Author: Larry Read
KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kamloops NorthPaws fell into some old habits and had Mother Nature go against them as they were only able to host the Bellingham Bells in two of three scheduled West Coast League baseball games this weekend.
The Bells took advantage of Kamloops not being able to get runs across and some spotty pitching as they took the Paws 3-0 on Friday (July 21) and 11-9 on Saturday (July 22).
The scheduled third game for Sunday (July 23) was cancelled due to poor air quality as a result of many wildfires in the BC Interior including the Ross Moore Lake blaze, 13 kilometres south of Kamloops.
Bellingham is now 6-8 in the second half and 26-15 overall on the season. Kamloops is 2-12 on the back half of the campaign and is 9-32 overall.
After a day off, the NorthPaws close out their most recent homestand with a three-game series with the Victoria HarbourCats.
Game one of the series is Tuesday, July 25 th at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. Opening pitch is 6:35 PM. Victoria has lost their last two outings but have a second half record of 10-5 and are 29-13 overall.
Bellingham has a night off and continues their nine game in 11 night road swing with a stopover in Wenatchee, Washington against the AppleSox. Game one of the Bells/AppleSox series is Tuesday July 25th.
All West Coast League games are available via their website: https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/
Friday, July 21, 2023: Bells 3 NorthPaws 0
686 people at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium for “Country 103 Night”. The Bells opened the scoring in the top of the third when Coleman Schmidt (Reno, NV) hit a solo home run. It was his second ‘dinger’ of the season.
Bellingham went up 2-0 in the seventh when Cole Yoshida (Vasalia, CA) doubled and scored driving in Ty Saunders (Anacordes, WA). The other Bells run came in the eighth when Andrew Valdez (Visalia, CA) walked and scored on a wild pitch delivered by NorthPaws reliever Marty Recchi (Kamloops, BC).
Schmidt was 1-4 with a run scored and a run batted in. Yoshida was also 1-4 with a run batted in. Sanders was 1-4 with a run scored. Riley Parker (Snohomish, WA) was 1-3 with a run batted in as well for Bellingham.
Offensively, Cooper Neville (Glendale, AZ) was 2-4. Drew Giannini (Tracy, CA) was 2-3 while Phoenix Sommay (Temecula, CA) was 1-3.
Ryan Beitel (Surrey, BC) was the winning pitcher for Bellingham. He moves to 4-1 on the year in his seventh start of the summer. He had a four hitter over four innings and had four strikeouts. Hunter Long (Ladera Ranch,CA) pitched three innings for the save. He struck out five and gave up two hits. It was his first save in five appearances.
Christian Spitz (Overland Park, KS) started his fifth game of the year and was tagged with the loss for Kamloops, He is 1-3 . In this game he went five innings, giving up two hits, one run, striking out four and walking five.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598689
Saturday, July 22, 2023: Bells 11 NorthPaws 9
This was a see saw battle. Bellingham scored twice in the opening inning and were up 3-0 after an inning and a half. Kamloops scored three times in the bottom of the second to tie it.
Then, with the score deadlocked at four in the bottom of the fifth, Kamloops scored four times to take an 8-4 lead. The Bells would then score four in the sixth inning and add three more in the seventh to take an 11-8 lead before the NorthPaws would add one more. Bellingham scored 11 runs on 10 hits and committed one error to Kamloops’ nine runs on 10 hits and four errors.
Yoshida was 2-3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in to lead Bellingham offensively. Dean West (Woodland Hills, CA) hit a homer to lead off the second inning. It was his first ‘round tripper’ of the campaign. He was 3-5 with three runs scored and two runs batted in.
Kamloops was led by Gage Mestas (Durango, CA). He was 4-5 with a double and triple and five runs batted in. Sommay was 2-4 with two runs scored and had a run batted in. Giannini was 1-5 with a run batted in and a run scored.
Thompson Rivers University WolfPack player Lucas Maricle (Trail, BC) made his NorthPaws debut in relief and was tagged with the loss. He went two thirds of an inning giving up two hits, four runs, walking two and striking out one. He was the second of five Kamloops pitchers. Tomas Urbina (Avondale, AZ) was the winner for Bellingham to increase his record to 3-1. He pitched one inning. Trevin Hope (Blaine, WA) pitched three innings for his first save in six appearances. He gave up one run on two hits, walking one and striking out one.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598690
Sunday, July 23, 2023: Game Cancelled due to poor air quality
HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS:
On two games:
“We were right there to win both of those games. We cant get over the top for some reason. One night we hit the ball. I think we had five hits the first night. All of the five hits were with two outs. No one was on base. We couldn’t get a hit. Saturday, we scored well but unfortunately our pitching fell apart. Unfortunately, we made some errors, which we hadn’t done for a while (NorthPaws with four errors). Those errors led to runs by them. They came back and we weren’t able to get any closer.”
On upcoming series hosting Victoria/pitching and cancelled game Sunday.:
“They beat us pretty good to start the season. We weren’t hitting or didn’t pitch well. We have three good starters going against them. Even though it was bad we couldn’t play today (Sunday), it actually helps us for the standpoint of our pitching. They got an extra day off. The numbers (of pitchers) are way down. It is just like ‘chess pieces’ now. Just trying to match guys—having them pitch an inning or so out of the pen. It is a struggle. We have to get nine innings done and sometimes we just don’t have enough arms. We got starters. We have enough for every game. It’s the guys coming in behind them where we aren’t getting it done right now.”
NEXT UP FOR THE NORTHPAWS:
The Victoria HarbourCats will be in town for a three game series (July 25-27). The teams met in Victoria on the opening weekend of the season where the HarbourCats swept the NorthPaws.
Wednesday (July 26) will see the NorthPaws honor their “Host Families” during the contest.
PLAYERS TO WATCH ON THE HARBOURCATS:
Hudson Shupe (West Richland, WA). The shortstop leads the West Coast League in hitting at .394.
Tyler Davis (Fresno, CA) has the second most homers in the WCL with 6. He is eighth in the league in hitting with an average of .331.
Dalls Macias (Marker, Col) is 10th in the West Coast League in hitting at .327.
Nick Dumesnil (Huntington, CA) is tied for sixth in the league in homers with four.
Logan MacNeil (Vancouver, BC) leads the HarbourCats in Earned Run Average at 1.50. He has played seven games and has a record of 4-0.
If you can’t make the home games, they are all webcast on https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/ . Some home games will also be shown on Shaw TV in Kamloops (Cable 10 or 105 with Blue Curve).
NEW FAN PROMOTION:
The NorthPaws are looking for their newest fans. The team is running a promotion right now which sees you capture a $15 ticket for any home game for the remainder of the season. There are only 100 of these tickets avvilable. Visit tickets.northpawsbaseball.ca and click “Find tickets” on the game you would like to attend. Enter “NEWESTFAN’ into the promo code box and the tickets are unlocked!.
The Molson’s Tailgate Party is operating before every NorthPaws home game. It runs Tuesday through Saturday 5-630 PM. The Party runs Sundays noon-1 PM. Hotdogs and a Pilsner are sold for $ 12.00 plus tax.