Roughly halfway into the season, the Bellevue College baseball team is sitting pretty at 12 wins and four losses, just a game back from Everett’s 13-3 record.
Over the last weekend, they faced off against the struggling Olympic in a four-game series, the first two being a resounding 2-0 double-header at home. The first game, a 7-3 victory, was broken open in the fifth when nine men came to the plate. Off run-scoring hits by outfielder Tre’Sean Steele, second baseman Josiah Santiago and shortstop Riley Parker, the Bulldogs scored four runs and took a 5-0 lead.
Believe it or not, Olympic had a better outlook in the second game, taking a 1-0 lead into the third inning before it vanished without a trace. BC scored one run in the third, five in the fourth, one in the sixth, one in the seventh, two in the eighth, and then four more in the ninth in a 14-1 rout of Olympic. Pitchers Nate Butcher and Ian Haigh were on fire, allowing just three hits while striking out 12 between the two. Even the one run was unearned, with right fielder Kyuta Miyoshi having reached an error in the first. The offense was largely carried by right fielder Ben Schulte, who drove in five runs on two hits, including a grand slam home run in the eighth.
The last two games were held at Olympic and were split between them. The first game opened up with a 3-0 Bellevue lead heading into the fourth inning, which transitioned into a 5-3 overall victory. The effort at the plate was spread between the entire lineup, with six different people earning a hit (with two of the other three getting on base via walk) and four different people driving in a run. Calvin Kirchoff brought in the win, striking out six over five innings and allowing just one run on five hits.
The fourth and final game had to use extra innings after Olympic tied the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth. When Bellevue couldn’t score in the top of the tenth, a string of Rangers managed to work their way on base. Right fielder Jackson Ramstead got on base via an error by Bellevue’s Austin McMinds. Miyoshi then singled, moving the runner to third. Second baseman Kade Kupihea was hit by a pitch to load them, and even after they got the out at home on a Gavin Guerrero ground ball, left fielder Kazu Arashiro slapped an RBI walk-off single to end the game.
As it stands, Bellevue has established itself as an upper-end baseball team, ranking in the top 10 in nearly every offensive category. They are fourth in hits, second in doubles, fifth in home runs, fifth in total bases, third in sacrifice hits, third in stolen bases, and fourth in slugging. Even on the defensive side, they rank seventh in earned run average and third in opponents’ batting average, showing that they really lack a definitive weakness. Even the top-ranked Everett doesn’t have that level of consistency.
A successful 3-1 series kept them high in the rankings as Olympic faltered to 3-13. The next three series will feature rematches with the 13-3 Everett after going 2-2 in the opening series, the 8-8 Edmonds who Bellevue nearly swept 3-1, and the 4-12 Skagit Valley who was swept back on April 22-23.