BOISE, Idaho — Bryant’s Ben Wells turned in strong performances in his last two starts of the regular season, helping the[more] Boise Hawks clinch a spot in the Class A short-season Northwest League playoffs.
The Hawks, a Minor League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, begin the playoffs against the Tri-City Dust Devils (Colorado Rockies) tonight. Wells is scheduled to start Game 3 of the best-of-five series on Wednesday.
It’s the first trip to the post-season for the Hawks since 2006.
Wells, a 2010 graduate of Bryant High School who was selected in the seventh round of the Major League Amateur Draft in June 2010, picked up a win on Sunday, Aug. 28, at Spokane (Texas Rangers), working 5 2/3 innings and allowing only two unearned runs on seven hits without a walk. He fanned five in the 9-2 victory.
In his final regular-season start on Friday, Sept. 2, against the Vancouver Canadians (Toronto Blue Jays), Wells came through with his longest stint of the season, going seven innings and allowing just three hits, again without a walk and five strikeouts.
The three hits the right-hander allowed, however, were back-to-back doubles in the second and a solo homer in the fourth. Boise tied the game 2-2 in the sixth and it stayed that way until the ninth when Vancouver managed a run off Boise reliever Kyler Burke. The result was a 3-2 loss for Boise in a game in which the Hawks could’ve clinched their playoff bid. Instead, they clinched it on Saturday with an 8-2 win over Vancouver.
For the season, Wells, who turns 19 on this Saturday, has a 4-4 record with a 4.66 earned run average. In 77 1/3 innings over 16 appearances (15 starts), he’s allowed 83 hits and 19 walks while striking out 53. Opponents are hitting .265 against him.