It was a back-and-forth affair as Bend took a 1-0 lead on a Tyler Christian RBI double in the top of the fourth inning following a Bellingham error.
The Bells battled back in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out rally. Ben Grubb hit a double down the left field line and Pat Gallagher followed him by smoking a double of his own down the right field line, scoring Grubb to tie the game 1-1.
Bend got their second unearned run of the game in the sixth inning. Bo Walter led off with a fly ball that the Bells right fielder was unable to make a play on, putting Walter on second on the error. Walter advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Ryan Dunn single.
Bellingham tied the game up with an unearned run of their own in the bottom of the seventh. With men on second and third and two outs, Grubb hit a chopper that was misplayed by the third baseman, allowing Lane to score to make the game 2-2.
The dramatic bottom half of the eighth inning began with walks to Andy Fortuna and Jerry McClanahan by Bend relief pitcher Joey McClung. Kolton Emery then laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt, advancing Fortuna and McClanahan to third and second, respectively. With the infield in, Eric Lane singled up the middle, scoring both runners. Derek Atkinson followed with an RBI single as well, providing the final 5-2 margin.
Nick Palewicz got the win for Bellingham after pitching one and two thirds superb innings of relief. Palewicz came into the game in the eighth with Elks on first and second and one out but got out of the jam with a strikeout and groundout. Palewicz worked around a ninth- inning walk to end the ballgame.
Bells starting pitcher Andrew Pulido had another very good outing. Pulido went six innings and gave up four hits, allowing only the two unearned runs and striking out five.
With the win, Bellingham moves back to .500 at 14-14. The Bells will take on Bend tomorrow night at Joe Martin Field in game two of the three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.