Bellingham was just one big play away from taking home a sweep with late-game heroics. However, a three-run homerun in the top of the 11th inning squandered their chances in a 6-3 loss to the Wenatchee AppleSox.
It looked like the Bells were on the path to end the game in the bottom of the ninth. Ernie Yake led the inning off with a walk, followed by a base-knock from Zach Needham. However, a strikeout, groundout, and pop out ended the threat and sent the contest into extra innings.
The Bells then had a similar chance in the bottom of the tenth inning. After a lead off walk from Jordan Stoner, and a sac bunt, the Bells were in scoring position with just one out. However, the Bells couldn’t quite find a way to get Stoner any closer than to third base.
In the top of the 11th, Wenatchee was able to collect a pair of runners with a lead-off single and a one-out walk followed by a shot that cleared the left field wall, to score the games final runs.
In the bottom of the first, WCL All-Star Yake laced a single right down the left field line to put the pressure on Wenatchee. An error by the right fielder put both Zach Needham and Yake in scoring position. All-Star Matt James took advantage of the mistake to record an RBI on a ground ball to Wenatchee’s shortstop, trading an out for a run.
With the Bells leading 1-0, Grant Holman was cruising along before a pitch got away from him, plunking Wenatchee DH Jordan Rathbone on a 1-2 count. Michael Spellacy, the AppleSox right-fielder made Holman pay for the mistake with a 2-run homerun over the right field fence, giving Wenatchee a 2-1 advantage.
The Bells were able to load the bases in the bottom of the third and the fourth inning, providing ample opportunity to tie the ballgame. However, Wenatchee starter Connor McCord worked out of trouble in both innings, before settling in to the contest.
Grant Holman would end his pitching tenure in a Bells uniform with a stat line of five innings pitched, allowing two earned runs on five hits, walking one, and striking out six. Although Holman’s day on the hill was over, head coach Bob Miller wanted to work his six-foot six-inch double threat to the very end of his mid-season contract.
UC Berkeley teammate Carson Olson took over for Holman in a scoreless top of the sixth inning. For the first time all series, the Bellingham bullpen ran into their first area of trouble the entire series. Wenatchee uncharacteristically played some small ball and plated a run in the top of the seventh inning on a single up the middle.
However, the Bells were able to jump right back into the thick of things, after a leadoff no-doubt homerun off the bat of Connor Mack sailed over the left field fence. Guthrie Morrison then drew a no-out walk and was promptly moved to second on the sac-bunt by Yake. Miller’s decision to leave Holman in paid off, as the tall righty plated tied the game up 3-3 on a screaming line drive to left field.
However, the Holman single would be the last time Bellingham would score on the day.
The Bells will have a pair of days off with the WCL All-Star game set for Tuesday night. Bellingham will play next on Wednesday, July 18 in Walla Walla against the Sweets.