Eder Erives pitched five perfect innings and three Bellingham relievers preserved a lead as Bellingham defeated the Victoria HarbourCats, 3-1 on Tuesday, July 15 at Joe Martin Field.
Shortstop Colby Woodmansee (Arizona State University) provided the offense for Bellingham (27-6, 25-6 WCL), homering deep to left field with two runners on base in the bottom of the 4th inning. The Bells have won 19 of their last 20 games, and extended their current win streak to five games with the victory.
Erives (Arizona State University), the starting pitcher, did not allow a base runner in his five innings of work and struck out five batters. Erives had tweaked his ankle fielding a ground ball in the 5th inning, and was removed from the game after finishing the inning. Moises Ceja (UCLA), Dan Ludwig (Belmont University) and David Bigelow (Gonzaga Universtiy) relieved Erives. The HarbourCats did not have a base runner until the 7th inning when second baseman Sean Watkins homered on a line drive over the centerfield wall.
"His best outing of the season tonight," said Bellingham Pitching Coach Jim Clem of Erives. "He was on the money with all his pitches and his fastball was firmer than usual."
Bigelow earned his eighth save, entering the game with one out in the 9th inning and a runner on base. The first batter Bigelow faced hit a hard line drive to center, but center fielder Nate Anderson (Bellevue College) made a clutch diving catch on the low, sinking drive to record a big second out for the Bells before Bigelow got the next batter to fly out and end the game.
"Just a tremendous catch," Clem said. "That's the kind of thing that saves games. If that hit falls in, then we've got two guys on and their clean-up hitter up."
In the 4th inning, right fielder Walker Olis (Pacific University) singled with one out and catcher Eric Webber (Georgetown University) followed with a walk to put two runners on base for Woodmansee. The Bells' shortstop jumped on a 1-0 pitch, sending the ball well into the parking lot located behind the left-field wall for his fourth home run of the summer.
"Big hit -- he came through at the time we needed him to," Clem said about Woodmansee. "He had a couple runners on base -- both those guys had really good at-bats ahead of him and then he came up and drove one out. It was just one of those games, where just one mistake is really the difference in the game."
Third baseman Dallas Carroll (University of Utah) and first baseman Scott Heath (University of Maine) each recorded two hits for the Bells, who out-hit Victoria 9-3. Victoria's three hits were all extra-base hits (home run, triple, double) but the HarbourCats were only able to score on the solo home run.
Bellingham will go for a sweep of the HarbourCats in the final game of the series on Wednesday, before beginning a three-game set against the Corvallis Knights. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.