In a rematch of last season’s West Coast League Championship series on Tuesday evening in Corvallis, the Bells shut out the Corvallis Knights in a 4-0 series opener.
The beginning of Tuesday night’s game had the feel of pitcher’s duel. Bells starter Andrew Kemmerer navigated through four innings, stranding six Knights baserunners. The biggest of Kemmerer’s jams came in the first inning. With one out, the Knights loaded the bases but the threat was soon extinguished after a pop out and strikeout that kept the game scoreless through the first inning.
“It was not my strongest outing but I made big pitches and got great help from my defense,” Kemmerer said of his outing.
The play of the game, defensively, came in the bottom of the second. The Knights put runners on first and second with two outs when Emilio Alcantar stepped to the plate. Alcanatar hit a single up the middle but the ball did not get through, due to the hustle of second baseman Ben Welch who threw a short toss to shortstop Dustin Breshears who saw the runner Tyler Hamilton running home. Breshears threw a strike to cut down the baserunner to keep the game scoreless. As it turned out that would be closest Corvallis would come to scoring in the game.
The Bells pushed across their first run when Ben Welch lined a two out single into left to give the Bells a 1-0 lead. The scoring for the Bells continued in the next inning. The Bells managed to get two men on with two out and forced Corvallis manager Brooke Knight to remove his starter, Chase Kaplan, in favor of Brandon Cutsforth. Walker Olis greeted Cutsforth with a long eight pitch at-bat. On the eighth pitch, Olis hit a long arching home run over the left field wall to give the Bells a 4-0 lead they would not relinquish.
“That was big,” said Pitching Coach Jim Clem. “Pitching with a 4-0 lead as opposed to 1-0 lead makes things a lot easier for our pitchers.”
The bullpen for the Bells picked up right where starter Kemmerer left off. Riley Storedahl came on first in relief; he went four innings and did not allow a Knight runner to reach third. Storedahl said of his outing, “I didn’t have my best stuff tonight but I managed to use my fastball to get some groundball outs when I needed them.”
Brian Way worked the ninth with no drama. Way struck out the first man he faced, allowed a single to Trevin Stephens but got the next man Tyler Hamilton to ground into a game ending double play.
The 4-1 win for the Bells improves their record to 3-1 while the Corvallis Knights fall to 1-3 on the season. Game two of the series will be tomorrow at 6:40. Erik Oas will be on the call with a 6:25PM pregame show.