After the two day All-Star break, the Bells came back home and defeated the Kelowna Falcons 4-2 Wednesday night. Adam Gunn pitched beautifully, earning his third victory of the season in the first of a huge four game series with Kelowna.
Bells starter Adam Gunn got off to a great start striking out four of the first six Falcons he faced. Gunn ran into a little trouble in the third inning allowing a two out solo home run to Tucker Alexander which gave Kelowna an early 1-0 lead.
Kelowna’s lead was short lived as the Bells scored two runs of their own in the bottom of the third inning. Kai Hatch led off the inning with a single off of Kelowna starter Cale Coshow and was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Joe Winterburn. Johnny Farrington singled to put runners at first and third with one out. Andrew Ely brought home the Bells first run with a RBI fielder’s choice. Ely then stole second and advanced to third on a bad throw from Kelowna catcher Jerry McClanahan. With Derek Atkinson batting, Ely came home to score on a passed ball and gave the Bells a 2-1 lead after three.
The Bells added another run to their lead in the bottom of the fourth on a bases loaded walk worked by Johnny Farrington which stretched the Bells lead to 3-1 after four innings. The score did not change until the top of the sixth inning when Kelowna cut the Bells lead to 3-2 after a Tyler Qualls RBI single.
The Bells added a run to their lead in the bottom of the seventh inning against Kelowna reliever Hunter Wood. Andrew Ely and Nate Causey started the inning with back to back singles to put runners at first and second with no outs. With Atkinson at the plate, Ely was picked off at second by catcher McClanahan which cost the Bells a run as Atkinson lined a double into the right centerfield gap. Kelowna centerfielder Kyle Moses misplayed the ball which allowed Causey to score and Atkinson moved up to third and the Bells took a 4-2 lead after seven.
After pitching seven great innings, Adam Gunn went back out in the eighth inning. He retired the first batter he faced but allowed a one out single to Andrew Firth and then hit Greg Friesen with a pitch to put two on with one out. That would be it for Gunn who ended up going 7 1/3 innings only allowing two earned runs and six hits while striking out seven batters. Bells reliever Jeff Gonzales came on for Gunn and did a fabulous job, striking out both batters he faced to end the inning and maintain the Bells 4-2 lead.
In the ninth inning the Bells sent out pitcher Keith Zuniga to try and finish the game. Zuniga gave up a leadoff single to Kyle Moses who was quickly erased on a McClanahan double play ball. With two outs, Zuniga walked Tucker Alexander and pinch hitter Cameron Alvarez to put the tying run at first. With lefty batter Jace Conrad coming to the plate, the Bells brought in lefty Chris Harper to get the last out. Harper walked Conrad on four pitches to load the bases. The Bells then brought in Karl Myers who finally recorded the last out with a lazy fly ball to left field, securing a 4-2 Bells victory.
With the win, the Bells now have a two game lead over Kelowna for the second playoff spot in the Eastern Division. These two teams will play the second game of the four game series tomorrow night at 7:05 PM.