The Bellingham Bells took a 3-1 win over the Yakima Valley Pippins on Saturday, June 15th at Joe Martin Field to clinch the series and take over the first-place position in the WCL North Division.
Strong Pitching Leads the Way
Bellingham nearly blanked Yakima Valley, with only one run being allowed in the bottom of the ninth inning for the only blemish of the game. Starter Nick Proctor (5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 5 K) picked up the win in his first quality start of the year. Early in the season, pitching coach Jim Clem has been working as many pitchers as possible in-game, so a quality start is a quality sign for this Bells pitching staff moving forward. Matt Geoffrion (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K) was effective out of the bullpen in his first appearance with the Bells, and Bryce Moyle (1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K) earned his first save of the year. As a team, the Bells allowed eight baserunners and struck out eight batters.
Hitting in Runs
With 3 RBI tonight, Bellingham now leads the WCL in that category, with 56 on the season. Only scoring in even-numbered innings tonight, Danny Martin hit an RBI groundout in the bottom of the second, Troy Viola scored Guthrie Morrison on a sacrifice fly (that was aided by an error) in the bottom of the sixth, and Jack Machtolf hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth. Troy Viola earned tonight’s Player of the Game Honors, as he was the scoring run on both RBI’s by Martin and Machtolf, and hit one of his own.
Streakin’ Up the Standings
The Bells have won two straight games and four of the last five, and tonight overtook first place from Yakima Valley. The Pippins, who sit at 6-4, have lost three straight games. Bellingham’s recent surge has propelled them to the second-best record in the WCL at 7-4, behind the still-perfect Walla Walla Sweets at 8-0. Current statistical leaders for the Bells are: Guthrie Morrison with a .390 batting average, Collin Burns and Jordan Vujovich with 9 RBI, Will Armbruester with 2 wins, and Bryce Moyle with 13 strikeouts. Five Bells have hit a home run this year, and six still have a 0.00 ERA.
The six-game homestand will wrap up tomorrow, Sunday, June 16th, with first pitch at 1:35 pm on Father’s Day. Bellingham won two out of three against the Cowlitz Black Bears earlier in the week, and will look to sweep the Pippins to take a total of five games out of six in the homestand. After that, the team is off on a six-game road trip, traveling to Cowlitz to square off once again against the Black Bears, and then to Bend to face the Elks. Both are three-game series. They will be back at Joe Martin on a Two-Dollar Tuesday, June 25th, for a non-league game against the Highline Bears.