The Bellingham Bells picked up yet another one run victory as the Bells tallied win number 20 in 2013.
After dropping a one run affair on Friday night, the series leveled with a 2-1 Bellingham victory Saturday night.
For the second night in a row, Bellingham received a successful start on the mound. Though he picked up a no decision, Nate Cole was sensational for the Bells. The righty allowed only one run in 6.2 innings of four hit ball, as Cole lowered his season ERA to 1.88, second best in the league of qualified pitchers.
His counterpart on the night, lefty Chris Lovejoy, went eight innings vs. the Bells for the second time this season. But unlike his start vs. Bellingham in June, Saturday night’s outing turned sour, as he picked up his second loss of the year.
The middle game of the set was the definition of a pitchers dual, as neither team got on the scoreboard until after the 7th inning stretch. After Cole retired the first two Sweets in the 7th, he allowed a solo home run to Matt Mendenhall, his fourth of the year. Cole faced one more batter after the home run, but left on the hook for the loss after 6.2 innings. Chris Van Dyke came on to finish the 7th inning, retiring Mike Paulson, which turned out to be enough for him to pick up his first win of the year.
Bellingham struck in the following half inning. After Johnny Sewald reached on an error by Sweets shortstop John Skrbec with one out, Eric Angerer was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, his league leading 19th time overall. Alex Calbick lined out to the shortstop Skrbec, who had a chance to double off Angerer at first base. Skrbec had plenty of time to throw, as Angerer was well of the bag, but he rushed, and threw it past Sweets first baseman Matt Mendenhall. This allowed the runners to move to second and third, and keep the inning alive. Bellingham took advantage of Skrbec’s two errors in the inning, as Aaron Sandefur became the Bells hero. After striking out in his first three at-bats of the night, Sandefur grounded the first pitch from Lovejoy back up the middle, scoring Sewald and Angerer, which gave Bellingham a 2-1 lead.
Walla Walla would get nothing in either of the last two innings, as Will Dennis pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning, before all-star closer Marc Huberman retired the side in order in the 9th, striking out the final two batters of the game, as he picked up his fifth save of the season.
Van Dyke moved to 1-1 on the year, while Lovejoy fell to 2-2. Each team ended up with only four hits, but the three Sweets errors proved to be the difference maker, as Skrbec’s two errors in the 8th led to two unearned runs. Sewald stole two bases and surpassed Ryan Yamane for the team lead with 12.
The final game of the season series takes place at Borleske Stadium on Sunday. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 in Walla Walla. Mike Weisman will have the pregame show beginning at 4:35 on AM 930 KBAI and 930KBAI.com.