The Bells (7-7 in second half WCL play) defeated the Ridgefield Raptors 1-0 on Saturday night to win the series and move into the driver’s seat for the WCL North’s second playoff berth.
Eric Chavarria was spectacular in his start, striking out seven across five no-hit innings. He was nearly perfect, only allowing one walk. His off-speed pitches were especially effective, collecting five strikeouts with his curveball. He entered the game as the WCL leader in ERA, and his performance tonight lowered it to 1.51 on the year. For his excellent start, Chavarria earned Player of the Game honors.
Only one run was scored in the game, and it came in the very first inning off the bat of Luis Aviles. With two outs, Aviles cracked a no-doubt HR to left field that cleared the protective netting to leave the stadium. The 106-MPH rocket was his team-leading fourth HR of the summer.
The rest of the pitching staff shut out the Raptors over the last four innings. Zack Simon (2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K) allowed two runners to reach in the 6th, and was relieved with one on and one out in the 8th. Ryan Sanders (0.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K) allowed the only two batters he faced to reach in the 8th. Those two runners loaded the bases as Sanders was relieved by Greg Blackman (1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K). With the bases loaded and just one out, Blackman struck out back-to-back batters with his slider. He allowed two more runners to reach in the 9th, but locked it down for his third save of the summer.
The Bells had just six hits in the game, drew one walk, and struck out nine times. Aviles was the only Bell with multiple hits (2-4), and Yugo Hamakawa and Cole Hinkelman each doubled. The Raptors struck out 13 times in the game, and left nine runners on base.
Having already won the three-game series, the Bells will be looking for the sweep tomorrow, Sunday, July 25th. First pitch is set for 1:05 PM. There will also be a jersey auction at ballpark, presented by John L. Scott Camp Korey. Tickets can be found at www.bellstickets.com.