The Bells were victorious against the Corvallis Knights in Sunday’s series finale by a final score of 5-4. The game went 12 innings, where Charlie Saum ended it with a walkoff.
Will Armbruester (3-0) turned in a quality performance on his 8th straight start on a Sunday (Bellingham is 7-1 in those games). Corvallis attacked early, with the first two runners reaching on a single and a double, and Nick Vogt opened up the scoring with an RBI single.
Bellingham answered right back in the bottom of the 1st. Nick McLain and Yugo Hamakawa led off the inning with back-to-back walks, and Cole Hinkelman tied it up with an RBI double. Hamakawa also led off the 3rd with a walk, and he was followed by a Bennett Lee single and a Hinkelman walk to load the bases with no outs. Luis Aviles scored Hamakawa on a sacrifice fly, and Lee scored on an AJ Davis RBI single. After three innings, the Bells led 3-1.
Malakhi Knight extended the lead by himself with a leadoff home run in the 4th inning. He sent the ball 383 feet over the left-field wall, and the ball was cracked 104 MPH off the bat. The homer was his third of the summer, and second in league play.
Armbruester took a three-run lead into the top of the 5th inning, where the Knights jumped on him once again. The first three batters got a hit on the first three pitches of the inning with a double, single, and an RBI single. Armbruester picked up a strikeout, allowed another hit to load the bases, and the second run of the inning scored on a sacrifice fly. Armbruester forced a lineout to end the inning, and exited the game with a 4-3 lead.
The score held until the top of the 9th inning. Trevin Hope (3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K) was excellent in the late innings, and he was relieved by Noah Ferguson in the 9th. Ferguson got the first two batters out, but Kiko Romero tied the game on a home run on a 1-2 count. Ferguson finished the inning and pitched a clean 10th for a final line of 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Aaron Barokas dominated the final three innings for Bellingham, earning the win with a final line of 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K. He also lowered his season ERA to 0.77.
The Bells put runners in scoring position in the 7th and 8th, but broke the dry spell with a walk-off in the bottom of the 12th. Bennett Lee led the inning off with a double, and Emilio Corona followed him with a perfectly placed bunt single. Luis Aviles was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Charlie Saum came up to the plate as a pinch hitter, and made his at-bat count with an RBI single to right field. The victory helped the Bells avoid the sweep, and moved them one step closer to the 2021 WCL playoffs.
In total, the Bells struck out 11 times, drew 10 walks, and out-hit Corvallis 11-10. Bennett Lee had an excellent day at the dish, going 3-6 with a run scored and a double. Eight other Bells recorded a hit. Bellingham also left 13 runners on base, and Corvallis stranded 8.
Bellingham will be on the road for their next series against the Portland Pickles. The team has one more home series remaining, August 6-8 against the non-league Highline Bears. Tickets for the final homestand can be found at www.bellstickets.com