Landon Riker drills a walk off single to left as the Bells prevail 3-2 Saturday night. It was a pitcher’s duel for most of the night as both starters pitched well. Connor Johnson started on the hill for the Bells and went 5.2 innings allowing 2 earned runs, while Chase Thometz, the Elks starter went 7 innings allowing 2 earned runs as well.
Both starters cruised through the first 3 innings and the game headed to the top of the 4th tied at 0-0. The Elks would get their only two runs in the top of the 4th when a leadoff walk to Tate Budnick led to the next batter Tommy Lane hitting a long two run home run over the net in left field. But the Bells would strike back for a run in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff single from third baseman Danny Casals got the inning started for the Bells and after a sacrifice bunt and a ground out moved Casals to third, the Bells shortstop Gunnar Schubert came up and knocked him in with a single to left center. 2-1 Elks.
Bend would go quietly in the top of the 5th, but the Bells would score one in the bottom of the inning. A one out ground rule double to left from Landon Riker would get things started for the Bells and after a single from Shane Hanon the Bells had runners on the corners. Justin Polzin would step up and deliver a sacrifice fly for the Bells tying the game at 2-2.
The combination of Danny Torlai and David Stealy out of the pen would shut down the Elks for the rest of the game, setting the stage for a Bells walkoff in the bottom of the ninth. Gunnar Schubert would lead the inning off with a walk and after a strikeout Ben Welch would draw a walk as well. That set up Landon Riker to be the hero once again as he had runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Riker proceeded to rope the 0-2 pitch from Elks pitcher Grant Larson into left field, and Schubert would motor around third and beat the throw to get the win for the Bells 3-2. Riker, a ten day contract player for the Bells had his second walk off hit in 3 games and has made a big impact for the Bells so far this year. Head coach Mike Gange had this to say about the contributions of the ten day contract guys on the team so far, “we have a lot of ten day guys here and it is great to see them contributing every night, especially a guy like Landon, who has been huge for us.”
The Bells go for the sweep tomorrow Sunday June 12th for the final game of their weekend series against the Bend Elks at 3:05. Pre-game coverage starts at 2:35 on 930 AM KBAI with Tom Prizeman. To purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.