Bellingham Titans keep state championship in Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 14, 2014 

The Bellingham Titans are the 11U Cal Ripken Washington state champions.

Bellingham defeated Eastmont 4-0 on a complete game shutout from pitcher Trent Miller at the ConocoPhillips Sportsplex Baseball Fields, Sunday, July 13.

Miller scattered three hits through six innings, striking out three and walking one in the win.

The victory propels Bellingham to the 11U Cal Ripken Regional Tournament in Meridian, Idaho, July 22-26.

Both Bellingham and Eastmont came into the game undefeated in the tournament after Bellingham defeated Wenatchee 6-5 and Eastmont beat North Olympic 9-1 earlier in the day.

"Eastmont is always tough and I was a little worried, but the boys stepped up," Bellingham coach Damon Miller said.

Bellingham put up two quick runs in the first inning on a one-out single by Mason Binning followed by an RBI double from Miller.

Eastmont had its best chance to score in the second inning after a single from Karter Bird, a hit batsman and Miller's lone walk in the game loaded the bases with two outs. Miller induced a come-backer to himself on the mound and threw to first for the easy out.

"I felt good and confident, but the curveball was off for the game so I stuck with the fastball," Miller said.

The strategy seemed to pay off as Miller only allowed one other runner to get past first base the rest of the game.

Bellingham got contributions from up and down the lineup, scoring two runs in the first on the Miller double and a Bryce Pennock single, one in the third on a Jacob Kaepernick double and an insurance run in the fifth from pinch-hitter Billy Scammel. Scammel came off the bench as a defensive replacement in the fourth inning, but made the most of his lone at-bat.

"It's easy when you have the groove," Scammel said. "I was ready."

In the first game, Kaepernick pitched a complete game for the win, throwing six innings and giving up five runs. Kaepernick was generating whiffs from Wenatchee and ended with eight strikeouts, the last of which ended the game after Wenatchee made things interesting by scoring two runs in the inning to get within one run.

Trent Miller picked up the team offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double, home run and four RBIs.

Coach Miller said he couldn't have asked for more from the team with a shutout in the finals and hopes the momentum can keep them going in Idaho.

"We are playing our best baseball right now and the boys are really clicking," he said. "A big credit goes to the defense."

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