Community Sports

Sports Blog: Bellingham Bells-Yakima Valley Pippins WCL Playoff primer

Bellingham Bells vs. Yakima Valley Pippins

GAME 1When: 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12Where: Yakima County Stadium

GAME 2When: 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13Where: Joe Martin Field

GAME 3 (If neccessary)When: 7:05 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14Where: Joe Martin Field

Scouting the Bells:Record: 37-17, West Division ChampionsThe Bells have cooled off a bit since posting a 20-6 record in July, which featured the back end of the club's 14-game win streak. Bellingham, which boats the best record in the West Coast League, enters the postseason having won only five of its past 10 games. There's been no secret behind the Bells' success this summer. It all starts on the mound with a deep rotation coupled with a steady bullpen. Bellingham's impressive 2.68 team ERA ranks first by a wide margin among WCL teams. Yakima Valley ranks second with a 3.37. Bellingham has held opponents to a .202 batting average and has only given up 145 runs over 487.2 innings. While the Bells have thrived on the mound, at times their offense has struggled. Bellingham's .260 team batting average ranks 10th among the WCL's 12 teams. Even despite the lack of plate production at times, the Bells have shown an ability to win close games.

Bells Players to Watch: Danny Miller (OF) .315 BA, 10 2B, 7 HR, 33 RBIScott Heath (UTL) .294 BA, 7 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBIEder Erives (SP) 6-0, 1.74 ERA, 36 K, 8 BBDavid Bigelow (RP) 2-0, 1.03 ERA, 13 saves, 36 K, 5 BB

Scouting the Pippins:Record: 35-19, East Division ChampionsThe Yakima Valley Pippins enter the WCL Playoffs as the hottest team in the league as winners of nine of their last 10 games. The Pippins ranks third in the WCL in hitting with their .278 batting average and have scored the WCL's second most runs with 336. Yakima Valley's pitching also has been solid this summer. They have a strong core of starting pitchers and rank second in ERA behind Bellingham.

Pippins Players to Watch:Vince Fernandez (OF) .359 BA, 13 2B, 10 HR, 51 RBIJustin Jacobs (OF) .348 BA, 6 2B, 1 HR, 17 RBIBrandon Williams (SP) 5-2, 2.32 ERA, 34 K, 13 BBEli Morgan (SP) 8-0, 3.04 ERA, 13 saves, 56 K, 22 BB

Bellingham vs. Yakima Valley this summer:7/12 at Yakima- Bells win 6-17/13 at Yakima- Bells win 5-47/14 at Yakima- Bells win 6-5