Bells’ bats came alive on Wednesday night, snapping the only three game losing streak of the season at David Story Field with a 6-3 win over the Cowlitz Black Bears (19-31).
The win, coupled with a Victoria HarbourCats loss to the Yakima Valley Pippins, clinches the West division for the Bellingham Bells and sends them back to the West Coast League playoffs for the second straight year.
The game itself was all Bells for seven innings thanks to another stellar start from Andrew Kemmerer (4-0). Kemmerer did not tally high strikeout totals, he had just two all night, but pitched effectively to contact. Only one Black Bear reached by way of a hit off Kemmerer who allowed a total of three base runners.
His catcher Joey Harris had to mention his right hander’s performance after the game. “He has been so good for us all season,” Harris said. “For a starter to have three pitches working like he did tonight it makes it so tough for batters to feel comfortable at the plate.”
Harris not only caught the gem from Kemmerer but also lead the charge offensively for the Bells, joining four other Bells this year who have collected four hits in single game.
“I was able to see the ball well tonight,” said Harris of his four hit performance. “But it was also one of those nights where even the weaker hit balls were getting down for knocks.”
Harris’ four hits included a double that was one of five extra base hits the Bells tallied in the night.
After scoring a total of three runs during the three game losing streak the Bells’ offense returned to form with an 11 hit effort that lead to big innings in the third and fourth.
Chase Scott began the rally in the fourth inning with a leadoff walk against Black Bears starter Emilio Foden (1-4). Two pitches later, KJ Brady tripled down the first baseline to bring in the first run. Beau Branton knocked Brady in on a sacrifice fly to center for the second run of the inning.
In the fourth, the Bells plated three more runs thanks to four hits in the inning, two going for doubles. Chase Scott had the big blow in the inning a double to dead center field that brought in two.
With one more run added in the fifth, the Bells scoring ended but had built a 6-0 lead.
The Black Bears gave the Bells a scare in the eighth inning when they plated a run and loaded the bases off Nate Higa with nobody out which ended the night for the Bells’ reliever.
Brian Way came in and promptly got the next three men out to end the inning. One more run came in to score on a sacrifice fly but the damage was limited.
Way worked the ninth to earn his team leading sixth save of the season.
Tomorrow will not just mark a rubber game in the series, but also the end of the road schedule for the regular season. Andrew Summerville will take the ball for the Bells in a scheduled 6:35 start. Erik Oas will be on the call for a 6:20 pregame show at www.bellinghambells.com.