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Merchants fall to Shockers
After a week off, the Whidbey Merchants had an unpleasant return to competitive play on Sunday afternoon.
Whidbey was swept in two games, 11-1 and 10-1 by the Bellingham Shockers for its eighth and ninth losses of the season.
Game one got off to a rough start for the Merchants as Bellingham scored two in its half of the first inning, behind two singles, a hit batter, and an error.
Whidbey responded in its half of the inning, sparked by a leadoff single from Felipe Rivera. Although Rivera was eventually forced out at third, Keith Ross was able to score the first and only run after two fielders choices and an error.
The Merchants were stymied by the Shocker pitching for the remainder of the game as they only generated two more hits on a double by Rob Clemmer and a single by Brian Johnson.
The Shockers, on the other hand, hit the ball hard all day, adding nine more runs and ending the game in seven innings.
Unfortunately for the Merchants, game two was a carbon copy of the first. Whidbey only got one runner on each of the first five innings, until Joel Dietz broke the curse in the sixth. Dietz drove in the long run on a sharp single to right field that scored Sam Larson, who singled earlier.
The only other Merchant hits were singles by Ross and Davis.
The Shocker pitchers went seven innings, striking out eight and inducing ten ground ball outs.
The Bellingham hitters continued to hit the ball hard, scoring six runs in the third inning to put the game out of reach.
The Merchants would like to thank Alaska USA Home Mortgage and the Oak Harbor Police Association for their sponsorship this year.
The Merchants, now 3-9 overall, play the Whatcom Mariners next in a doubleheader in Bellingham Aug. 1.
The last home game and regular season game is scheduled for Aug. 8 at Oak Harbor High School against the league-leading Skagit Humpies.