The Bells came right back in the bottom half of the inning with a leadoff home run over the right-field wall by Pat Gallagher.
Almadova’s sacrifice fly in the eighth gave Wenatchee a two-run lead. Aaron DeGuire led off the inning with a single and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt. A wild pitch enabled him to get to third before his teammate brought him in on a fly ball to deep center field.
However, the Bells weren’t about to give up. With one out in the ninth inning, Derek Atkinson reached first on an error by the second baseman. Consecutive singles by Gallagher and Jerry McClanahan loaded the bases.
Michael Aquino then ripped a single into left field, scoring Atkinson. Pinch-runner Zane Yanzick tried to score as well but was thrown out at the plate for the inning’s second out. Relief pitcher Keeler Brynteson then got Nick Rulli to ground out and end the ballgame.
Schepel pitched a complete game for Bellingham, allowing only four hits and no walks while striking out five. Gallagher led the Bells offensively with his two hits.
With 11 regular-season games left, the Bells are 19-24 and are tied with the Walla Walla Sweets for the final playoff spot in the WCL’s East Division.
Bellingham and Wenatchee will square off Sunday at 6:05 p.m. at Joe Martin Field in game two of the three-game series.
The Wenatchee AppleSox staved off a furious ninth-inning rally by the Bells on Saturday, winning the first game of the series by a final score of 3-2.
It was a pitcher’s duel for the first six innings as both Owen Jones and Kyle Schepel maintained shutouts. Schepel, the Bells right-hander, kept the AppleSox off-balance and allowed only two hits, both singles by Breland Almadova, during this time.