Less than a full day after playing a 17-inning game, Bellingham was again tied with Cowlitz, 1-1 in the 7th inning on Friday. But right fielder Danny Miller hit a two-run home run to break the tie and highlight a three-run bottom of the 7th as the Bells went on to win their 11th game in a row, 5-1 over Cowlitz on July 4 at Joe Martin Field.
Miller (Cal State Chico) hit his sixth home run of the season over the right field wall following a leadoff single by first baseman Scott Heath (University of Maine).
"He's come into some pretty big spots, and he's just accomplished things," said Belingham assistant coach Mike Gange, about Miller. "It's amazing that he's been able to stay focused in those spots."
Catcher Eric Webber (Georgetown University) continued the rally, doubling down the left field line and scoring later in the frame on a base hit by second baseman Dustin Breshears (Gonzaga University).
Bellingham totaled four hits in the inning, breaking through offensively after loading the bases in the third, fourth and fifth innings but scoring just one run. Webber led the Bells with four hits on the afternoon, and also stole two bases.
"We're doing the right things," said Gange, of the winning streak. "The credit is to the players. And with a battery like Eric Webber, Jimmy Sinatro -- guys know their roles and handle the pitching staff very well."
The Bells scored first, on a bases-loaded walk to Breshears in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring Miller. Miller led off the inning with a hit by pitch, and Webber followed with a base hit before a walk to designated hitter Dylan Garcia (Cal State Chico) loaded the bases.
Cowlitz tied the game in the top of the 7th inning, as designated hitter Daniel Orr homered to right field. It was just the third hit allowed by Sandefur, and broke a streak of 16 scoreless innings for Cowlitz against the Bellingham pitching staff.
Bellingham added an insurance run in the 8th inning when Dallas Carroll (University of Utah) scored on a wild pitch, exhibiting a good read and breaking for home quickly on a ball in the dirt that skipped away from the Cowlitz catcher up the first base line. Carroll began the inning with a leadoff walk and stole second before advancing to third on a groundout.
Bellingham starter Aaron Sandefur (Bellevue College) continued the trend of strong Bellingham pitching, going seven innings and striking out eight. The Bells have held their opponent to two runs or fewer in six of the last seven games. Burk FitzPatrick (University of Maine) pitched the eighth and the ninth innings, retiring Cowlitz 1-2-3 in both innings.
The Bells will look for their third-straight WCL series sweep against Cowlitz on Saturday. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.