“Defense wins championships” is an old adage in all sports, but today both teams used that formula to try to win game one of the divisional playoffs. Pitchers on both sides had their best stuff working in what would eventually become a 1-0 victory for the Bells. 

Ryan Beitel had a strong performance. Only allowing four baserunners the entire night and striking out eight batters across his seven innings on the mound. 

The Falcons had traffic on the bases in the second inning, but Beitel was able to work out of it. He would go on to work three consecutive 1-2-3 innings to give Bellingham their best chance to steal game one on the road. On the opposing side, Koen Vant Klooster was highly effective until the Bells offense was able to break through in the fourth inning.

After being held hitless through the first three innings, the heart of the order came through. Beginning with a Dean West walk to get the inning started. Back-to-back singles by Andrew Valdez and Daryl Ruiz put West 90’ from scoring while loading the bases for Bellingham with no outs in the inning. Colton Bower came through with a sacrifice RBI, scoring West and putting the Bells ahead 1-0.

Ryan Beitel was masterful in his first playoff start of the season. Except for a batter reaching on a dropped third strike, Beitel didn’t allow a single baserunner after the second inning. 

In the eighth inning, the Bells turned to a trusted arm in Trevin Moore to take care of the 8-9-1 batters in the lineup. After a leadoff walk, he was able to settle down and put away the next three hitters in order to get Bellingham to the ninth.

With the heart of the order due up in the final inning, James Trimble was called upon to put the game away, and 17 pitches later he did. Getting the save in game one and placing Bellingham one step closer to the WCL Championship. 

The Bells will be back at Joe Martin Stadium to finish the three-game series against the Falcons on August 9 at 6:35 p.m. Everett Swaim (1.39 ERA) will get the start against Griffin Palfrey (1.98 ERA).