Bellingham bested the Yakima Valley Pippins in the game one of the series by a final score of 3-1.
Starting Pitching Leads the Way
Starting pitcher Eric Chavarria (1-0) (6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K) started off the game with five strikeouts in three perfect innings, and ended with nine K’s, more than any Bells pitcher in a game this year. His fastball touched 87.5 MPH, but his first five strikeouts came on offspeed pitches. He threw his slider 26 times – 16 for strikes – and collected four swinging strikeouts with it.
Ryan Sanders (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 0 K) came on in relief in the seventh, and got himself into and out of a bases loaded jam by forcing an inning-ending double play. He pitched a hitless 8th, and Greg Blackman (1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K) let two runners aboard but closed the door in the 9th for his first save of the season.
This game was the first time the Bells have held their opponent under three runs this season, and it lowered their team ERA to 3.41 – 6th in the WCL.
Pippins’ starting pitcher Seth Kuykendall (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) put together a strong outing as well in his first start of the season as well.
C Kyle Green kicked off the scoring for Bellingham in the 4th inning with a 372-ft solo home run to left field, his first of the season.
The Bells added one more in the 5th, with CF Josh Trujillo scoring from second by tagging up on a fly ball and turning the corner home after a Pippins fielding error.
DH Pierce Leavengood plated the final run in the 8th by scoring 1B Jack Van Remortel on a well-hit double to left field.
The Bells finished with eight hits and had a baserunner in every inning but two, but left a total of eight runners on base. SS AJ Davis went 2-3, and Van Remortel drew two walks. Zac Berryman, Yugo Hamakawa and Daniel Gernon each had a hit as well.
Bellingham allowed five unearned runs over their last two games and allowed another tonight, along with four errors. They’ve committed seven errors in their first four games, the 4th-most in the WCL. The team’s fielding percentage is .954.
The Bells will be facing the Pippins again tomorrow, Wednesday, June 9th. There will also be a bookmark giveaway at the ballpark tomorrow, presented by Bellingham Advanced Medical Imaging. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm at Joe Martin Field. Get your tickets at www.bellstickets.com!