For the second night in a row, outstanding pitching led the Bellingham Bells to a victory over the San Francisco Seals, this time by a score of 4-2.
Bellingham took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning after a Johnny Farrington leadoff blooper to left field. A wild pitch then allowed Farrington to advance to second, prior to a Ryan Yamane groundout to move him to third. Farrington then scored on Alex Calbick’s blooper to left.
Great defense in the top of the third by Farrington saved a potential base runner for the Seals, with the shortstop making a nice back-handed play on a hard grounder to retire Ian Horne.
Strong pitching from starter Luke Morrill helped the Bells to hold the lead. The right-hander was pitching in his first game since July 13 at Cowlitz. During his four innings, the University of Maine prospect yielded only three hits, while striking out five. Morrill earned the win for his efforts.
After Morrill exited the game, Bells relievers Chris Van Dyke and Tanner Olson would shut the door on the Seals offense over the next four innings, with Van Dyke allowing only two walks and Olson retiring all six men that he faced.
In the ninth, Jason Hager took the mound for Bellingham and allowed a hit and a walk, leading to two San Francisco runs in 1/3 of an inning. Will Dennis then came in to close the game out for the Bells. Dennis picked up the save.
Following a shutout of the Seals on Tuesday night, the strong pitching in consecutive games is a good sign for the Bells as they make a playoff push.
“We’ve pitched well all year,” said Bells manager Gary Hatch. “These last two nights though we have pitched exceptionally well.”
Back-to-back doubles in the bottom of the sixth inning by Jack Meggs and Walker Olis led to one of the other Bells runs, while Eric Angerer’s two RBI double in the bottom of the seventh brought home the final two Bellingham runs of the night.
San Francisco starting pitcher Ozzie Sailors was saddled with the hard-luck loss for the Seals. The right-hander threw five innings, allowing only two hits and two walks, with a lone run crossing the plate during her time on the mound.
The Bells will now move forward to a crucial four game series with the Victoria HarbourCats starting on Thursday afternoon with a makeup game due to a rainout earlier in the season. Game time is 3:05 at Joe Martin Field. The two squads will then head back to Victoria for three more games starting on Friday night, wrapping up each teams regular season schedule.
Bellingham will enter the four game series three games out of a playoff spot following wins by Wenatchee and Walla Walla on Wednesday night.
Hatch knows that to reach the playoffs the Bells will need to play great baseball against the HarbourCats.
“We need to sweep in my opinion,” said Hatch. “Victoria is no slouch though. We are hopeful the hitting will come alive. We have got our work cut out for us.”
All the action on Thursday afternoon between Victoria and Bellingham can be heard online at bellinghambells.com with Mike Weisman on the call.