Bellingham Bells (19-10, 1-2 second half)
Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium
The Wenatchee AppleSox begin their second-half schedule on Tuesday night with the first of six consecutive games against the first-half North Division Champions, the Bellingham Bells.
While the Bells already have a 2018 playoff spot secured, the AppleSox begin the second half looking to claim the North Division’s other available spot. The first three games of this six games in six nights series will take place in Wenatchee, before the final three in Bellingham start up on Friday.
Bells: Taylor Davis (2-0, 0.61 ERA)
AppleSox: Hunter Boyd (2-1, 6.07 ERA)
Bells: Wesley Moore (0-0, 3.05 ERA)
AppleSox: Grady Miller (1-2, 5.40 ERA)
Bells: Nick Nastrini (3-0, 0.64 ERA)
AppleSox: Michael Spellacy (1-0, 4.28 ERA)
Tuesday: Stitch & Pitch Night and Taco Tuesday
Wednesday: IBEW Night
Thursday: Cascade Autocenter Night
Scouting the Opponent
The Bells, like every team besides the AppleSox, have already begun their second half and are fresh off a 5-0 loss to the North Sound Emeralds in a non-league game on Saturday. Before that, Bellingham split a two-game set with the Corvallis Knights.
The Bells have been sensational on the mound this season and currently lead the league with a 2.12 team ERA. Six of their nine pitchers who have made at least five appearances all have ERA’s bellow 3.00.
Tough Road Ahead
Tonight is the first of six straight games against the First Half North Division Champions, the Bellingham Bells. However, that isn’t the end of a tough stretch for the AppleSox.
The back-to-back series with Bellingham take the Sox into the All-Star Break, but the competition doesn’t decrease afterwards. After two days off, the AppleSox host the First Half South Division Champions, the Portland Pickles.
While it is a difficult couple of weeks ahead, the increased competition could bring out the best in the Sox. If they were to win the majority of the next nine games, that would bode well for starting the second half.
Bafus Earns League Honors
Monday night, AppleSox right-hander Curtis Bafus was named the West Coast League Pitcher of the Week. Bafus is the first Sox pitcher to win the award this season.
Last week, Bafus pitched twice, only allowing one earned run across two starts. On July 2, he hurled six scoreless innings and struck out eight to garner the win in a 4-0 AppleSox victory over Yakima Valley.
The second outing was equally strong as Bafus allowed one earned run over seven innings against Walla Walla on July 8. Bafus has impeccable control in his two starts, only walking three batters in a combined 13 innings.
The righty from VCU enters play tonight third in the WCL in strikeouts (34) and second in innings-pitched (36.2). Overall, Bafus is 3-3 with a 2.95 ERA this summer.