07/28/2009 9:40 PM
BELLINGHAM, Wash.– Bellingham watched its second-inning 4-0 lead disappear Tuesday, July 28, at Joe Martin Field as the Corvallis Knights extended the Bells’ season-long losing streak to nine games by taking the series opener 8-7.
The Bells (17-20) took advantage of a Knights error in the second and grabbed a commanding four run lead. Chris Amezquita led off the inning with a double and scored the games first run on a Beau Brett single. Amezquita’s run was Bellingham’s lone earned run of the frame, but the Bells tacked on three more following a missed catch by Knights first baseman D.J. Johnson.
But the Knights (30-8) refused to go away and after pulling even at 4-4 in the fifth, Corvallis grabbed its first lead of the night with a single run in the sixth.
“We put ourselves in position to win on multiple occasions, but we struggled to find any consistency both at the plate and on the mound,” said Bells head coach Brandon Newell. “I glad to see that our guys didn’t give up and still battled hard late in the game.”
Trailing 6-5 in the home half of the eighth, Bellingham used a pinch-hit lead-off triple by Brady Locker to pull even with the Knights, but Corvallis responded with a pair or runs in the ninth to regain control.
The Bells rallied in the bottom of the ninth and were able to bring one run across home, but fell short as they fell for the ninth consecutive game and now trail Bend by four games for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
“Corvallis is a team we seem to match up well against this season,” Newell said. “If we can get into a rhythm at the plate, hopefully we’ll be able to climb back into the playoff race down the final stretch.”
Seth Harvey was charged with the loss after giving up both ninth inning runs to Corvallis during his one inning of relief. Corvallis’ Liam Baron tossed two innings in relief and gave up two runs, but still earned the win to improve to 2-2 on the season.
Corvallis’ Josh Hogan led all batters with three hits in the contest. Five other Knights contributed multi-hit games in Corvallis’ win.
Locker was 2 of 2 for the Bells after coming into the game in the eighth inning. After his lead-off triple in the eighth, Locker also added a single in the ninth.
Bellingham and Corvallis continue their series on Wednesday, July 29, at Joe Martin Field with game two of the three-game set to get under way at 7 p.m.