Over the past four games, dominant pitching has been the reoccurring theme for Bellingham baseball. However, that was overshadowed with the 5-1 13-inning finish at Joe Martin Field on Wednesday night.
In search of a sweep, the Bells dropped the series-finale as they were just one big play short in multiple situations.
Offense at a minimum both the Bells and Walla Walla turned to small-ball to try to squeeze out some runs.
Both defenses were able to come up with an abundance of highlight plays, sacrificing their bodies across the turf on Wednesday night.
The only defensive miscue of the night for the Sweets started the scoring off for the Bells. Cole Joy was able to score after getting to second base on a Dusty Stroup sacrifice, and a routine pop-up was botched off the bat of Connor Mack.
Walla Walla was able to answer on a sacrifice fly to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning. There wasn’t another run until the Sweets put up a four-spot in the top of the 13th inning.
The Bells started putting something together in the bottom of the eighth inning, starting with a one-out single from Guthrie Morrison. Matt James couldn’t move the speedy center fielder over to scoring position, but in came Cole Joy.
Morrison took off first for the two-out hit-and-run, and Joy laced one down the left field line. That set up Stroup up with an ample opportunity to break the tie. But Walla Walla put an end to the opportunity after third baseman Willie Chang made a great diving play down the line in right.
The Bells (3-2) had another prime chance to score, this time to walk off in the bottom of the ninth inning. The inning started with Will McGillis getting plunked to lead off the inning. As Mack squared up to move him down to second, the Sweets’ reliever, Brian Orourke threw the ball to the backstop, allowing McGillis to move down to second.
Orourke couldn’t find his grove and sent Mack down to first on yet another HBP. That put an end to the allowed Marques Carlson a chance to move both runners over, but a well-placed ball allowed him to beat out the throw to first.
However, the Bells couldn’t take advantage as two groundouts and a strikeout ended the threat.
The game moved along quite rapidly until the 13th inning. In the top half of the inning, a potential inning-ending double play ball hit at Griffin McCormick was mishandled and allowed the inning to continue. That was when the Sweets (2-4) pounced for four consecutive runs, and seal a 5-1 victory.
The Bells will look to get back on track in their final game of this four-game homestand. The one-game series will feature the Corvallis Knights. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 pm.