Scott Heath hit a 2-RBI single to spark a 7-run 7th inning as Bellingham rallied to extend its win streak with an 8-2 victory over the Kitsap BlueJackets on Monday, July 7 at Joe Martin Field.
The Bells (21-5, 19-5 WCL) extended their win streak to 13 games, including 11 straight league wins. The win streak is tied for the third-longest in West Coast League history, and trails only win streaks of 14 games and 13 games by the Wenatchee AppleSox in 2011 and 2005, respectively.
Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the 7th, left fielder Jack Klein (Stanford University) led off with a single, and stole second. A walk to second baseman Dustin Breshears (Gonzaga University) and a bunt single by Eric Webber (Georgetown University) loaded the bases. Heath (University of Maine) then hit a high-chopping single over a leaping Kitsap first baseman, scoring two runs.
The next two Bells to the plate were hit by pitches, as the first six hitters in the inning reached safely. Shortstop Colby Woodmansee (Arizona State University) added an RBI single before center fielder Nate Anderson was hit by a pitch. Bellingham scored 5 runs in the inning before the BlueJackets were able to record two outs. Breshears made it an 8-2 game with a bases-loaded double to left field, scoring two more runs. In all, the Bells sent 13 hitters to the plate during the inning.
"We stuck to the approach, and the process paid off," Bellingham Assistant Coach Mike Gange said.
Breshears echoed Gange's comments about Bellingham's approach paying off with runs late in the game.
"We obviously got off to kind of a slow start, we weren't having great AB's but I think the big thing about our offense is that we keep our confidence," Breshears said.
Kitsap had taken a 2-0 lead on a 2-run home run in the 4th inning from catcher Corbin Duffy (Everett CC). Duffy jumped on the first pitch he saw, keeping the ball just fair down the left field line as it deflected off the foul pole and back into the field of play.
The Bells cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the 6th inning on an RBI double from right fielder Walker Olis (Pacific University). The double scored third baseman Dylan Garcia (Cal State Chico) from first base, who reached on a fielder's choice after a leadoff walk to designated hitter Danny Miller (Cal State Chico).
Moises Ceja (UCLA) was the pitcher of record during Bellingham's big inning, and earned the win. Zach Johnson (Edmonds CC) started and pitched five innings. He was relieved by Hever Bueno (Arizona State University), Ceja, Burk FitzPatrick (University of Maine) and Heath, who each pitched an inning of relief.
Heath, the Bellingham first baseman and No. 3 hitter, made his Bells pitching debut and pitched a 1-2-3 9th inning.
Ceja spoke to the depth of the 2014 Bells during the postgame radio show.
"This team is full of extremely talented people," Ceja said. "You trust everybody on the field, you trust everybody that's going up to bat. That's a great feeling when you know people have your back. To be honest, with that trust, you feel more confident out there. You know you're going to find a way."
Bellingham continues its series against the BlueJackets on Tuesday with the first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.