The baseball season for Bellevue College is slowly creeping toward its end. Each game matters more than the last as the teams seek to secure playoff spots. Currently, Bellevue holds a 7-5 in-conference record, which places them third in the North Region, just a game behind the second-place Edmonds. Furthermore, a Coaches Poll from April 24 included the top three teams in the North in their ranking of the top eight teams in the entire Northwest Athletic Conference. First-place Everett is the top ranked, Edmonds is fifth and the Bulldogs just made the list in eighth place.
This ranking follows a series Bellevue just had with Edmonds on April 20-21; each game could have been considered a must-win for the Bulldogs if they really wanted to make an impact. Despite splitting the series 2-2, Bellevue seemingly came out ahead in terms of proving themselves.
The first game went into extra innings before Edmonds won 3-2. Pitcher Brock Hathaway went eight innings, allowing two runs on just six hits. First baseman Carter Wallace went 2-4 and had both of Bellevue’s RBI’s. The first RBI came when a pitch hit him with the bases loaded in the first inning, while the other came off a single to score Garrett Gants in the eighth. A wild pitch by Warren Utschinski allowed the winning run to score in the 10th, but a one run loss comes with its own positives.
Game two was a different story. When the first four innings went by without a run, it looked eerily similar to the pitcher’s duel in game one. However, the Bulldog bats exploded in the fifth, scoring four runs on four hits and two walks. Designated hitter Dac Archer scored two of the runs off a single of his own and was responsible for another in the seventh. A wild pitch in the ninth allowed a final run to score as Bellevue took the game 6-1. Nate Butcher was credited with the win and Jared Maxfield got the save after over three scoreless innings pitched in relief.
Bellevue came out the gate swinging in game three, scoring in the second inning off a single by third baseman Nick Hovland. Hovland and Jake Terao drove in three runs, each en route to a 7-1 victory to take the 2-1 series lead. Nick Miller was credited with his sixth season win, allowing just one run in seven innings, although it wasn’t earned. Andrew Ellingson pitched two scoreless relief innings to help secure the victory.
Of all the games, it looked like Edmonds had a legitimate advantage in game four. From the time they scored in the second, Bellevue never lost the lead until the final inning of play. Being up 4-3 in the top of the ninth, a rough inning by Andrew Ellingson allowed four runs to score, three of them unearned. He was credited with his first loss of the season. All four Bellevue runs were divided among four different players, although right fielder Al Aurelio managed three hits in his five at-bats this game.
The series showed a ton of promise for the Bellevue squad, and they hope to maintain this level of play moving forward. Their final three series against Olympic, Shoreline and Douglas are all below them in the standings by a decent margin, so I doubt the Bulldogs will seek to lose any of them. They’ve shown they can compete with Edmonds, but whether or not Everett will pose a challenge will have to be seen in the playoffs.
Photo by Eliot Gentiluomo, the Watchdog