The Redmond Dudes beat the Bellingham Bells 6-4 on 4th of July afternoon Monday at Joe Martin Field to hand the Bells their second straight loss. The Dudes were led by reliever Shane Buchanan, who threw six scoreless innings of relief to hold the Bells’ bats stagnant. The beginning of the game, however, was a real back-and-forth affair, with several lead changes taking place within the first three innings. 

Kyle Parkman hit a double in the first for the Bells, but was caught at home plate trying to score from second on a single by Christopher Campos. Afterwards, the Bells loaded the bases with two outs for Jacob Schroeder, who drilled a single up the middle to score Campos and Jack Van Remortel, giving the Bells an early 2-0 lead.

The Dudes immediately responded in the second, when Matt Gonzales hit a bases loaded, two-out single into left to drive in a pair of runs and even the score at two apiece. In the bottom of the second, Josh Trujillo and Elijah Hainline each hit singles, then Trujillo scored on the throw to second base when Hainline stole second, regaining the lead for the Bells.

The Dudes answered back once again, tacking on two more runs in the top of the third to take a one run lead, as Jack Erdman replaced Wesley Moore (2.2 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K’s) on the mound. The Bells evened things back up in the bottom of the third, thanks to an infield single by Ty Saunders that scored Campos, who finished 3-4 from the plate with two runs.

Both teams’ bats went quiet until the seventh inning, when Gonzales hit a standing double, then scored on a sac fly to give the Dudes a 5-4 lead. Gonzales finished 2-3 with a pair of RBI’s and a run for the Dudes.

Buchanan was crucial to the team’s success, entering in the fourth inning after the Bells had scored four runs, and continued to pitch six innings of two-hit ball to dominate the Bells’ batters. Daniel Gernon hit a double in the bottom of the ninth to give the Bells a glimpse of hope, but Buchanan notched his sixth strikeout to get Justin Thorsteinson looking, then got Hainline to ground out to end the game.

The Bells will return to league play, hosting the Edmonton Riverhawks Tuesday in the first of a three game series, hoping to rebound from their previous two home losses.