Colby Woodmansee hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, the second grand slam in as many games for Bellingham, and five Bells pitchers held the Everett Merchants to three hits in a 5-0 win Tuesday, June 24 at Joe Martin Field.
Bellingham (10-5) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a two-out double down the left field line by third baseman Dallas Carroll (University of Utah), scoring left fielder Lou Della Fera (University of Maine).
Everett starting pitcher Brice Longanecker (GateWay CC), a graduate of Sehome High School, scattered four hits over the first fiving innings and had 1-2-3 innings in the fourth and fifth before the Bells loaded the bases in the sixth. First baseman Scott Heath (University of Maine) began the frame with a base hit up the middle and Carroll followed with a single to left field. An error loaded the bases for Woodmansee.
The Merchants (11-3) changed pitchers, but Woodmansee (Arizona State University) continued the rally and extended the Bellingham lead with his third home run of the season, over the left field wall. Woodmansee's long ball followed Heath's grand slam Sunday against Bend, giving the Bells 8 RBI in their last two games via the home run. With the win Tuesday, Bellingham improved to 6-1 when hitting a home run.
"This is a hard park to hit home runs out of," Bells pitching coach Jim Clem said. "So for us to get grand slams in back-to-back games, it just goes to show you our hitters are very capable."
Eder Erives (Arizona State University) started for Bellingham and got the win, retiring the first 11 hitters he faced and allowing just one hit in four innings of work. Moises Ceja (UCLA), Seth Martinez (Arizona State University), Burk FitzPatrick (University of Maine) and Hever Bueno (Arizona State University) combined for the relief effort.
Everett was set down 1-2-3 in five of the nine innings. The Merchants threatened to end the shutout effort in the seventh inning, loading the bases with a two-out rally. But Fitzpatrick got Everett second baseman Clay Trushinsky (Pacific Lutheran University) to fly out to center field to the end the inning.
Bellingham is using the two non-league games against Everett as an opportunity to give innings to a plethora of pitchers and Clem was pleased with Erives, who was scheduled to pitch the first four innings.
"We had a plan -- let's see how many outs you can get and as fast as you can get them, stay within the zone, use all your pitches," Clem said, regarding the pitching mentality. "He (Erives) is really coming into his own, I couldn't be more happy with him, and then the rest of the guys too."
With the performance, the Bellingham pitching staff extended its streak of allowing three runs or fewer to seven games.
Bellingham takes on the Merchants again tomorrow night at 7:05 p.m., before returning to West Coast League play and opening a three-game series on Friday at Joe Martin Field against the Kelowna Falcons.