Sunday night was the ninth and final time the Bellingham Bells (18-9) played the Kitsap BlueJackets (10-14). Nine innings would not be enough, as the marathon lasted 12 innings and was dominated by pitching until Chase Scott crushed a two run homer to left for a 4-2 Bells win.
The win gave the Bells their first sweep of the year and extends the Bells' lead to six and half games atop the Western Division.
Zach Johnson started for the Bells for the first time this season and took the ball deep into the game. “I love pitching in these types of games,” said Johnson of his start. “When you’re matching zeroes with the other guy, it’s very easy to get locked in.”
Johnson went six and two thirds of an inning and only allowed just one run. “It felt really good to be back as a starter,” said Johnson. He scattered six hits while striking out one and walking two.
Johnson continued his worldly pickoff totals. In the second inning, Johnson was charged with his first balk of the year but would not be charged another on his way to picking off two BlueJacket base runners.
For six innings, the Bells managed no runs off of BlueJackets’ starter John Oltman, who only allowed three hits until the top of the seventh inning. Down 1-0, the seventh inning began with Walker Olis hitting his fourth home run of the year to tie the game at 1-1. The home run was also his sixth in his time in Bellingham the most in team history.
"Stuff like that is so cool and it came in such a big spot for us too, " assistant coach Dane Siegfried said of the Olis home run. "It seems like the times we need it most are the times when Walker comes through for us.”
The Bells added on in the inning. Joey Harris followed the long fly with a single and came around to score to give the Bells their first lead of the night.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, the BlueJackets tied the game off of Hunter Haworth. Jake Scudder singled to start the inning and came around to score on a Brett Bautistia double. “We were two feet away from being walked off,” said Dane Siegfried of Bautistia’s double that hit high off the wall in right field. But Haworth settled down to get the next three batters and keep the game tied.
The pitching settled in again following the ninth. The BlueJackets looked as though they’d go home with the win in the 11th inning. Cody Anderson (1-0) worked his second inning of relief for the Bells and quickly saw the bases go loaded with nobody out. The Bells brought their infield in and got a ground ball to third basemen Chase Scott who went home to get the first out of the inning. Dayne Summer came up next and popped out to second basemen Jesse Kuet for the second out. Anderson then got Colby Brown to fly out for the final out of the inning to preserve the 2-2 tie.
In the top of the 12th inning, Chase Scott crushed a home run over the right field wall for a two run homer off of Joe Galindo (1-2). The home run was Scott’s fourth long fly of the season and his second to come in extra innings.
Spencer Howard worked the bottom of the 12th for his first save of the season.
The Bells will now head home and open a three game series against the Cowlitz Black Bears at Joe Martin Field. Andrew Summerville will start for the Bells on Monday night. Erik Oas will have the call on www.bellinghambells.com with a 6:50 pregame show and 7:05 first pitch.