error after a Malakhi Knight groundout. Knight plated another runner in the 5th after Emilio Corona led off the inning with a hit by pitch. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, and Knight scored him on an RBI single.
The game became a back-and-forth affair after the 5th, but the Bells never relinquished the lead. Trevor Barth (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) allowed an unearned run in the 6th after leadoff batter Javy Espinoza reached on an error to move the score to 2-1. Bellingham answered back in the bottom of the 6th, where AJ Davis scored Charlie Saum on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1.
Barth allowed another run in the 7th after leadoff batter Zach Thomas reached on a double. He came in to score on a Nick Oakley RBI single to cut the lead back to 3-2. But Bellingham put the lead out of reach in the bottom of the 7th on a pinch-hit RBI double from Luis Aviles, scoring Knight. Justin Tucker (2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K) shut down the final innings for a 6-out save.
With the win, Bellingham finished the first half of WCL play with an 11-13 record, and Port Angeles falls to 6-12. Bellingham currently trails the WCL-North leading Yakima Valley Pippins by three games, and Yakima Valley has four games left in their first half (24 games). The Bells will depart on a six-game road trip beginning Tuesday, with three games against the WCL-South leading Corvallis Knights and three against the Pippins.