The Victoria HarbourCats beat the Bellingham Bells 11-5 on Wednesday night in Joe Martin Field for their third consecutive win. The Cats are half a game behind the Wenatchee AppleSox for first-place in the North Division, with hopes to make one of the three remaining playoff spots. Their bats came prepared, collecting 15 hits and nine walks in the victory.

The HarbourCats pounced on Bells’ starter Jack Erdman in the first, putting runners on the corners after Hunter Komine dropped a high fly ball in left field. Russell Young hit an RBI single to left, then Josh Walker smacked a triple off the right field wall to score two and give the Cats an early three run lead. They furthered the lead in the second inning, after a pair of singles and a walk set Roberto Gonzalez up for a bases-loaded RBI single to make it 4-0.

The Bells stormed back in the bottom of the third when Malcolm Moore ripped an RBI double that scored Alex Fernandes from third. The next at-bat, Blake Conrad drew a walk to load the bases, setting Chandler Tuupo up for a sac fly that scored Kyle Parkman. Moore crossed home on an error by the Cats’ second baseman, capping off a three-run inning. 

The Cats extended their lead in the fourth, tacking on four more runs in a tough top of the inning for the Bells in which they gave up two hits and four walks. In the bottom of the fourth, with Fernandes and Parkman on the corners, Moore drove in his second run of the game with a groundout, then Blake Conrad sent a sac fly to score Parkman and make it a 8-5 ball game. 

Tyler Pettit lifted a sac fly to score Jaydon Malinowksi in the sixth that increased the Cats’ lead to four. Josh Walker added on a 2-run double in the ninth for good measure, for his fourth hit and fourth RBI of the night, to put the Bells away for good.

Nick Taylor (1-0) earned the win, throwing five innings with just one run allowed for the Cats. Erdman (2-1) took his first loss of the season in his second start of the season for the Bells. The Cats improve to 24-26 with the win, 13-11 in the second half, while the Bells fall to 30-19, and a worrisome 11-12 in the second half. Bellingham will look to avoid the sweep Thursday evening, with ace Trevin Hope making the start.