On Saturday night at Kiger Stadium, the Bells gave the Klamath Falls Gems two big innings early on and mounted comeback after comeback that fell just short in a 7-5 loss.
Bells' starter Reagan Todd struggled in his second outing with the Bells. In a mix of hard hit balls and soft floaters that fell in, the Gems put together a four run second inning and three run third inning.
In the second, Todd allowed the first two men to reach on singles then the seven hitter Austin Fisher tried to get a bunt down to set up the Gems with runners at second and third with only one out. Fisher did get the bunt down the third base line where, pitcher, Todd fielded it and threw an errant throw down the right field line. Two runs came in on the error and by the time the Bells got the back into the infield Fisher had reached third. Fisher would score on an RBI single by Brian Pozos, who would score himself on a ground out for the fourth run in the inning.
The Bells came back with an answer in the top of the third inning. Aaron Stroosma, who has been heating up at the plate, walked then started to steal bases. He stole second and third before Joey Harris was hit by a pitch and both were chased home on a Ben Welch two run double. Stroosma’s two stolen bases give him nine for the season most in the West Coast League. Welch, brought in the two runs on his double but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple. The next batter, Lou Della Fera, was hit by a pitch and was brought home three pitches later on a KJ Brady double making it 7-4.
In the top of the fifth, the Bells got one more run back on an RBI single by Andrew Reichenbach who stretched his hitting streak to four games. Suddenly the Bells found themselves only down two, 7-5.
But the game then settled into a bullpen duel. The Bells threw shutout baseball from the third inning on. Bells' pitchers Reagan Todd, Nate Higa and Brice Longanecker combined to hold the deficit at two. Equally impressive was the Gems bullpen who worked through wave after wave of Bells threats to preserve their lead.
The Bells had great chances in the sixth and seventh innings but came out of the frames with nothing. Ben Welch lead off the sixth with a walk and wound up at third after a stolen base and throwing error, giving the Bells a runner at third with nobody out but they failed to cash in.
In the seventh, Walker Olis started the inning with a double, his second of the season and 13th since joining the Bells three seasons ago. Walker is now just one double shy of tying the team’s all-time double record.
After his double, Walker, moved to third on a ground-out but was stranded there after a strike out and fielder’s choice ended the inning. In the ninth, the Bells mustered another late push bringing the tying run to the plate with two outs. Andrew Reichenbach popped out into shallow left center field to end it.
“We lost tonight but we battled,” said Assistant Coach Dane Siegfried. “Falling behind 7-1, it’s really easy to quit, but we didn’t. We had our chances to bring runs in late but just couldn’t get that big hit with runners in scoring position.”
With the loss, the Bells are now 5-3 on the season while the Gems collected their first win of the season and are 1-7.
Tomorrow will be the rubber game of the series at Kiger Stadium with first pitch scheduled for 5:05PM. Erik Oas will be on the call on 930KBAI with a 4:35 p.m. pregame show.