Hatch, a Bellingham native, is returning to the field after serving a two year mission that kept him away from baseball. As a true freshman at Utah Valley University in 2008, Hatch his .286 in 45 games while driving in 18 runs. Following his freshman campaign for the Wolverines, Hatch returned to Bellingham to play for the Bells. Hatch saw action in 33 games and posted a .248 batting average.
Prior to college, Hatch played at Sehome High School for his uncle and first year Bells head coach Gary Hatch. Kai Hatch helped his team to a championship at the conference, district, regional, and state levels and as a senior he hit .477 en route to being named the Washington State player of the year.
“This is a great opportunity to bring back a player in Kai that grew up in Bellingham and already has connections to the Bells organization,” Bells general manager Blake Buswell said. “Kai is an outstanding player and a solid young man that we are happy to have return to the team.”
Howard picked up his first collegiate win with BYU in a victory over then-No. 20 Kansas State. He made 11 appearances for the Cougars, finishing the season with a 1-1 record. Prior to attending BYU, the Colorado Springs, Colo., native was an all-state, all-area, and all-conference baseball player at Fountain Fort Carson High School. As a high school senior, Howard posted a 6-1 record with a 1.47 ERA and was named the city 4A-5A pitcher of the year.
“We think Chris has the potential to be a great pitcher for us this summer,” Bells head coach Gary Hatch said. “He’s made a number of starts at BYU and threw four scoreless innings in a start at the Mountain West Conference tournament last spring. He’s an exciting left hander and we expect big things from Chris when he arrives in Bellingham.”
The Bells open their 13th season on June 3 at Joe Martin Field against the Kelowna Falcons. Individuals and companies with inquiries about season tickets, corporate sponsorship opportunities, or any other matters related to the ballclub, are encouraged to contact the Bellingham Bells offices at (360) 527-1030, or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Bellingham Bells
The Bellingham Bells are a professionally operated collegiate summer baseball team in the West Coast League striving to provide their fans, sponsors, and partners with the very best in competitive baseball and affordable entertainment in a family-friendly atmosphere. The team is comprised of college baseball players from across the country. In recent years, the Bells have helped produce a number of major leaguers including Jeff Francis of the 2007 National League Champion Colorado Rockies and Whatcom County natives Ty Taubenheim and Kevin Richardson.