WALLA WALLA - What took more than three hours to do on Wednesday, the Bellingham Bells did in just over two hours on Thursday, shutting out the Walla Walla Sweets 3-0 at Borleske Stadium.
The Bells received outstanding pitching from their starter Andrew Pulido and scored two runs in the sixth inning for the second straight night, pushing their lead over the Sweets to four games in the East Division.
Pulido had not given up an earned run over his previous 12 innings and extended that to 19 with seven scoreless. The right-hander from El Camino Community College gave up just two hits and struck out five in his dominating performance.
The only scare he faced was in the second inning when Walla Walla's Brenton Allen drove an offering to deep left-center. Center fielder Andy Fortuna bailed him out by diving full-out towards the wall to make the catch, preventing a run from scoring and a possible in-the-park home run from Allen.
After that, Pulido used a good mix of fastballs and breaking balls to keep the Sweets hitters off balance. He allowed his first hit in the fourth as Alex Stanford doubled down the left-field line, but he was erased trying to steal third base. U
sing that as momentum, Pulido faced the minimum over the course of the next five innings, leaving after a scoreless seventh.
Bellingham got the only runs it needed in the sixth inning. Eric Lane started things with a single up the middle, went to second on a sac bunt and to third on an infield single.
That single was almost a ground out as Stanford grabbed the bouncing pill, slid to stop his momentum and threw back across his body to first but Derek Atkinson just beat the throw. Atkinson was then picked off by Sweets starter Kyle Anderson, but Austin Heaps' throw to second was wide of Williams allowing Lane to score from third.
Atkinson eventually made his way to third and scored the second Bells run as Michael Aquino singled through the left side.
Bellingham has taken four of the first five games from the Sweets this season and the teams close out their season-series tonight at Borleske Stadium at 7:05 p.m.
Tim Culligan gets the start for the Sweets on Tough Enough to Wear Pink Night.
Bells 3, Sweets 0
Bellingham 000 002 010 - 3 10 1
Walla Walla 000 000 000 - 0 2 1
Pulido, Palewicz (8) and McClanahan. Anderson, Yardley (7), Watson (8).
HR - none.
Hits - Bell: Lane, Hatch, Atkinson, Grubb, Aquino, McClahanan, Gallagher 2, Yanzick, Gelalich; WW: Brackenridge, Stanford.
Attend - 1,271.