Bells play pair at Pipe
Blaine baseball fans can catch the Bellingham Bells of the Pacific International League in a pre-season doubleheader against Surrey on June 13 starting at 4:30 p.m. at Pipeline Fields.
The Bells roster is primarily composed of Division I college players. The teams pitching potential, the key to any kind of success in baseball, is a dozen hurlers deep. Manager Dan Newells tentative five-man starting rotation includes Brent Dayton, the best of the Bells moundsmen since 1999, and newcomers Josh Fields, P.J. McKaig, Chris OBrien and Anthony Walker. Middle relief will be provided by Joe Curque, John Corkery, Dane Renkert and Andy Stevens. Jeremiah Watson and Junior Avian are designated closers.
Eight or nine of these fellows can move the ball toward the plate at speeds in the mid-80s.
Bhams starting line-up features a couple of county athletes Borderite grad Jesse Newell, who hit .270 at Southeastern Louisiana this year, in left field, and Sehome grad Josh Turrell, who averaged .280 at St. Martins, at shortstop.
Overall, the Bells are a mix of speed and power. The swift side of things is epitomized in Turrell and outfielders Jason Payne and Joel Sommers. The power part is spread across a bunch of Bells, the biggest long ball threat being Tory Haven; but dont expect Tory in homer haven for the Bells. Theres no softwood lumber dispute or argument over aluminum in the PIL. The league is simply batty about hardwood.
The Bells will play about 55 games, 30 being regular PIL tilts in June and July, before the national semipro tournament in Wichita, Kansas. PIL competition includes the Aloha (Ore.) Knights, Everett Merchants, Seattle Studs, Coquitlam Athletics, Bend (Ore.) Elks, Kelowna (B.C.) Falcons, Seattle Cruisers, Grays Harbor (Hoquiam) Rain and Wenatchee AppleSox.
The Bells were edged 2-1 and 4-3 by the Portland Wildcats on June 2 in an opening day doubleheader in Portland. Blaine grad Jesse Newell went 2-for-3 and 1-for-3.