The Bellingham Bells clinched their playoff appearance in the middle of the seventh inning.
When the Walla Walla Sweets dropped a 7-2 decision to the Kelowna Falcons, the Bells were in the playoff dance.
Bellingham (31-21) added to the celebration with an extra inning win over the Wenatchee AppleSox 4-3 in 11 innings from Paul Thomas Field in Wenatchee Friday night.
Bellingham got on the board in the third inning. Dean Lawson walked and moved to second on a Andru Cardenas single. Shane Hanon cleared the bases, and the wall with a three run dinger over the left field fence. Hanon’s second long ball of the season put the Bells in front 3-0.
Spencer Howard earned the start for Bellingham and the 2nd year Bell delivered five innings of shutout while fanning three.
Jeff Gelinas and Josh Zavisubin worked together to toss the next four innings or Bellingham. Gelinas worked an uneventful 6th inning before running into trouble with one out in seventh inning and giving way to the Bellingham native Zavisubin. The Sehome HS graduate surrendered a three run homerun on his first pitch of the night to tie the game, but responded by throwing two and two third innings of scoreless baseball following the homerun.
Bellingham broke the game open in the 11th. Cardenas walked and moved to second on a Hanon sacrifice bunt. Chase Strumpf hit a ground ball to short that was thrown away. Cardenas scored on the error and the Bells took a 4-3 into the bottom of the 11th.
Connor Johnson earned the win by pitching a scoreless tenth inning for Bellingham, while Sam Hellinger picked up save number 12 by striking out the final two batters of the night.
With the win, Bellingham moves into sole possession of first place in the second half Northern Division standings, one game in front of the Victoria HarbourCats. Bellingham will begin a three game playoff series with the first half champions, Victoria, on Tuesday August 9th at Joe Martin Field. The series will continue in Victoria the following two days to determine the winner of the best of three series. To purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.
Bellingham takes the field against the Wenatchee AppleSox tomorrow with pre-game coverage starting at 6:35 with Tom Prizeman on 930 AM KBAI and on https://network1sports.com/station/kbai.