The Bellingham Bells fell to the Kelowna Falcons, 4-2, in 10 innings tonight at Joe Martin Field.
In a game in which pitching reigned supreme, it was a homerun and an unfortunate outfield bounce that did the Bells in on opening day.
Justin Armbruester got the start for Bellingham and pitched two hitless innings, walking a batter and striking out three.
Danny Garcia and Marcos Cuenca followed suit out of the Bells’ bullpen, scattering one hit across three innings of relief to hold things scoreless.
The Bells woke up the bats in the fifth inning when Jack Machtolf lifted a fly ball into left to score Logan Stevens, who had reached on a walk and advanced to third, making it 1-0.
They scored another in the sixth, thanks to a two-out single off the bat of Sam Swenson, plating Guthrie Morrison to make it 2-0.
Kelowna rallied in the top of the seventh, though, as reigning West Coast League MVP Trent Tinglestad launched a two-run blast over the right field wall off Bells reliever Barry Caine to tie things at 2-2.
Bryce Moyle then entered for Bellingham and shut the Falcons down, sending the game to extra innings.
Leading off the top of the tenth, Kelowna’s Tyler Grissom scorched a line drive to right, looking like an ordinary single. The ball then launched off the field turf, over the head of right fielder Logan Stevens, allowing Grissom to coast to third with a triple. He would score on a Matt Voelzke groundout to give Kelowna a 3-2 advantage.
Eric Anderson then entered for the Bells and allowed another Falcons run to score on a wild pitch, making it 4-2.
Voelzke earned the save in the bottom of the tenth, getting Bells’ pinch-hitter Derek Marshall to ground into a game-ending double play.
The teams will face once more tomorrow at Joe Martin Field. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.