Bulldogs Baseball Returns For League Opener After Seven Games in Arizona
Bellevue College Baseball returned home Tuesday March 29 after playing seven games in four days finishing with a 3-4 record against top competition from not only the junior college, but professional ranks as well.
After flying in at 11PM on Thursday March 24. the Bulldogs opened their trip with a 10AM game in Peoria, AZ against the Seattle Mariners minor league squad, comprised of a mix of players who were on the Arizona Rookie League and Everett Aqua Sox A teams from last summer. After spotting the Mariners a 4-0 lead, including two home runs off Bellevue pitcher Adrian Sampson, the Bulldogs settled in but lost 7-4. The Mariners put up three insurance runs in the final frame of a contest that was close for most of the game.
Bellevue defeated NCAA Division III Thomas College of Maine by a score of 15-4 on Saturday March 26. Jake Reppert struck out 7 for the win. Tyler Cox smashed a 430 foot home run to dead center field and added a double in the offensive hitting spree. Marc Dickerson had three hits as the team had 13 on the day.
On Sunday March 27, Bellevue defeated another NCAA Division III four-year college from back east, Middlebury College (Vermont) by a score of 14-1. Tyler Manke threw a complete game for the Bulldogs. Kyle Conwell and Zach Aaker had three hits apiece, each with two doubles and a single apiece to lead Bellevue. Following the morning win, Bellevue then traveled to South Mountain Community College, an Arizona junior college who has been ranked nationally along with Bellevue this season. After spotting South a 7-0 lead, Bellevue battled back but lost 8-6. Cox and Conwell both doubled in the closely contested game.
On Monday March 28, Bellevue’s Kyle Swannack was brilliant, throwing only 80 pitches through 8 innings of work as Bellevue took the San Francisco Giants minor league squad to extra innings before eventually losing 3-2 in 10 innings. Jerad Casper’s solo home run tied it 2-2 in the 8th inning. Bulldog catcher Emmett Niland put on a show for the professionals, throwing out runners attempting to steal second base on three separate occasions. Niland twice threw out native Venezuelan Jesus Galindo, one of the Giants organizations fastest running prospects. Bellevue’s final game was under the stadium lights in 80 degree weather against host Chandler-Gilbert Community College. Bellevue played excellent all-around baseball and won 10-6. Andy Smith homered and had three hits on the night as did Schmidt and Dickerson. Freshman pitcher Scott Kuzminsky came in with the bases loaded and shutdown the opponent without surrendering a run for the second time this year and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the win.
Bellevue's next games are against Edmonds at home on Saturday April 2 at 1PM. The doubleheader is the league opener for both teams, who will then battle against each other the following day at Edmonds for another doubleheader at 1PM.
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