The Bellingham Bells fell to the Kitsap Bluejackets 7-3 at Gene Lobe Field Monday.
The Bluejackets took a commanding 6-0 lead after four innings of play, a gap that Bellingham could never fully close.
The Bells crossed their first run of the ballgame in the fifth frame. Matt DiLeo began the threat with a walk. Brandon Shirley ripped a double into the left centerfield gap, scoring DiLeo from first and bringing the Bells to within five, at 6-1.
Bellingham continued to chip away at the deficit in the sixth. Gunnar Schubert started the rally by reaching on an error and moved to second on an Elijah Skipps single. Skipps and Schubert moved 90 feet closer on a wild pitch to set up runners on second and third for Chase Strumpf. The future UCLA Bruin drove home Schubert on a sacrifice fly. Skipps came into when Matt Ruff reached on error by Kitsap third baseman Chris Caffrey. DiLeo put runners on first and second with a single, but a Shane Hanon groundout ended the inning.
Brian Way (0-1) tossed the first three innings for Bellingham, allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on five hits and three hit batsman to earn his first loss of the season. The Bells used four pitchers out of the bullpen to toss the final five innings. Keaton Knueppel surrendered one run but struck out two Bluejackets in his inning on the bump. Arizona State Sun Devil Gio Lopez worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning. Hunter Haworth made his Bells debut in the 2016 season, delivering a scoreless frame. Henry Stellwagen worked the final two innings allowing one run while fanning two.
Bellingham batters stranded 12 men on base and left the bases loaded in the sixth and ninth innings.
The Bells return home on Tuesday June 21st against the Yakima Valley Pippins. First pitch will be thrown at 7:05, with pre-game coverage starting on https://network1sports.com/station/bellinghambells with Tom Prizeman at 6:35. To purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.