Bellingham is a win away from sweeping their current homestand after taking down Port Angeles in a 9-2 rout on Wednesday night.
Fans at Joe Martin Field received a little bit of breathing room on Wednesday, following two consecutive high-drama contests. Following a 2-1 lead in the second inning, Bellingham never looked back.
After allowing back-to-back singles to start the contest off, Bellingham starter Justin Armbruester nearly got out of the inning unscathed. However, for the second night in a row, Port Angles used the hit and run to pull Matt McLain away from his position at second base and were awarded an RBI single because of it, taking the lead 1-0.
The Bells would quickly respond in the bottom of the second inning, putting up a crooked number in the bottom frame. Jordan Stoner led the inning off with a hustling double on a ball that was cut off in the gap of left-center field.
Landen Kimbro looked to move the Bells’ speedy left-fielder just 90 feet away, but instead was gifted with an airborne throw from Niall Silberman, the Lefties’ starting pitcher. With Kimbro at second, head coach Bob Miller continued the small ball theme, as Petrie’s sac-bunt led to a sacrifice fly from Connor Mack and a 2-1 lead.
Bellingham added some insurance, with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fourth inning. Guthrie Morrison loaded up the bases with two away, allowing Dusty Stroup a chance to drive a screaming line drive to hop over the wall, plating both Landen Kimbro and Michael Petrie and extending the lead 4-1.
After allowing three hits in the first inning, Armbruester retired the next ten batters. However, Armbruester found some rocky waters in the top of the fifth inning. A lead off walk and a pair of singles backed the Bells’ tall righty into a corner. With one down, Armbruester forced a strikeout and a pop out to first base in foul territory to end the inning.
Following a flyball to centerfield off the bat of Jordan Stoner, Matt James and McLain tagged up to advance 90 feet. The throw to third was cut off and thrown over to second as the umpire signaled out and the polite fans at Joe Martin Field disagreed with the call. Kimbro paid no mind and collected his first RBI of the night with a single up the middle, giving Bellingham a 5-1 lead.
Port Angeles was able to cut into the lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning. Bellingham returned the favor with a sac-fly of their own after Jordan Stoner’s fly ball to center field proved to be just deep enough, scoring James on a play at the plate.
The Bells weren’t done scoring in the bottom of the eighth. The Bells recorded three straight singles, one of which was an RBI single from Morrison. McLain added to his hot homestand with two more RBI with two out, blowing the door wide open 9-2.
Armbruester (2-1) was crowned the winning pitcher, allowing one run in five innings of five-hit baseball, walking one and striking out six. The rest of the Bells’ staff followed Armbruester’s lead as Carson Olson, Nick Hull, Austin Weiermiller, and Ben Leeper each recorded one inning of work, allowing just one run as a unit.
Tomorrow the Bells will look to complete the sweep with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 pm.