Catching Up with the Bells!

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It’s been awhile since we heard about how the Bellingham Bells were doing as they headed on a road trip to take on the defending champs in Corvallis, Oregon.  The Bells left town in first place; would they return in first place?  Only time will tell.

Game one in Corvallis was a disaster as the Bells fell 14-5 in non-Bell like fashion. Before Bell fans realized what was going on, the game was 13-0 in favor of Corvallis after 5 innings.  In inning six, the Bells would plate 2 runs to cut the lead to 13-2.  One of the runs was driven in by infielder Troy Viola.  Troy was one of the leaders on offense early in the 2019 season for the Bells.  In the bottom of the sixth, Corvallis would go up 14-2.  Bellingham would score three more insignificant runs, but it didn’t matter.  The Bells fell in game one 14-5.

Wednesday night was a different story.  Washington State left-hander Bryce Moyle took the mound for the Bells and he didn’t disappoint.  The Bells would go up early 4-0 in the top of the first.  One highlight of the inning was a 2-run triple by University of Oklahoma outfielder Jordan Vujovich.  Moyle was outstanding as the fellow Cougar would pitch into the 4th inning allowing 3 hits and 0 runs while striking out 8 batters.  The bullpen would take over and close it out for the 5-1 victory.  Troy Viola would continue his torrid summer with a RBI single to put the Bells up 5-1.  Jimmy Chatfield would close it out for the Bells as the youngster from Yale was unstoppable.  Game two would go the Bells as they were looking to win the series the following evening.

Game three was a battle for the Bells.  They found themselves down 4-1 after 3 innings.  Things weren’t looking good against the defending champions.  In the top of inning 5, the Bells would come back.  They would cut the lead to 4-3 on a 2-run single by Nic Sokol who is currently attending Edmonds C.C.  Austin Kretzschmar, a sophomore from Stanford would drive in Sokol to tie the Bells up 4-4.  After Corvallis plated another to go up by one run, the Bells would take the lead for good and pull out the victory to win the series two games to one.  OF Jordan Vujovich would drive in four runs on two doubles late in the game to secure the victory.

Friday Bellingham traveled to Bend for a 3-game series, hoping to continue their winning way.  Little did they know that they would be shut down by a gentleman by the name of Kyle Wade.  Wade, who’s a rising star at Purdue University, would dominate the Bells from start to finish.  Troy Viola would continue his offense with a solo shot off Wade.  Other than that, Kyle was unstoppable.  He matched up with Nick Proctor from California, whose previous start was ace-like form for Bellingham.  He would make it into the 4th inning before the Elks would plate four runs to knock Proctor from the ballgame. Wade would pitch seven strong, and his bullpen would do the rest.  Final score was 7-1.  The Bells were wondering if they were overmatched.

Game two was on Saturday night.  Bellingham starter Cole Tucker from the University of California Riverside took the mound for the Bells and he was what they needed to stop the bleeding.  Cole pitched five shut-out innings for Bellingham allowing only one hit and striking out six batters.  Bellingham’s offense was dormant, and it took them until the fifth inning to wake up.  Bellingham would plate four in the inning on RBIs by Nic Sokol, Gonzaga Bulldog Guthrie Morrison and Jordan Vujovich.  The bullpen would take over and shut down Bend for the remainder four innings.  Final score was 4-0 as the Bells took game two of the series.

The rubber match was on Sunday as the Bells were looking to win another series and stay atop of the conference.  C.J. Varela, the senior from Oklahoma State, took the mound for the Bells and he didn’t disappoint.  Bellingham took an early 4-0 lead in the first inning.  Troy Viola, whose name keeps appearing in the box scores, drove in the first run of the ballgame.  The Bells were up 4-0 after ½ inning.  Bend couldn’t figure out what was going on as their offense continued to go scoreless.  Bellingham would increase their lead to 8-0 in the 4th inning.  Viola would close out the scoring and continue his torrid start with a 2-run shot.  The bullpen would take over in the bottom of the 4th for Varela who we believe was on a pitch count.  In the fifth, Jack Machtolf the Junior OF from Gonzaga would drive in the 9th run of the ballgame and later score to make it 10-0.  One inning later, Jack would belt a 2-run triple to put the Bells up 12-1.  After that, the offense would go south but the pitching would shut down the Bells.  At the end, the final score was 12-4 as the Bells would once again win another series.

Tuesday June 25th the Bellingham Bells returned home for a 2-game out of conference series versus the Highline Bears and the Seattle City Select.  Game one was on Tuesday night versus Highline.  The Bears from Highline came to play.  Bellingham quickly fell behind 4-1 through 4 innings.  The Bells bullpen took over after that and quickly overpowered the Bears from Highline.  They even no-hit the Bears after from the sixth inning on.  The Bells would win the ballgame in extra innings on a bases-loaded walk-off double by Derek Marshall from New Mexico.  The Bullpen was the player of the game led by Will Armbruster, pitcher from the University of New Mexico.  This was a huge win for Bellingham as they continued to stay on top of the conference standings.

Bellingham put a beat down on the Seattle Select this past Thursday to go 14-6 on the young season.  The Bells won 15-0 over this team from Seattle as they dominated on both sides of the ball.  Bellingham reached base 27 times during the game and only 8 of those were on hits.  In a game where the Bells needed the confidence on offense, they got more than they bargained for.

Friday night, the Pickles came to town for a 3-game series before the Bells fled town.  Game one saw the Bells fall 8-3.  Bellingham pitching didn’t show up to play and went through five pitchers.  The defense didn’t help as they gave up 3 errors during the ballgame. Offensive stars of the game were Austin Kretzschmar who hit 1st homerun of the season.  The Bells are one of the top hitting teams in the league, but they had trouble driving in baserunners all night.  Bellingham fell to 12-7 in league play but knew that this was only one game.  It was time to turn it around.

Game two was Saturday night as the crowd filed in looking for another win and the opportunity to enjoy Fireworks night under the Bellingham skies.  Bellingham returned the favor Saturday night as they pulled out the 8-3 victory over the Pickles from Portland.  Nick Proctor started on the mound for the Bells and he continued to dominate at Joe Martin Field.  He seemed to have confidence when he pitched at Joe Martin.  Nick would go 5 innings allowing only one run.  The bullpen would shut it down over the final four innings.  Stars of the game were Jack Machtolf who went 2-5 from the plate driving in 3 runs.  The outfielder from Gonzaga continues to thrive in the West Coast League.  Troy Viola continued his dominance with two runs batted in.  Outfielder Guthrie Morrison had two more hits to keep his average at a modest .373.  Guthrie is operating at an MVP level during the 2019 season.  It will be interesting to see if he keeps it up.

Sunday, Bellingham was looking to win the series once again.  The offense failed to show up, but would that be ok to pull out the victory perhaps?  Starting pitcher CJ Varela took the mound allowing only 1 run through 4 innings.  He lowered his ERA to 1.12 for the summer.  The bullpen did the rest as they shut down the Pickles over the final five innings.  Bellingham would get only one hit over the first 8 innings by Derek Marshall.  In the 9th inning, things would change.  With Nic Sokol on 1st base, Troy Viola would belt a 2-run walk-off home run for the victory as the Bells would go to 14-7 on the season.

Bellingham is only ½ game behind Victoria as they go out on a 6-game road trip.  With only over a month left in the season, now is the time, and the Bells are in the right place at the right time.  If you haven’t already, make your plans to head up north.  These guys want to win, and the opportunity is there.  The Bellingham Bells staff do an amazing job with these young kids on and off the field.  Make that drive up north and root these kids to the championship.  Mark my words, you won’t regret it.  Thank you, Bellingham Bells, for the amazing job that you do.


Go Bells!!

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