The Canada trip got off to a good start for the Bellingham Bells as the club moved into a first place tie with a 6-1 victory over the Kelowna Falcons.
After making the six hour trip from Wenatchee across the border early Saturday, it didn’t take long for Bellingham to get into a groove. Jake Paulson was sensational as he bounced back with his best start of the season on way to his second win with the Bells. Scoreless after two innings, Bellingham jumped on the board first. After a Trent Chatterton walk, Johnny Farrington came through with an RBI single, as he plated Chris Beall who had reached earlier in the frame. Farrington had a big night with two crucial RBI’s in the victory.
The score remained 1-0 through seven innings, as both starting pitchers posted quality starts. Paulson pitched six scoreless innings, as he struck out six and allowed only two hits in the win. Falcons starting pitcher Caleb Olson, who had picked up a complete game victory over the Bells in Bellingham, allowed only one run in seven innings, but his offense left him on the wrong side of a 1-0 score when he was pulled for the eighth inning.
Bellingham added two insurance runs in the eighth against reliever Nolan Savage. After a leadoff walk to Chatterton, his second of the night, Farrington sacrificed him into scoring position. Johnny Sewald stepped in after saving the game with a defensive gem in the bottom of the seventh. He doubled into the left field corner, which scored Chatterton. Sewald ended up at third base after an error by the left fielder, and that came back to cost Kelowna. Sewald scored on a wild pitch five pitches later, as the Bells took a 3-0 lead.
The game was blown open in the ninth, as Bellingham doubled up the score to 6-0. Beall grounded out into a fielders choice with the bases loaded, which scored Eric Angerer. Chatterton then singled home Ryan Yamane, and Farrington picked up his second RBI on the night with a sacrifice fly. It was 6-0 Bellingham entering the bottom of the ninth.
After coming within three outs of the first shutout of the season on Friday night vs. Wenatchee, the Bells came up just short of the shutout yet again, as Chase Radan, who pitched three innings of relief, allowed three hits and a run in the ninth before he induced a game ending double play off the bat of Robby Witt.
The win, paired with a Wenatchee loss to Bend, tied the Bells with Walla Walla for first place in the northern division, half a game ahead of the AppleSox. Jake Paulson picked up his second win of the year, while Olson dropped his fifth of the summer. Six different Bells had at least one hit, including Chatterton who had two.
Bellingham will look to stay in first place and take back-to-back road series on Sunday night at Elks Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 in Kelowna. The broadcast can be heard on AM 930 KBAI and 930kbai.com with the pregame show at 4:35.