The Bellingham Bells were victorious in extra innings against the Cowlitz Black Bears on Wednesday Night, 11-8.
Cowlitz took a 5-0 lead after the first two innings. Zack Simon (1.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K) pitched the first inning. The game started on a walk, hit by pitch and another walk to load the bases. Simon struck out the next batter, but three runs scored on a 3-RBI double from Broc Mortensen. Simon retired the next two batters via flyouts to end the inning.
Connor Portugal (2.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K) took the mound for the 2nd. He allowed back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, and both runners came in to score on an error to push the lead to 5-0. Portugal retired three of the next four batters to end the inning.
Bellingham cut the deficit to 5-1 in the top of the 3rd. Nick McLain led off with a walk, Cole Hinkelman singled, and McLain scored on an error by the catcher after a Luis Aviles strikeout. Portugal then pitched a scoreless bottom of the 3rd.
Jasiah George (1.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K) entered the game for the top of the 4th. He pitched a scoreless 4th before the Bells added 5 runs in the top of the 5th.
Aviles led off the 5th with a walk, and Charlie Saum replaced him on first with a fielder’s choice. Alex Lambeau promptly unloaded a 2-run HR, his first of the summer. Ty Saunders then singled, and Daniel Gernon scored him on a 2-run HR of his own. Emilio Corona capped the scoring in the 5th with a HR of his own, the third of the inning.
With a 6-5 lead, Jasiah George surrendered the lead in the bottom of the 5th. He allowed a leadoff single, and was relieved after the second RBI single of the inning. Ryan Sanders came on in relief, and was effective for 2.1 innings with a final line of 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.
Trailing 7-6, the Bells took the lead back in the top of the 8th. Bennett Lee and Nick McLain singled to start the inning, and Lee scored on a sacrifice fly from AJ Davis. McLain ended up scoring on the same play to put the Bells up 8-7 after an error by the pitcher.
The Black Bears tied the game back up in the bottom of the 8th off of Justin Tucker (3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 2 K). Tucker struck out the leadoff batter, but allowed back-to-back walks before an RBI single. Tucker bounced back to get out of the inning.
Bellingham took the lead for good in a 3-run top of the 10th. Bennett Lee led off with a ground rule double, and AJ Davis reached on a 1-out walk. Luis Aviles then scored Lee on an RBI single, and Charlie Saum scored Davis and Aviles on a sac bunt coupled with an error by the pitcher. Justin Tucker came back on in the bottom of the 10th to seal the victory.
Bellingham will finish the series against the Black Bears tomorrow, Thursday, August 12th. The Bells will be back home on Saturday, August 14th for one playoff game against the Yakima Valley Pippins. Tickets for the playoffs can be found at www.bellstickets.com.