The Bellingham Bells three game win streak comes to an end, as they lose to the Cowlitz Black Bears Friday night, 5-1. The Bells just couldn’t come up with the big hit all night, leaving 12 men on base and were unable to score with two bases loaded, no out oppurtuintes.
There were no hits in this game until the bottom of the third when the Bells mounted a rally against Cowltiz starter Mikey Murray. The Bells led off the inning with back to back to singles from Michael Gerlach and Jonny Locher followed by a bunt single by Michael Leach to load the bases with no outs. The Bells would fail to score though, as Johnny Farrington popped out, Andrew Ely struckout and Jarel Lewis flew out to end the inning. The Bells failed to take advantage of a golden oppurtunity which would cost them later in the game.
The very next inning, Cowlitz also loaded the bases with no outs, but unlike the Bells they managed to convert on their oppurtunity. Bells starter Jared Fisher struggled allowing a leadoff double to Austin Deimer followed by a single by Brian Carroll. Fisher failed to field a sacrifice bunt by Ben Swinford which loaded the bases. Tyler Madrid brought home the first Cowlitz run on a sacrifice fly and then Fisher reloaded the bases walking Kyle Kuck. Fisher then walked Cody Childs to bring home another run to give Cowlitz a 2-0 lead. Then with two outs Bells shortstop Kai Hatch made a rare error which brought home another unearned run to stretch the Cowlitz lead to 3-0.
Cowlitz would add another run to their lead in the top of the fifth inning on an RBI double by Ben Swinford giving them a 4-0 lead after five innings. The Bells would finally get on the board in the bottom of sixth inning on an RBI double from Derek Atkinson to cut the Black Bear lead to 4-1. Jared Fisher’s night would be over after five innings of work allowing four runs, two unearned and six strikeouts. Jacob Coats would relieve Fisher in the sixth, and pitched two innings allowing a seventh inning run on another RBI hit from Ben Swinford to give Cowlitz a 5-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth inning the Bells had a great chance to get back in the game as Cowlitz pitcher Brian McAfee hit both Jarel Lewis and Nate Causey with pitches to put two men on with no outs. Derek Atkinson grounded into a double play and Michael Gerlach grounded out to end the rally. In the bottom of the ninth the Bells once again had a chance to mount a comeback. Jonny Locher led off the inning with a double, followed by a Michael Leach walk and Johnny Farrington reached on a fielders choice to load the bases with no one out. That would be all the Bells could manage as Grant Fink and Jarel Lewis struck out and Nate Causey flew out to right field to end the game.
Game two between the Bells and Black Bears will be Saturday night at 7:05 PM. Saturday is also BaseBald Night at Joe Martin Field benefitting the St. Baldrick's Foundation to help cure childhood cancers. Several Bells players will be shaving their heads to raise money for this great cause. Donations can be made at the game or online here: http://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/8824/2012.