The Bellingham Bells ended a three game skid on Sunday night, as the Bells knocked off the Cowlitz Black Bears to avoid the sweep at Story Field, scoring the final seven runs, to win 11-5.
After a heartbreaking loss for Bellingham on Saturday night, the Bells jumped out to an early lead, plating two runs in the first inning. It was Chris Beall, coming off of a 5-5 performance Saturday night, who knocked a two out, two RBI double scoring Johnny Sewald and Michael Annunziata.
The Bells tacked on two more runs in the following frame, when Ryan Yamane snapped out of a 2-16 skid. The Bells second baseman flared one between the shortstop and leftfielder, as Jake Bailey and Johnny Farrington scored to give the Bells a 4-0 lead.
Bells starter Andrew Freter, who made his first appearance of the season, struggled in both the second and third inning. Cowlitz got back into the game, scoring two in the second inning, as Freter walked in a run, which was followed by a run scoring double play.
The righty from Utah Valley University ran into trouble again in the third inning. Cowlitz tied the game at four, when Saturday’s Cowlitz hero Tanner Pinkston singled home catcher Danny Recio. The Black Bears made it 5-4 when Bells reliever Jacob Ehret hit Dillon Ness with the bases loaded. Cowlitz starter Trent Wilson didn’t make it past four innings for the second start in a row. The righty didn’t factor in the decision, as he allowed four runs on eight hits in four innings, before being replaced by Coley Bruns.
The score remained 5-4 in favor of Cowlitz until the 7th inning, when things finally started to go the way of the Bells. Bruns struggled and retired only one in the 7th inning. Annunziata and Beall each singled to begin the frame. After a sacrifice fly by Ryan Kirby and a walk to Trent Chatterton, the newest Bell Jake Bailey had his biggest chance of the night. Bailey doubled just over the third base bag, almost an identical hit to Saturday’s walk-off for Cowlitz. The double, one of four hits on the night for the catcher, cleared the bases, and put the Bells ahead for good. Farrington swapped places, after he doubled home Bailey, which made it 8-5.
Chris Van Dyke relieved Jacob Ehret, who picked up his first win of 2013. Van Dyke allowed two hits and a walk, but pitched two scoreless innings, wrapping up the 7th and 8th. Leading by three runs in the 9th, the Bells put the game out of reach off of Drew Merlow. It was once again Jake Bailey leading the way. His second double of the game, and fourth hit, scored Ryan Kirby. Farrington followed with his second double of the night, scoring Bailey again. Yamane drove in the final run of the game, scoring Farrington on a sacrifice fly to right field. John Albert worked around a two out walk to retire the side in the 9th, which gave the Bells win number one in Cowlitz.
Offensively, Farrington broke out of an 0-11 slump with three hits and two RBI’s. Chris Beall followed his 5-5 performance on Saturday night with a four hit night, including two doubles and two more RBI’s. Jake Bailey had the best debut of anyone on the roster in 2013 going 4-5 with four RBI’s, two doubles, and three runs scored. The Bells bullpen did not allow an earned run in 7.2 innings pitched.
Bellingham will be back in action on Monday night, as the Corvallis Knights come to Joe Martin Field, riding the longest winning streak in the league at six games. First pitch in Bellingham is at 7:05, and the broadcast can be heard on BellinghamBells.com, as Mike Weisman will have the call.