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By Kyle Garcia/portland Tribune/hunt's Pitching, Key Hits By Manzardo Lead Portland Past Bellingham, 5-1

The Portland Pickles came off their week of exhibition games strong on Tuesday, using four runs in the third inning to take the first of three games, 5-1, against the Bellingham Bells at Walker Stadium.

Portland improved to 12-18 overall and 3-1 in the second half of the West Coast League season. The Pickles are second behind the Corvallis Knights (4-1) in the South Division second-half race.

The Bells (17-16, 1-6) dropped to fifth in the six-team North second-half chase and have lost five games in a row.

Portland starter K.C. Hunt (1-0), from Mississippi State, threw 4.1 innings, with four strikeouts and no runs allowed.

Bellingham's Matthew Henckel (2-2), from Gonzaga, gave up four runs in the first three innings.

First baseman Kyle Manzardo (Washington State) jump-started the Pickles in the third, hitting a two-run single to give them the lead.

Left fielder Davis Delorefice (Washington) brought in another two runs with a double.

Manzardo plated another run with a single in the fourth inning, en route to a 3-for-4, three-RBI night. Bellingham scored in the seventh on an RBI single from Derek Marshall.

Game 2 starts at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

• Two Pickles pitchers and a University of Portland outfielder who plays for Corvallis were named to the South team for the WCL All-Star Game.

WCL Commissioner Rob Neyer announced his selections Tuesday for the game that will be played July 23 at Vince Genna Stadium in Bend.

Pickles selected for the game are Titus Groeneweg and Conner Thurman. Groeneweg is 1-0 with a 1.51 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 22.1 innings. He plays at Cal State Fullerton. Thurman has three saves and a 2.70 ERA. The University of San Diego pitcher has nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings for the Pickles.

Outfielder Jake Holcroft is batting .382 with six doubles, two triples, 37 runs and 25 RBIs for the Knights. A native of Upland, California, Holcroft will be a freshman for the Pilots.


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