In the most complete win of the season for the Bellingham Bells (15-9), Bells hitters clobbered Yakima Valley Pippins pitching for 10 runs, in Thursday night’s 10-1 win.
Equally as impressive for the Bells was the pitching. Grant Schneider (2-1) took the ball for the Bells and spun a gem. In his third start of the year, Schneider mowed down Pippins hitters, setting down the first 11 men that came to the plate before finally allowing a base runner in the fourth inning. Schneider would end his night with a season high six strikeouts and only allow two hits in his 5 2/3 innings of shut out work.
The Bells offense made sure Schneider pitched with a lead from the get go. In the first inning, Bronson Larsen hit a high arching home run that just got over the fence in left to give the Bells a 1-0 lead. It was Larsen’s fifth home run of the year, tying the team mark for home runs in a single season, and his fourth in his last ten games.
On this night, the Bells offense would score early and often. In the second they broke out for their biggest frame of the night a four run rally. The inning’s big hit came when Aaron Stroosma doubled with the bases load to bring home three Bells and extend the lead to 5-0.
From the second inning on, the Bells added on and continued to hit Pippins starter Jesse Houser (0-1) who stayed out for five innings and was rocked for seven runs, all earned, in the losing effort. Houser’s replacement did not fare much better. Jordan Gonzalez came in to work the sixth and seventh innings but allowed three more Bells runs to come in during the seventh inning, making the score 10-0.
The only Pippin run to come in on the night was charged to Channing Nesbitt in the eighth inning that prevented the shutout and made it 10-1. Nesbitt, who is known as a groundball pitcher among the Bells, lived up to his reputation forcing two double play balls in his two and a third innings of work out of the Bells' bullpen.
The Bells forced four double plays Thursday night, a new Bells team record in what was the defense’s biggest contribution of the evening.
The 10-1 win gave the Bells the series win and they have now won all five of their series at Joe Martin Field to start the season. The Pippins' loss is the first time that they have lost a series on the road this year.
Tomorrow the Bells will travel to Kitsap as they open a three game series against the Bluejackets at the Gene Lobe Field. Justin Calomeni will take the ball for the Bells. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Erik Oas on the call at 930 KBAI, starting with the pregame show at 6:05 p.m.