The Bellingham Bells defeated the Portland Pickles by a final score of 7-3. Bellingham out-hit Portland 9-7 in the series-clinching victory.
Bellingham jumped ahead in the first two innings, scoring five runs. The first three batters of the game reached to load the bases in the top of the 1st off of two hits and a HBP. After a double play, Charlie Saum scored two on an RBI single to open the scoring. Emilio Corona opened the scoring in the 2nd, launching a 2-run HR that scored Yugo Hamakawa. The homer was his team-leading 4th of the summer.
Later in the 2nd inning, Bennett Lee scored Cody Schrier on an RBI double. Lee finished with three hits in the game, his third straight game with three hits. He has seen his batting average rise from .200 to .320 over that span.
The Pickles struck in the bottom of the third off of starter Kai Francis. After tossing two scoreless frames, Francis struck out the first batter of the 3rd. He then allowed a double and a single, which set up Cam Clayton for a 3-run HR. Francis battled back to escape the inning with the lead, and finished with a final line of 3.0, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
As per usual, Bellingham’s relievers were lights-out in relief. Ryan Sanders (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K) tossed a scoreless 4th, and Hunter Alberini (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K) dominated the middle innings, only allowing two baserunners while striking out eight.
Bellingham added insurance runs in the 7th and 8th to extend their lead. Bennett Lee blasted a solo HR in the 7th to continue his hot streak with his first long bomb this year. In the 8th, Daniel Gernon scored Malakhi Knight on an RBI double. Greg Blackman (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K) tossed a perfect 9th to seal the victory.
Bennett Lee led the way with three hits, and Daniel Gernon batted 2-4 in the leadoff position. Lee, Saum and Corona each had 2 RBI as well. All told, Bellingham scored seven runs off of nine hits and struck out nine times. They were hit by a pitch three times, drew five walks, and left seven runners on base. On the other side, the Pickles struck out 13 times and were walked just one time.
The Bells have won three straight, and will take their winning streak into the series finale tomorrow night against the Pickles. The game can be broadcast at mixlr.com/bellinghambells. Bellingham will be back at home for their final series this weekend against the Highline Bears, beginning on Friday, August 6th. Tickets for the final series can be found at www.bellstickets.com