The Bellingham Bells took advantage of a rare defensive struggle for the Corvallis Knights on their way to a 4-3 win on Monday night.
On the evening, Corvallis would commit six errors, allowing all four Bellingham runs to cross the plate unearned.
“We took advantage of mistakes tonight,” said Bells manager Gary Hatch. “The errors are not typical for them (Corvallis).”
After the Knights tallied a run in the first inning, the Bells responded with one of their own in the second. With the bases loaded and Jake Bailey at the plate, the new Bellingham catcher would hit a single to score Michael Annunziata from third. On the play, Christopher Beall was thrown out at the plate, the first out of the inning for the Bells. With runners on the corners, Corvallis starting pitcher Jacob Schroeder would get out of the inning, retiring the next two men to the plate.
Making use of their speed, the Bells would put the game in motion in the third, with Johnny Sewald leading off the inning with a single, then stealing second. Ryan Yamane then flew out to center field. With one out and Alex Calbick at the plate, an error by Corvallis second baseman Michael Lucarelli allowed Sewald to score and Calbick to reach first on the play.
Bellingham held the 2-1 lead until the fifth, when the Knights added a run on a groundout to third base with the bases loaded.
It wouldn’t take long for the home team to recover the lead, adding a run in the bottom half. A Sewald walk with two outs sparked the inning for the Bells. Yamane followed up the Sewald walk with an infield single. The Bells would again put the game in motion, this time with a double steal. Corvallis catcher Dane Lund attempted to get Yamane at second, but no Knights were at the base, resulting in Sewald scoring an unearned run for the Bells, giving them a 3-2 lead.
“Sewald’s speed really showed up tonight to help give us the win,” said Hatch.
Corvallis evened it up in the top of the eighth with a Kevin Kline home run over the left field wall.
Calbick continued the resilient evening for the Bells in the bottom of the eighth, starting the inning with a leadoff single. He would advance to second on an error by Corvallis shortstop Chris Rabago. A balk by Knights relief pitcher Devon Barker would allow Calbick to reach third. Barker would then intentionally walk Beall, putting runners on the corners with one out. Eric Angerer made sure the Bells would capitalize on the opportunity, hitting a high bouncer to shortstop that allowed Calbick to score, giving the Bells the go-ahead run.
In the ninth inning, Marc Huberman (2-2) would set the Knights down in order, protecting the Bells lead and giving him his second win of the season.
“We’ve really been missing some of the little things recently, but we got those things done tonight,” said Hatch. “That is what you have to do against good teams, take advantage of mistakes.”
Bells starting pitcher Jason Hager battled through 7 2/3 innings on the night, allowing three runs while giving Bellingham a quality start. Hager would get a no-decision for his efforts.
For the Knights, Schroeder was also solid, yielding three runs, none earned, on six hits and three walks.
The two teams will return to Joe Martin Field on Tuesday night at 7:05. All the action can be heard on bellinghambells.com with Mike Weisman on the call.