Bellingham has been virtually unstoppable at home as of late.
Tuesday night’s two-run walk-off homerun off the bat of Zach Needham further propelled that theory in a 4-2 victory.
The win is the seventh consecutive victory at Joe Martin Field and the second via a walk-off homerun during that stretch.
“I was just looking for a fastball up, and I got one the second pitch,” Needham said. “I think Matty’s (McLain) was a lot cooler because it was a grand slam and he’s obviously an unbelievable player, but it feels great.”
Needham broke a streak of 14 straight Bells retied. After plating a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Bells weren’t able to muster up another baserunner until the bottom of the ninth.
Bellingham clawed its way to the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning. After issuing a two-out walk to Cody Pasic, Jordan Stoner made Zach Heaton pay with a two-out RBI triple, rolling all the way to the left-center field wall.
However, the early lead was short lived after Cowlitz responded with a rally in the top of the second inning. Wesley Moore was able to limit the damage after allowing a walk and an RBI single to start off the inning, stranding a pair of Black Bears in a 1-1 ballgame.
In the bottom of the third, the Bells quickly took the lead right back with another big swing with two outs. After an infield single to lead the bottom half of the inning off, Ernie Yake swiped second with a two-out steal. Pasic took advantage of the speedy shortstop’s swiped bag with an RBI-single up the middle to reclaim a 2-1 lead.
After retiring the side in order, partly due to a Jimenez catching a runner trying to swipe second from his knees, Moore left the ballgame with the lead. In five innings of work, Moore allowed three hits, walked two, and recorded six strikeouts in his one-run no decision.
For the second time in the contest, the Cowlitz was able to scratch their way to a tie ballgame. Cuenca recorded a strikeout to start the inning, but three straight base hits put the Bellingham native in a tough position.
The right-hander recorded a strikeout for the second out but couldn’t quite escape the bases loaded danger as a two-out walk tied the ballgame up 2-2. However, Cuenca did record the final out of the inning to leave all three go-ahead runs stranded on the base paths.
The Bells and Black Bears traded scoreless frames for three straight innings, until the bottom of the ninth. Carson Olson pitched two innings of perfect baseball and Austin Weiermiller continued the scoreless trend with a hitless ninth inning for Bellingham.
With one out, Ernie Yake walked to break the 14 consecutive batters retired by Cowlitz pitching with a walk. On a 1-0 count, Needham received the high fastball he was looking for and sent it over the right field fence.
Bellingham has spoiled any hope of a playoff appearance for the Black Bears with the victory and the Bells will look to claim the series tomorrow night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm.