By Joe Traub
Port Angeles Lefties
BELLINGHAM — In the opener of a crucial three-game road series, starting pitcher Jonny Chavez was up to the task, giving up just four hits over six scoreless innings to lead the Port Angeles Lefties to a 3-1 victory over the host Bellingham Bells on Saturday evening.
Chavez was in command throughout, as the right-hander walked just two and struck out five. His biggest challenge came in the fifth inning as he faced leadoff hitter Colin Burns with Bells on second and third and one out. Burns hit a fly ball to shallow right field where Nick DiPonzio made the catch and then gunned a one-hop throw to the plate to cut down Danny Martin and preserve the shutout.
Bellingham again had two men on in the sixth inning, but Chavez induced a weak comebacker from Cole Hinkleman to end the frame.
The Lefties were led at the plate by Baxter Halligan, who grounded out in the first inning to drive in Gavin Rork and then plated Rork with a single to center field in the third inning.
In the fifth, Matt Christian blasted his league-leading tenth home run of the season to right, giving Port Angeles (7-6, 17-22) a 3-0 advantage.
Carter Loewen came within one out of finishing off the Lefties’ first shutout of the season, but Derek Marshall hit a ball over the fence in right-center field to put Bellingham on the board.
Loewen got a fly ball to end the game and earned the save for his sixth consecutive appearance.
Port Angeles 3, Bellingham 1
Lefties 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0— 3 6 0
Bells 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1— 1 6 0
WP: J. Chavez LP: Hatley SV: Loewen
Lefties — Chavez 6IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 5K; Tresemer 2IP, H, K; Loewen IP, H, ER, K.
Lefties — Rork 1-2, 2BB, 2R; Halligan 1-4, 2RBI; Christian 1-4, HR, R, RBI; Rosenberg 1-3, BB; Hurn 1-4; Groff 1-4.