BELLINGHAM – The Wenatchee AppleSox (15-28, 5-11 Second Half), brought down the Bellingham Bells (22-18, 7-6), 6-1, in a series-opening win, Saturday night at Joe Martin Field.
Grady Miller (3-2) gave the AppleSox the lift they needed early, facing the minimums in his first three innings of work against the Bells.
Meanwhile, Wenatchee stockpiled a lead for their lefty, scoring once in the second on a Ryan Kreidler RBI single, and again in the third on a Michael Toglia RBI double.
Bellingham got its lone run in the fourth inning on back-to-back doubles off of Miller. Shane Hanon scored after Chase Strumpf brought him home. Offensively, Hanon had a standout night for Bellingham, going 3-for-4.
The AppleSox expanded their lead off of Connor Johnson in the fifth inning with an RBI triple for Toglia, who scored Sheldon Liikala following Liikala’s third hit of the night.
Toglia scored in the next at bat on a failed suicide squeeze and a pitch in the dirt that bounced off of Bellingham’s catcher, ahead of a play at the plate. Toglia received credit for stealing home.
Liikala finished 4-for-4 with a walk, and Toglia picked up his WCL-leading fifth triple and his North-leading 26th and 27th RBI.
Wenatchee’s pitching was nearly lights-out the rest of the way, blanking the Bells. Miller finished with seven one-run innings, earning his team-best fifth quality start of the season. It was also his third start of seven-or-more innings.
Jimmy Dobrash covered the last two innings for the AppleSox, throwing shutout frames. The AppleSox offense added two insurance runs in the sixth inning, which came unearned on a pair of errors and a Liikala walk and Alex Gonzales single.
Game two of the series is Sunday at 3:05 p.m. Matt Young (2-0) will pitch for Wenatchee.