The Bells fought the HarbourCats all night and emerged with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night.
The Bells struck first in the 2nd inning. Danny Casals started things off with a double over the head of the right fielder, and Austin Shenton followed him with a walk to give the Bells a couple of base runners. Two batters later Dean Lawson stepped up with a single to center to drive in Casals and give the Bells an early 1-0 lead.
Victoria picked up a run of their own in the 4th. AJ Alcantara started things off when he got plunked, and he later scored on a single into right. He was running on the pitch and was able to score all the way from first, due to the right fielder’s hesitation. That made the score 1-1 moving to the bottom of the 4th.
The Bells took the lead once again with a run in the 5th. Dean Lawson got things started with a leadoff walk and Landon Riker moved him to second with a sac bunt. Shane Hanon then came up with a RBI single to score Lawson and give the Bells the lead at 2-1.
The HarbourCats struck back in the 7th to tie the game. Brad Plushckell got things started with a one out single and moved to second on an errant pick-off throw. A batter later Jake Stone hit one up the middle that was fielded by the shortstop, but an errant throw allowed Stone to be safe at first. Meanwhile Plushckell was hustling all the way from second and was able to score to tie the game at 2-2.
Victoria was then able to take the lead in the top of the 8th. The first two batters of the inning were retired, but Ben Polshuck was able to reach after being hit in the head with a pitch. Ryan Anderson then walked after a couple of stolen bases allowed ended with Polshuk on third base. Polshuk was then balked in by the pitcher, and that gave the HarbourCats the lead at 3-2 heading to the bottom of the 8th.
That lead did not last for long though, as Jake Vieth took matters into his own hands with a long solo homerun to right center field to tie the game up at 3-3 heading to the 9th.
In the ninth the first two Bells hitters were retired but Landon Riker gave the squad a spark with a double down the left field line. After an intentional walk to Shane Hanon the stage was set for David Banuelos to be the hero. Banuelos delivered with a single up the middle to score Riker from second and give the Bells a walk off win.
Not to be lost in the shuffle the Bells got a couple of great pitching performances. Zach Johnson got the start for the Bells and threw 6 strong innings only allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits and he struck out 3 as well. Sam Hellinger came in in the ninth with a couple runners on and nobody out and was able to emerge from the jam unscathed, that effort was also good enough to earn the win for the Bells.
With the win tonight the Bells now have a 2 game lead over the Kelowna Falcons for first place in the North division for the second half of the season, putting them in an excellent spot to earn a playoff berth.
The Bells go for the sweep tomorrow Sunday July 31st for their final game of the three game series against the Victoria HarbourCats at 3:05. Pre-game coverage starts at 2:35 on 930 AM KBAI with Tom Prizeman. To purchase tickets visit http://bellinghambells.com/home/ or call (367) 527-1035.