The Bellingham Bells fell in the series finale to the Portland Pickles, 3-2. Portland won on a 2-out dropped third strike in the bottom of the 11th.
RHP Eric Chavarria entered the game was the WCL leader in ERA (1.57). However, Portland pounced on him in the 1st inning with a two-out double followed by an RBI single from Carter Monda.
Trailing 1-0, Bellingham took the lead in the 3rd inning. Yugo Hamakawa led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Cody Schrier drew a walk and stole second, and Hamakawa scored on a sacrifice fly from Nick McLain. Ezra Samperi followed that up with an RBI single to take a 2-1 lead.
Chavarria allowed two hits in the bottom of the 3rd but held on the lead. He retired the first batter in the 4th, but the Pickles tied the game on a double and an RBI single from Gabe Skoro. Chavarria was relieved by Trevin Hope, and finished with a final line of 3.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.
Hope walked the first batter he faced, but retired the next two to escape the 4th. The 2-2 tie held all the way until the 11th inning, where Portland walked it off. Hope (2.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K) allowed three hits over the next two innings, and he was relieved in the top of the 7th by Ryan Beitel (4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K). Beitel was effective over four innings and was relieved in the top of the 11th by Noah Ferguson.
Ferguson retired the first batter of the 11th on a ground ball. The next two batters reached on a single and a fielder’s choice. Ferguson then forced a ground ball that nearly turned into a double play, but he was left with runners at the corners with two outs. On a 1-2 count, Leo Mosby scored on a dropped third strike on what would’ve been a game-extending strikeout.
The Bells’ offense went quiet after scoring early. Bellingham only had two hits from the 4th to the 10th inning, and two more in the 11th. They also struck out a season-high 19 times, and five Bells struck out multiple times. The lack of production was a rarity as of late, as Bellingham outscored Portland 27-6 in the three-game series.
Bellingham will be back home tomorrow, Friday, August 6th for a three-game series against the non-league Highline Bears. Tickets for these final three home games can be found at www.bellstickets.com.