The Bells for the second straight series to begin the season had a chance to sweep, but for the second straight time they failed to record the knockout blow.
Thursday night’s game was one that was tightly contested. From the fifth inning on, the game went back and forth. The starter for Corvallis, Ryan Walker, dominated the Bells for the first four innings allowing just one base runner to reach on a single by Andrew Reichenbach. The dominance by Walker can best be summed up by his eight strikeouts. It wasn’t until his last inning, the fifth, that the Bells began to put some hits together.
The score was 1-0 after a Ryan Matranga home run for the Knights in the second inning. In the fifth, the Bells began to figure out Walker. The inning began when catcher Joey Harris was hit by a pitch and was followed three pitches later by a Ben Welch single. It was the first time all night the Bells got two runners on in an inning. Andrew Reichenbach came up and doubled to left to tie the game at one. But the inning was not over for the Bells. Another run came in when the nine hitter Lou Della Ferra hit a ball on the ground that nearly got through a drawn in infield. Third basemen for Corvallis, Trevin Stephens, knocked the ball down on a diving effort and threw to first, his only play. That brought in Ben Welch for the second run of the inning to give the Bells a 2-1 lead.
Reichenbach had a great night. He went 3 for 4 with an RBI and a double. “I came up in the third inning after [Ryan Walker] got the first seven guys out. And I just thought that I had nothing to lose, so I should be aggressive.” Reichenbach went on to say, “We were able to battle back all night, we just came up a little short.”
The Bells saw their 2-1 lead quickly erased in the bottom of the fifth when Corvallis came back with two of their own. A key figure for Corvallis was their newest arrival Nick Madrigal. Madrigal was a question mark at the beginning of the game as to whether he would arrive in time to play. He was not with the Knights in batting practice and barely had time to put on his uniform before the game began. Madrigal was a draft pick of the Cleveland Indians in the 17th round this year and started the two run fifth for Corvallis with a double. After Madrigal scored on a sacrifice fly another run came in on a double steal giving Corvallis a one run lead 3-2.
The Bells battled back. “Even though we lost, we were real proud of our guys the way they kept fighting,” said Assistant Coach Dane Siegfried. “They [Corvallis] just had an answer for everything we did tonight.”
In the top of the seventh, the Bells tied the game on a bases loaded error by Knights third baseman Travis Stephens. Once again, the Knights struck back in the bottom of the inning plating a completely manufactured run by Nick Madrigal.
Another run came in for the Knights in the bottom of the eighth to stretch the lead to 5-3. Now it was the Bells turn to have an answer. Down to their final out, shortstop Dustin Breshears worked a walk and took second on catcher’s indifference. Chase Scott battled for seven pitches before he flipped a single into left center to score Breshears and make it a one run game. Walker Olis came up and flew out to the right fielder Emilio Alcantar, giving the Knights the win.
The Bells are now 4-2 on the season while Corvallis improves to 2-4.
From Corvallis, the Bells head south to Klamath Falls to take on the Gems. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with Kyle Rossman slated as the Bells starter. Erik Oas will be on the call on 930 KBAI with a 6:05 pregame.