The Bellingham Bells offense woke up in a big way Monday night, beating the Wenatchee AppleSox 8-6 in a rainy wet night. The big blow was from the Bells designated hitter Nate Causey who had a three-run Home Run in the bottom of the seventh and had four RBI on the night.
The Bells got behind early after starting pitcher Jeff Gonzales struggled with control in the first two innings. Without recording a hit, the AppleSox managed to take a 2-0 lead in the second after Gonzales walked four in the first two innings. The Bells picked up their pitcher with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from catcher Jarel Lewis and a few defensive miscues from the AppleSox putting the Bells up 3-2 after two.
Bells pitcher Jeff Gonzales really started rolling after the second, retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced, and even took a no hitter into the sixth. But in the sixth inning, Gonzales’ no hitter was broken up and the AppleSox loaded the bases before Gonzales retired a batter. After throwing 114 pitches, Gonzales was done for the night and was relieved by lefty Dante Baldocchi. AppleSox tied the game on a ground ball double play induced by Baldocchi which left a runner at third with two outs. But the AppleSox regained the lead after back to back two out singles to give them a 5-3 lead after six innings.
The AppleSox added another run in the top of the seventh to push their lead to 6-3. AppleSox starting pitcher Jordan Osborn was done after six quality innings and was relieved by Kyle Dockins. The Bells jumped all over Dockins after back to back one out singles from Johnny Farrington and Kai Hatch to put two men on for designated hitter Nate Causey. Causey drilled the first pitch over the right field wall for a three run home run to tie the game at 6-6.
As the game headed to the eighth, tied at 6 it began raining pretty steadily and the field conditions were beginning to get pretty sloppy. Bells right fielder Derek Atkinson led off the eighth with a single which forced Wenatchee pitcher Dockins out of the game. Derek Blankenship came on to pitch and immediately gave up a single to catcher Michael Leach and then walked Farrington on four pitches to load the bases with no one out. Hatch grounded out which brought up, who else, DH Nate Causey who worked a bases loaded walk to bring in the go ahead run which gave the Bells a 7-6 lead. First basemen Rouric Bridgewater followed with an RBI groundout to push the Bells lead to 8-6.
Bells pitcher Mark Lambson held on in the ninth to earn his first victory of the season and give the Bells the 8-6 win. The Bells and AppleSox split the four game series at two games apiece.