Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 17, 2014, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Riding another strong pitching performance, this time from right-hander Seth Martinez, the Bellingham Bells won their second straight game over the Victoria HarbourCats, winning by a score of 7-2 on Tuesday evening at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park.
Victoria third baseman Ted Boeke does his best to come up with this second inning short ground ball, however it would end up going for an infield single (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Following in the footsteps of Grant Goodman’s 1-hit, 6-inning performance on Monday, Martinez, who attends Arizona State University, also baffled HarbourCats’ batters, holding them to just a pair of hits in his 8 innings of work. Both of those hits, along with both HarbourCat runs, came in the bottom of the 2nd inning when Devin Carter led things off with a single, Ted Boeke got hit by a pitch and then Nathan Lukes cashed both in with a 2-RBI double to centre.
Bellingham pitcher Seth Martinez was stellar, retiring 19 Victoria batters in a row at one point and allowing just 2 runs on 2 hits, while striking out 10 and walking just two over his 8 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After that, it was lights out for the HarbourCats, as Martinez would retire the next 19 batters in a row before pinch-hitter Griffin Andreychuk would finally reach on a walk after 2 outs in the 8th inning. Martinez would quickly regroup however to get the next batter and finish his night having struck out 10 batters along the way and walking just two. Burk Fitzpatrick would come on in relief in the 9th and strike out a pair to close things out.
Victoria second baseman Sean Watkins avoids the slide of Bellingham’s Colby Woodmansee as he attempts to turn a double play on Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
For the HarbourCats, Andrew Nelson made his second start of the season and after a 1-2-3 start in the first, the baseball Gods and some strange bounces played cruel tricks on him in the second, as the Bells found a way to push two runs across the plate.
Victoria starter Andrew Nelson deserved a better fate on Tuesday, especially in the second inning, when the Bells pushed a pair of runs across the plate with only one ball hit out of the infield. Nelson would finish allowing 3 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nelson did all that was asked of him by keeping the ball down in the strike zone and forcing the strong Bellingham hitters to hit balls on the ground, but two weird ground balls that bounced off home pate, a dribbler toward third and a well-placed ground ball down the third base line by Dylan Garcia – the only real solid hit in the inning and the only ball hit out of the infield – resulted in a pair of hits and two HarbourCats errors, and the two Bellingham runs.
Despite a stretch from Victoria first baseman Bryce Greager, Bellingham baserunner Chris Baker would beat this throw to first (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Nelson would keep the hard-hitting Bells off the board in the 3rd and 4th innings, but in the top of the 5th, a leadoff walk to Lou Della Fera and a pair of singles to Chris Baker and Scott Heath would prove costly, as Della Fera would eventually come in to score from third on a sacrifice fly by Jimmy Sinatro, putting the Bells up 3-2.
Victoria catcher Kelly Norris-Jones was honoured Tuesday with his own bobblehead (right) in the HarbourCats first ever bobblehead give-away (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
After Nelson pitched a scoreless 6th, he was replaced by reliever Preston Ryan in the 7th. Ryan would enjoy a scoreless 7th, but the Bells would get to him for a pair of runs in the top of the 8th courtesy of a leadoff walk to Dylan Garcia, a double to Colby Woodmansee, an RBI-ground out that scored pinch runner Ian Yetsko and a wild pitch that allowed Woodmansee to score.
Bell’s baserunner Jack Klein would slide safely into second base on this steal attempt, beating the tag by Victoria shortstop Alex DeGoti (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Things would worsen again in the 9th when HarbourCats reliever Alex Fagalde would get touched up for his first two runs of the season. Bellingham’s Heath would single, his second hit of the game, and then come in to score on a triple by Sinatro, also his second hit of the night. Sinatro would then round out the scoring on an RBI single from Yetsko.
Young fans Chase Day (left) and Trey Hammond (right) show off their Kelly Norris-Jones bobblehead (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The Bells added to their league leading hit total with another 9 tonight and once again multiple players – Heath, Sinatro and Woodmansee – had multi-hit games. Martinez performance was his second solid outing of the season and his ERA now sits at 2.57 over 14 innings of work. Nelson (now 0-2 on the year) takes the loss, giving up five hits and three runs with four strikeouts in his six innings of work.
Three Bellingham players had multi-hit evenings Tuesday including catcher Jimmy Sinatro who had a single and RBI triple (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The win moves the Bells record to 7-3 and they sit tied with Cowlitz, 3-1 winners over Corvallis Tuesday, for first in the West Division. The HarbourCats, with their third loss in a row, fall to 5-6 and they sit in 4th behind Kitsap also in the West.
The Bells and HarbourCats wrap up their three game set on Wednesday night at RAP. Mikey Wright is scheduled to get the start for the HarbourCats while Eder Erives gets the nod for the Bells. Game time is 7:11 PM.
One of the Kelly Norris-Jones bobbleheads decided to take a hobby monster truck out for a spin during a between inning promotion Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Game Notes: The HarbourCats held their first ever bobblehead night and many of the 1,372 in attendance took home a replica of catcher Kelly Norris-Jones. Nanaimo’s Griffin Andreychuk got his first at bat as a HarbourCat and drew a walk. Devin Carter is proving a welcome addition to the lineup, stroking his second hit in as many nights. He also started in right field tonight. Visiting teams don’t seem to realize that the HarbourCats provide a visiting team change room out under the grandstands in right field. Many, like the Bells have been doing this series, seem to drop their gear down the third base line and change in the dugout, or in the bullpen area. Perhaps they feel it is simply too far to walk!
Find more Victoria HarbourCats game action imagery from Christian J. Stewart at www.christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/harbourcats
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