BELLINGHAM — The top pitching club in the West Coast League beat out the top hitting club, thanks largely to one big swing in the sixth inning.
The Bellingham Bells broke up a close pitchers’ duel with a grand slam in the sixth inning, going on to win 6-1 over the Lefties. The Bells, leading the WCL with a outstanding team ERA of 2.27, held the Lefties, leading the WCL with a scoring average of 6.4 runs a game, to just five hits. Tuesday’s loss snapped the Lefties’ three-game winning streak.
The game was tied 1-1 through five-and-a-half innings, but in the bottom of the sixth, the Bells scored a run and loaded the bases against starter Riley Beneditti, who had pitched great for five-plus innings, giving up just one earned run. Naill Silberman came in for relief and the Bells’ Matt McLain hit a bases-loaded home run off of him to make it 6-1.
Alex Jemal and Kyle Schimpf, normally a first baseman, combined to pitch the final 2 2/3 innings, keeping the Bells in check the rest of the way, not allowing any more runs. But, the Lefties simply couldn’t muster any rallies against the Bells’ pitching.
A quartet of Bells pitchers combined for the five-hitter, while walking just three and striking out 13. Davis Baillie, who relieved starter Wesley Moore in the fifth, picked up the victory, pitching three scoreless innings.
Justin VanDebrake was 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored for the Lefties. Dalton Harum returned to the Lefties’ lineup after a few games off and went 1 for 3 with an RBI, a walk and a stolen base. Jason Dicochea was 1 for 3 with a stolen base and a walk.
Lefties starter Beneditti ended up pitching 5 1/3 innings, giving up four hits, four earned runs, five walks and four strikeouts.
The Lefties (6-10 second half) played Bellingham (10-6 second half) again Wednesday and will finish their series against the Bells at 6:35 p.m. tonight. They return to Port Angeles for a three-game series against Walla Walla beginning at 6:35 p.m. Friday.
Bells 6, Lefties 1
Lefties 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 1 5 1
Bells 1 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 x — 6 6 0
WP: Baillie LP: Silberman
Bells — Moore 4IP, 4H, ER, 2BB, 7K; Baillie 3IP, 0H, 0ER, BB, 3K; Weiermiller 1IP, H, 0ER, K; Leeper 1IP, 0H, 0ER, 2K.
Lefties — Beneditti 5.1IP, 4H, 4ER, 5BB, 4K; Silberman 0IP, H, R, ER, BB; Jemal 1.2IP 0H, 0ER, 2BB, 2K; Schimpf 1IP, H, 0ER, BB, K.
Bells — McLain 2-4, HR, R, 4RBI, BB, SB; James 1-5, RBI; Yake 1-3, R, SB.
Lefties — VanDebrake 2-3, 2B, R, BB; Harum 1-3, RBI, BB, SB; Dicochea 1-3, SB; Rosenberg 1-4.
Compiled from team reports. Email scores to [email protected] or phone 360-417-3525.