Jack Van Remortel hit a 3-run double to cap off a four-run ninth inning for the Bellingham Bells in their 5-4 win over the Nanaimo NightOwls Saturday night in Joe Martin Field. Van Remortel sent the 0-2 pitch to deep left field with the bases loaded, scoring three Bells and arriving to a sea of blue jerseys at home plate.
Up until then, the NightOwls had maintained a three run lead since the seventh inning before the Bells put together their late-game rally.
Both teams’ bats were largely stagnant until the fifth inning, when the NightOwls put runners on second and third with two outs. Then, DH Joshua Marchese sent a ball to shallow right field, scoring both runners to give the Owls a 2-0 lead off his 2-run single.
The Bells countered in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single by Jaidon Matthews to score Touissaint Bythewood from third.
The NightOwls extended their lead in the seventh, as Dylan Joyce hit an RBI single off the right field wall to score runners from second and third, giving the Owls a 4-1 edge. Walks were a problem in the inning for Bells reliever Tyson Dias, who walked three batters.
Evan Overmars hit a single to spark the rally in the ninth, and was followed by Robbie Vandegrift, who hit an infield single. The turning point came when Cody Russell hit a high infield popup that was dropped by the Owls’ first baseman to load the bases with one out. Next, Jaidon Matthews lined a single to center to score Overmars and trim the deficit to two.
Van Remortel stepped up to plate with the winning run on first, and continued to clear the bases for the Bells’ second walk-off win of the season.
“It was awesome, the guys in front of me did an awesome job getting on to give me a shot,” Van Remortel said after the game.
Christopher Foster (2-0) pitched a hitless ninth for the Bells to earn the win, with Seth Gurr (1-5) taking the loss for the Owls with four runs allowed in 2.1 innings, one of them earned.
The Bells improve to 23-11 with the win, while the NightOwls drop to 12-22. The Bells will look to sweep the series Sunday afternoon in Joe Martin Field before traveling to Victoria to face the HarbourCats.