At the plate, the Bells (18-13) did not look like the league’s worst hitting team (.222) as they pounded out 10 hits and faced four different Bend pitchers. Eight of Bellingham’s nine starters collected a hit in the contest with Chris Pierce and Mike Chiarelli each garnering a pair of hits.
Bend (19-7) scored first with a single run in the second inning, but the Bells quickly responded with a pair of runs in the third inning. Pierce drove in Frank Desico for the Bells’ first run with a one-out triple; Pierce scored three pitches later on Chris Sturdivant’s single to give Bellingham the lead.
The Elks pulled even with the Bells twice during the game, but Bellingham always had an answer that included a pair of runs in both the seventh and eighth innings.
With a 7-3 lead, the Bells allowed Bend to score twice in the ninth and the Elks had the game winning run at the plate before closer Ben Ruff struck out Riley Tomkins to pick up his league-leading seventh save of the season.
Ludtke was credited with the win after three innings of work.
The win snapped a two game losing streak for Bellingham and ended a three game win streak for Bend.
Bellingham and Bend continue their three game series on Saturday, July 10 with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Fans can catch all the action live at www.BellinghamBells.com.