Bellingham Takes All Important Series OpenerBy Thomas Wilke July 19, 2022 10:43pm
Above Photo: Bellingham players celebrate Elijah Hainline’s leadoff homerun on Tuesday night (Photo: Christian J Stewart)
Victoria, BC ~ The Bellingham Bells used a five run top of the fifth inning to defeat the Victoria HarbourCats 9-6 in WCL action at Royal Athletic Park on Tuesday Evening.
Bellingham jumped out to an early lead, courtesy of an Elijah Hainline second pitch of the game, home run deep into left field. The Cats couldn’t be held down for long as they would score four runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth inning to put them on top 4-1 going into the fifth. That fourth inning was highlighted by a Joseph Redfield two run homerun to right field for his third of the year.
Bellingham would answer quickly with five runs in the top of the fifth inning. Andre Duplantier II left the game after going four strong innings for Victoria with the solo homerun in the first being really the only trouble he saw. It was however, a different story first for Nick Lee who only lasted a third of an inning while giving up four runs and Hudson Shupe who surrendered four runs in two and a third innings of four hit five walk ball.
Victoria scored two runs to, at the time, tie things at six in the bottom of the sixth. Grady Morgan walked to lead things off, before Jesse Brown scored himself and Grady on an inside the park homerun thanks to an error to Bells pitcher Wesley Moore who threw a ball deep into left field foul ground in an attempt to catch Jesse steaming for third base.
That would close out the offensive output for the Cats Tuesday evening while the Bells scored three more runs in the top of the seventh inning to seal the deal and improve to 5-5 in the second half of the season while pushing Victoria down to 7-7.
Flynn Ridley was a bright spot for the HarbourCats, as he came out of the bullpen in the top of the seventh to clean up a mess without allowing any inherited runners to score. He would also pitch the final two innings for Victoria without surrendering a run and striking out five.
The North Division now has three teams tied with a .500 win percentage in the second half of the campaign, with those teams being; Victoria, Kelowna and Bellingham. Wenatchee is still first with a 6-4 record. With Tuesday night’s loss Victoria falls a game and a half out of the final wild card spot in the North Division with their 18-22 record. The wildcard spots are awarded to the third and fourth best records in the division overall at the end of the year. Victoria trails Kelowna (17-18) in that race.
Victoria will play two more games against Bellingham with inevitably serious playoff hopes on the line. They will then fly out to Edmonton for a three game weekend series before returning home for an exhibition series against the Northwest Honkers on Tuesday the 26th. Don’t miss a moment of action down the stretch by visiting harbourcats.com/tickets.