Saturday, July 13, 2024

AppleSox, Bells set for rubber match as DelVecchio, Franklin take the mound

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WENATCHEE, Wash. (AP) — The Wenatchee AppleSox will host the Bellingham Bells for the rubber match of their three-game series at Paul Thomas Sr. Baseball Stadium on Thursday night. Both teams will send out their most experienced starters, with the AppleSox turning to right-hander Matthew DelVecchio and the Bells countering with Will Franklin.

DelVecchio, who played for the Bells in 2022, will be making his third start of the summer. In his last outing against Port Angeles, he allowed two solo home runs over 5.1 innings, striking out six and walking one to earn the win. Franklin, also making his third start, enters the game with a 1-0 record and a 2.00 ERA. In his previous start against Ridgefield, he gave up one run on two hits over five innings, striking out six and walking one.

The AppleSox are coming off a 2-0 shutout victory over the Bells on Wednesday night, their first shutout of the season and their first against Bellingham since July 23, 2010. Garrett Ahern struck out six over four scoreless innings in his first start of the summer, while Stephen Hammergren earned his third save with three scoreless innings in relief.

Kade Benavidez has been the offensive catalyst for the AppleSox, driving in his team-leading 13th run of the summer with an RBI double in Wednesday's game. He currently ranks second in the West Coast League in RBIs, trailing only Corvallis infielder Kevin Takeuchi.

Runs have been hard to come by in this series, with the two teams combining for just nine runs through the first two games. The Bells' pitching staff has consistently been one of the best in the league, recording one of the top four ERAs in the WCL each season since 2010.

The AppleSox will have a new look for the series finale, with several players joining the team and others being released. Quincy Vassar and Evan Canfield continue to climb the AppleSox' all-time strikeout leaderboard, with Vassar now in sole possession of second place and Canfield moving into eighth.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. PDT at Paul Thomas Sr. Baseball Stadium.

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