Ferndale native Matt James steps to the plate for the Bells during their loss to Victoria on Monday, July 2. // Photo by Emily Porter
By Emily Porter
The Bellingham Bells snapped a seven game streak without a loss Monday, July 2 falling 4-3 in 11 innings to the Victoria HarbourCats at Joe Martin Field.
Before tonight’s game, the Bells were on a seven-game stretch without a loss, including a 0-0 tie against Yakima on July 1. They are 17-6 and remain in first place in the West Coast League with a four game cushion over second place Kelowna Falcons of Victoria, British Columbia.
As the game began, the Star Wars theme song sang through the stadium as children turned on their lightsabers to enjoy the Star Wars themed game night. Kids were dressed as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and were battling their fellow mascot, Dinger, the Bellinghamster.
Catcher Cody Pasic led the Bells offensively on the night going 4-for-3 with one RBI.
Pasic gave the Bells a 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh inning with a single to right field. He then allowed Connor Mack to score the Bells second run after getting caught in a pickle between first and second base, making the score 2-0.
“Tough loss. We are coming off a pretty good winning streak. I think we are going to bounce back tomorrow,” Pasic said.
Pitcher Ryan Och threw one inning of relief, striking out two and not allowing a runner to reach base, lowering his ERA to 8.44 on the season.
“We always go out there, keep fighting, get a couple of runs, try to get back in it,” Och said.
Bells’ starter Wesley Moore went six innings, surrendering one hit, two walks and no runs while striking out three.
Bells’ reliever Justin Armbruester entered in the 10th inning to pitch both extra innings and gave up two runs, including the eventual winning run in the top of the 11th.
Victoria’s closer Nathan Walker slammed the door on the Bell’s last chance in the bottom of the 11th.
“It’s just baseball,” said Haily Tift, Bells’ assistant general manager. “We have a resilient team and they almost came through.”
The Bells have another shot to face Victoria Tuesday, July 3 and Wednesday, July 4.
Bellingham has clinched a spot in the West Coast League Division Series by way of winning their league in the first half of the season.
“It was good to clinch the first half of the playoffs already,” said the Bells’ sales coordinator Nate Regan. “This next two games are really big, confidence-wise.”