07/19/2019 10:04 AM
The Bellingham Bells fell, 14-12, to the Portland Pickles in a wild, whacky, back and forth game Thursday night at Walker stadium.
Having lost six straight games coming in, the Bells looked to be in position to win at multiple points throughout the contest, but the Portland never let up, securing a series sweep with a comeback win.
The Bells got off to their best start of the series with three runs in the first inning, the first on a Guthrie Morrison groundball to short, booted K.C. Hunt to score Collin Burns. With Morrison on first after the error, Troy Viola launched his league-leading seventh home run over the left-field wall to take a 3-0 lead.
Portland responded with one run in their half of the first when Kyle Manzardo single in John Jensen.
Up 3-1, Jordan Vujovich added to the Bells lead with an RBI groundout to score Morrison in the third, which Derek Marshall followed with an RBI double to plate Viola for a 5-1 lead.
Again, the Pickles answered with runs of their own in the home half of the inning. Jensen singled in Hunt, and Gabe Skoro doubled in Jensen to make it 5-3.
Collin Burns then doubled in Cole Hinkelman to extend the Bells lead to 6-3 in the fourth before Portland began to roar back.
They scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, the first coming on an Everett Lau RBI bunt single to score Thomas Rudisnky and the second on a Darius Perry sacrifice-fly to score Davis Delorefice.
Leading 6-5, the Bells put up another run on a perfectly executed Danny Martin RBI squeeze bunt, scoring Vujovich to extend the advantage to 7-5 in the fifth.
The Pickles fought back with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, though, to take their first lead of the ballgame. Manzardo plated the first run with a bases-loaded walk before Delorefice cleared the bases with a double to right field, making it 9-7, Portland.
That wouldn’t be it for the Bells, though, as they battled to again tie the game in the seventh. Vujovich led off the inning with a walk, and Marshall followed that with a single. Jack Machtolf then plated Vujovich with a single of his own before Martin came through with a single to right, scoring Marshall, and tying the game at 9-9.
The Bells offense stayed hot in the eighth, as they scored three more runs to capture another lead, this time 12-9. After singles from Austin Kretzschmar and Viola to start the inning, Marshall came to the plate with two out and quickly found himself behind in the count with two strikes. He then lofted a single into the outfield to score both runners and take an 11-9 lead.
The next batter, Machtolf roped a booming double to right-center, scoring Marshal for a 12-9 advantage.
The Portland offense miraculously scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth, though, with the go-ahead run scoring on a two-out, two-run double from Manzardo.
Portland then blanked the Bells in the top of the ninth to win, 14-12, and finish off the series sweep.
The Bells finish their six-game road trip between Wenatchee and Portland 0-6 but travel home to host the Wenatchee AppleSox for the first of a three-game series on Friday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.