The Bellingham Bells fell to the Corvallis Knights by a final score of 2-1 on Friday night in the series opener. Both teams had just three hits, and the Bells committed two errors.
It was a terrific outing for starter Tommy O’Rourke (6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K). He tossed six scoreless innings, only allowing two hits and striking out five. He breezed through the Corvallis lineup, not allowing multiple baserunners until the 6th inning. All five strikeouts came on his curveball, which measured at a season-best 3015 RPM. He left with a 1-0 lead as well. For his quality start, O’Rourke was named Player of the Game.
Bellingham jumped ahead in the 1st, but failed to score for the rest of the game. Nick McLain drew a four-pitch walk, and Cole Hinkelman scored him on an RBI triple. The Corvallis pitching staff shut down the Bells for the rest of the game, only allowing five baserunners and striking out ten.
Ryan Beitel (3.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K) came on in relief in the 7th and immediately gave up two runs. He allowed the first two runners to reach on a walk and a single, and the first run scored on a bang-bang play at the plate on a fielder’s choice. The second run came in to score three runners later on a sacrifice fly.
The loss was the first of three games against the Knights, with two games remaining in the series. The Bells trail the Yakima Valley Pippins by 2.5 games with 8 league games left to play as the playoff race tightens up. You can get tickets for the weekend at www.bellstickets.com.