The Edmonton Riverhawks edged out the Bellingham Bells 2-1 Thursday night in a 16-inning pitching duel, by far the longest game of the season for both teams. Each team scored a run within the first two innings, then remained stagnant for the following 13 innings after. Albert Alvarez (2-0) pitched five no-hit innings for the Hawks to earn the win, striking out seven.
The Hawks’ star left fielder Clayton Loranger, who leads the WCL in batting average (.407), kicked things off with a double in the first inning. Afterwards, a walk and an error by Ty Saunders loaded the bases, then Bells starter Randy Abshier walked Loranger in for the first run of the game.
The Bells evened it up in the second, when Christopher Campos got beaned, then Jack Van Remortel and Ty Saunders each walked to load the bases. Then, Daniel Gernon drew a two-out walk to score Campos and tie the game at one run apiece, where it would remain for the next 13 innings.
Abshier continued his strong season with the Bells, extending his streak of 14 straight innings pitched without an earned run. Zach Elsos replaced Abshier (4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K’s) on the mound in the fifth, and ended the inning with three consecutive strikeouts in his debut with the Bells. Elsos was impressive as well, tossing three scoreless innings to keep the Hawks at bay.
Ryan Beitel entered the game in the eighth and delivered two scoreless innings of one-hit ball, then Nate Mendoza followed with four more to maintain the tie going into the 14th inning. Ryan Scott threw the last three innings of the game, and gave up the game-winning hit to Loranger in the 16th inning. Loranger slapped an RBI single into left field to score Jack Guerevitch from third to boost the Hawks to the 2-1 win.
The Bells, who won the first two games against Edmonton, fall to 19-7 with the loss, still good for the best record in the WCL. The Riverhawks improve to 12-17, good for sixth place in the North Division. The Bells will head to Port Angeles for a three game series with the Lefties to begin their week-long road trip before returning to Joe Martin Field on Friday, July 15th.