Offense was the struggle for the Bellingham Bells in the first two games of their series against Yakima Valley, scoring just three runs combined.
That problem was swiftly forgotten about Thursday night.
The Bells (18-15) defeated to the Yakima Valley Pippins (21-15) 14-1 Thursday night at Yakima County Stadium.
The Bells used two separate five run innings, in the fourth and seventh innings, to overwhelm the Pippins.
Bellingham opened the scoring in the first. Andru Cardenas, Shane Hanon and Chase Strumpf all singled to load the bases. David Banuelos and Jake Vieth each followed with sacrifice fly outs to centerfield to plate Cardenas and Hanon. The Bells led 2-0 before Yakima Valley came to bat.
The Bells crossed another run in the third. Cardenas was hit by a pitch and stole second to put himself in scoring position. Strump delivered a two out RBI single to drive in Cardenas. Bellingham led 3-0 after two and half innings.
Bellingham exploded for five runs in the fourth. Vieth began the threat with a walk and moved to second on a Danny Casals single. Elijah Skipps was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Vieth came around to score when Justin Polzin reached on an error. Gunnar Schubert followed with an RBI single to bring home Casals. Cardenas then walked to drive in Skipps and after an errant pickoff move to first rolled down the right field line, Polzin crossed home plate. Schubert was the final man to tag the dish in the fourth, helping the Bells increase their advantage from 3-1 to 8-1 heading to the bottom half of the fourth.
Bellingham tagged on five more runs in the seventh inning. Vieth once again started the rally with a single and moved to second when Casals singled. An error allowed Elijah Skipps to reach and load the bases for Bellingham. Polzin earned an RBI driving home Vieth on a fielder’s choice that retired Skipps. Schubert walked to reload the bases for Cardenas who singled home Casals. Hanon was plunked by a pitch to bring home Polzin and Strumpf lined another single to plate Schubert. Banuelos capped the scoring in the frame with an RBI walk. Bellingham led 13-1 at stretch time in Yakima.
The Bells closed out the scoring in the ninth. David Banuelos ripped a long single down the right field corner that allowed Shane Hanon to cross home for Bellingham’s 14th run on the evening.
Gio Lopez (1-0) earned his third start of the summer, and the Arizona State product tossed five and two thirds innings of one run baseball to earn his first win as a Bell. Jeff Gelinas recorded the final out the sixth and all three outs in the seventh inning. Bellingham native David Stealy worked one scoreless frame in the eighth. And Sam Hellinger fanned two in the ninth to shut the door.
Seven errors were committed by the two teams, four for the Pippins and three for Bellingham, allowing for 10 of the 15 runs scored in the contest to be unearned.
The Bells victory allowed Bellingham to split their four game road trip in Kitsap and Yakima with two wins and two losses, while it also forced a split in the season series against Yakima Valley with each team winning three games apiece.
The Bells return home on Friday July 15th for the first game of a three game set against the Walla Walla Sweets. First pitch will be thrown a 7:05, with pre-game coverage starting at 6:35 with Tom Prizeman on 930 AM KBAI. To purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.