Eder Erives (Arizona State) hoped to follow in the footsteps of both Grant Goodman (University of San Francisco) and Seth Martinez (Arizona State) on Wednesday night against Victoria. Those footsteps included an eight inning gem by Martinez last night and a workman-like effort from Goodman on Monday night. Erives was more than up for the challenge, as he four-hit the HarbourCats through five innings, allowing a lone run and striking out five en route to his first win of the season. Bellingham scored two runs in the third inning to stake Erives to a lead that he took off and ran with.
"He hadn't pitched for a little while (when he arrived here from ASU)," said Bells pitching coach Jim Clem of Erives on the postgame show. "He's a very good pitcher and he loves to compete."
Eric Webber (Georgetown) and Nate Anderson (Bellevue) both scored in the third inning, and after a solo home run from Victoria's Alex DeGoti (Long Beach State) in the bottom of the third, Erives settled down and retired his last seven batters in succession- three by strikeout. Bellingham would add another run in the fifth inning off a solo home run by Anderson, his first of the season, and took a 3-1 lead into the sixth where Klein made the HarbourCats pay. After Dylan Garcia (Chico State) singled and Walker Olis (Pacific University) reached on an error, Klein drilled the first pitch he saw in the sixth inning into the right-centerfield gap to plate two more Bells runs. Ian Yetsko (Oakland University) would drive in Klein and put the Bells up 6-1 after six.
"It's just so impressive," Clem said of Bellingham's offensive capabilities. "They go about their business everyday like it matters. These guys push each other and work hard. They get their workouts in and then turn it on in a game which is what I love the most."
Seven different players scored for the Bells in Wednesday's win, proving that depth is what truly makes this team so dangerous offensively. For Victoria, they were again left searching for answers at the plate, and finished with only five total runs in the three game series. Hunter Mercado-Hood (University of San Diego) managed two singles, while DeGoti hit his second home run of the season. Erives and the Bells bullpen feasted on the HarbourCats seven thru nine hitters- striking them out five times in nine at-bats. The damage could have been much worse for Victoria, as the Bells left nine runners on base in the victory.
Mikey Wright (San Jose State) suffered the loss, as he labored through six innings and allowed six runs (four earned) with three walks and three strikeouts. Defensively, the HarbourCats made four more errors on Wednesday night, and finished with eight errors in the series. Bellingham scored 10 runs off the Victoria bullpen in the three game sweep and took advantage of the sloppy HarbourCats defense.
Bellingham has now scored six-plus runs in all but one of their first 11 games this season and have scored a total of 94 runs, which leads the entire West Coast League. The Bells pounded out 33 hits in the series and outscored Victoria 23-5. Combined with losses by Cowlitz and Kitsap on Wednesday, Bellingham now has a one game lead in the West Coast League West Division entering the weekend.
Bellingham has a day off on Thursday and returns to Joe Martin Field for the start of a three game series with the Bend Elks on Friday, June 20 at 7:05 PM PDT. It begins a lengthy homestand for the Bells, coming off a 4-1 road trip against Kitsap and Victoria. Dave Grant has the calls this weekend, beginning 30 minuntes prior to every first pitch and can be heard on AM 930 KBAI. Fans can also tune in through www.bellinghambells.com by clicking the "listen live" icon.