The Bellingham Bells defeated the Portland Stars, 7-3 Tuesday night sweeping the two game non-league series. Bells starter Corey Carma earned the victory and outfielder Derek Atkinson went 2-3 with 2 RBI.
The game was scoreless through three innings, as Bells starter Corey Carma and Portland starter Aaron Moore pitched very well in the early stages of the game. The Bells did not have a base runner until Michael Leach singled with two outs in the third. The Bells finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the lead. Shortstop Des Santos walked to lead off the inning and was bunted to second by Kai Hatch. Jake Peevyhouse moved Santos to third on a fly out and with two outs Derek Atkinson legged out an infield single, scoring Santos and giving the Bells a 1-0 lead.
The Bells added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning and took control of the game. Rouric Bridgewater led off the inning with a single followed by a walk worked by Jake Peevyhouse. Jonny Locher singled to load the bases with no outs and Joe Winterburn worked a walk bringing in a run to give the Bells a 2-0 lead. Michael Leach grounded into a fielder’s choice which brought home one run but a throwing error by Portland second basemen Kaden Eichmeier, allowed Winterburn to score as well and give the Bells a 4-0 lead after five innings.
The Portland Stars struck right back in the top of the sixth inning, finally getting to Bells starter Corey Carma. Carma walked Troy Riggins to lead off the inning followed by a single from Cameron Lowe, and Portland loaded the bases with no outs after Carma failed to field a bunt from Ryan Rodriguez. Portland finally scored on a passed by from Bells catcher Mike Leach, and Brandon Carow followed with an RBI single to cut the Bells lead to 4-2. Carma would be replaced before recording an out in the sixth by reliever Davis Engel. The first batter Engel faced was Ryan Abel who hit an RBI single which brought the score to 4-3 Bells. Engel would escape the inning without further damage.
The Bells answered back in the bottom of the sixth inning with a run of their own to give them a 5-3 lead. In the bottom of the eighth the Bells would add two more insurance runs against Portland pitcher Brennan Mossholder. Des Santos led off with a single and was moved to second on another Kai Hatch sacrifice bunt. Santos stole third and after a Grant Fink walk, Derek Atkinson executed a perfect suicide squeeze bunt to score Santos. Rouric Bridgewater followed that with an RBI single and which gave the Bells a 7-3 lead.
Bells relief pitcher Mark Lambson only required seven pitches to retire the Stars in order in the ninth and secured the 7-3 victory for the Bells. The Bells have a day off on Wednesday and then head out on a seven game road trip beginning in Bend, Oregon to take on the Bend Elks for three games.