Walker Olis collected his 15th double since joining the Bells in 2013, breaking the Bells all-time team record but it would not be enough, as a big four run fourth inning by the Yakima Valley Pippins (14-8) would hold off the Bellingham Bells (13-9) Tuesday night at Joe Martin Field. The three run inning proved to be the difference as the Bells took the 6-3 loss.
“This was one of those games where the scoreboard showed no errors for us but we had some mental mistakes,” said Bells assistant coach Mike Gange. “Against a team that’s as talented as they are [Yakima Valley Pippins] you can’t make the mistakes we did and expect to win.”
The night started off great for the Bells. Bronson Larsen continued his red hot hitting at the plate when he slugged a two run homer to left field to give the Bells a 2-0 lead. The home run is Larsen’s fourth on the season and has him just one homer back of first on the Bells all-time home run list. However, the lead for the Bells would be short lived.
Bells starter Andrew Summerville (0-1) made his second start of the year but struggled against Pippins hitters, who collected seven hits off the left hander. Summerville gave up single runs on the second and third innings that tied the score at two. But the fourth inning would be his undoing.
The inning started with three consecutive Pippins hitters collecting base hits to bring in the first run of the inning. Two batters later, Ryan Lillie doubled on a high pop up down the left field line that brought in the second run of the inning. The final run came across on a ground out by Corey Morris, stacking the Pippins to a 5-2 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Walker Olis lead off the inning with a double down the left field line. The sellout crowd at Joe Martin Field broke into applause as the PA announced that Olis had just hit double number 15 in his Bells career setting the new team record.
“That was something that was very cool for Walker,” said Mike Gange. “He’s such a great guy and to see him set a record like that is special. But,” he added, “not surprising because he can spray the ball to all fields like we saw tonight.”
Olis would come around to score in the inning on a Lou Della Fera two out single to make it a 5-3 game.
Pippins pitching did not allow anymore. For the entire game the Pippins used just two pitchers, Jens Jensen (2-0) and Kelly Fitzpatick, shutting down the Bells from the fourth inning onward. The Bells' big threat came in the bottom of the ninth inning when they were down to their final out. That’s when Lou Della Fera walked and Alex Galgano singled to bring the tying run to the plate, Beau Branton. Branton popped out on the fourth pitch of the at-bat ending the game, giving the Pippins the 6-3 win.
The loss was the first time the Bells have dropped game one of a series at home this season. Fitzpatrick collected the save for the Pippins, his first of the year.
Tomorrow the Bells will look to rebound with game two of the series starting at 7:05 at Joe Martin Field. Andrew Kemmerer will make his fourth start for the Bells. Coverage will begin at 6:50 p.m. on the Bells radio network with Erik Oas on the call.