The Bellingham Bells beat the Kamloops NorthPaws 3-2 Friday night at Joe Martin Field thanks to a walk-off single by first baseman Walker Burchfield. Burchfield drilled a hard single to left field with two on and two out, scoring Touissaint Bythewood from second to give the Bells the win in spectacular fashion. Until then, the Bells hadn’t managed a hit since the fourth inning.
The NorthPaws started off the game with a pair of walks, then third baseman Tommy Green hit an RBI single to give them the early lead. Still, Shane Spencer finished the first inning strong with two strikeouts.
The Bells evened it up in the third, when Malcolm Moore smacked a two-out RBI single that scored Easton Amundson from second. The next inning, Paws shortstop Mike Fitzsimmons hammered a triple to right, scoring teammate Marshal Luiz from first to give the lead back to Kamloops.
The NorthPaws played a sloppy fifth inning, as Burchfield sent a sac fly to left to score Bythewood from third and knot the game back up at two. Kamloops had three errors throughout the inning, including a key dropped ball by their third baseman that would have tagged Bythewood out at third before Burchfield’s sac fly.
In the ninth, Bythewood and Jaidon Matthews each garnered walks to set up Burchfield with two on and two out. On the 1-0 pitch, he pushed the ball to left field and was swarmed by the rest of the Bells in the infield.
“I was sitting on a breaking ball and he gave it to me and I put a pretty good swing on it,” Burchfield said of the at-bat.
Burchfield wore no. 16 instead of his usual no. 33 for Blake Conrad, who has been out since he injured his leg the previous day against Victoria. “He was my host brother … [Blake] said wear it well, so I did,” Burchfield said after the game.
Zach Elsos (1-1) took the win for his two innings of hitless ball in the eighth and ninth, while Rory Lampe (0-2) earned the loss for the NorthPaws. Both teams will rematch Saturday night for the second of their three game series in Bellingham to cap off the regular season.