The Bend Elks defeated the Bellingham Bells 11-4 Saturday at Vince Genna Stadium.
The Elks scored three runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings to overwhelm the Bells.
After Bend crossed two runs in the first inning, Bellingham responded in the top half of the fourth. Jake Vieth doubled with two outs to begin the rally. Danny Casals slapped a single into center field, driving home Vieth and pulling the Bells to within one run at 2-1.
Following six runs from Bend in two frames, the Bells got two runs back. Mitchell Robinson began the threat with a walk. After a Vieth strikeout, Casals and Andru Cardenas walked to load the bases. Austin Shenton plated Robinson on a sacrifice fly to make it a 8-2 score. Matt DiLeo reloaded the bases after being hit by his league leading fifth pitch. Chase Strumpf brought Casals home, moving to first on an RBI walk. A Brandon Shirley strikeout left the bases loaded with the Bells trailing 8-3 heading to the bottom half of the seventh.
After three more runs crossed for Bend, Bellingham scored their final run of the night in the eighth. Vieth unloaded on a Michael Warnick pitch, crushing it over the centerfield fence for his first homerun of the season and the Bells’ fifth of the 2016 campaign.
Connor Johnson (1-1) earned his fourth start of the season, and the Maine product tossed five innings, allowing five runs to pickup his first loss of the summer. Keaton Knueppel struck out one batter while surrendering three runs in his one inning on the hill. Brian Way fired the last two innings for the Bells, allowing only one earned run to cross the plate.
Chase Thometz (2-0) dealt six and two thirds for the Elks, allowing three runs on five hits to earn his second victory of the season.
The Bells take the field Sunday night against the Bend Elks, first pitch scheduled for 5:05, with pre-game coverage starting at 4:35 with Tom Prizeman on https://network1sports.com/station/kbai.
The Bells return home on Friday July 1st against the North Sound Emeralds. First pitch will be thrown at 7:05, to purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.