Though not overpowering, Watson had excellent control all night, walking only two Bellingham hitters; entering Thursday night’s game, he had been averaging nearly one walk per inning on the season. Watson limited the Bells to six hits.
The Sweets took the lead with a run in both the third and fourth innings. Andrew Mendenhall continued his hot hitting with a single that scored Kalani Brackenridge with two outs in the third and Scott Gottschling hit a double down the left field line to score Elliot Stewart and make it a 2-0 game in the fourth.
Bellingham threatened to score in the third, when they got three hits. J.R. Bunda led off the inning with a single and advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Marshall Yanzick. Kolton Emery then singled to left field and Bunda was thrown out at the plate trying to score. Derek Atkinson followed with a single but was left stranded on base.
It was another very good pitching performance for Bellingham, however. Kyle Schepel got the start and pitched well, allowing two runs on five hits. Schepel struck out five hitters in his six innings of work.
Evan Hudson came in on relief and was able to get out of a jam in the seventh inning when Walla Walla had base runners on second and third with no outs. Though an error in the eighth allowed the Sweets to score and make it a 3-0 ballgame, Hudson didn’t allow any earned runs.
Jack Vander Linden got the ball in the ninth and retired the Sweets in order, striking out the first two hitters he faced. Vander Linden has now pitched seven consecutive scoreless innings.
Bunda and Atkinson led the Bells with two hits each. It was Atkinson’s first start after being signed by the Bells on Wednesday.
Bellingham will continue their homestand with a three-game series against Bend that starts Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Joe Martin Field.