Michael Petrie and Connor Mack scored the go-ahead runs in the Bells' 2-0 win over Wenatchee on Saturday, July 14. // Photo by Jessica Vangel
Bells’ fans were on the edge of their seats for the first six innings of the Bellingham Bells 2-0 win over the Wenatchee Applesox on Saturday, July 14.
The Bells (23-11) and Applesox (12-19) were both struggling to connect with the ball and both defenses were flawless.
Relief came in the bottom of the seventh inning when Bells catcher Michael Petrie scored on a left field hit by Jordan Stoner. Moments later, Bells outfielder Connor Mack slid into home for the second and final run of the Bells’ 2-0 shutout win, thanks to a an error by Applesox shortstop Mason Marenco.
“It was a nerve wracking game, but the Bells are a resilient team. They play close games, they play blowouts and everything in between,” said Dave Courtney, Bells fan and five-year team host.
The team didn’t share their fans’ anxiety.
“We knew it would be a low-scoring game,” Petrie said. “Their [pitcher] did a good job, but so did our pitching. We just had to scratch out a few runs. They came a bit late, but it was relieving when they did.”
The coaches were not nervous either.
“I feel good going into every game,” said Mack Clem, Bells pitching coach.
He described tonight’s game as a staff day, where the goal was getting as many of his pitchers as possible some last-minute mound time before the All-Star game in Port Angeles on July 17. Even Clem couldn’t have predicted such a strong response to his strategy.
“A five-pitcher shutout is really a special thing,” he said.
The Bells are riding a four-game unbeaten streak against the Applesox going into the final game on July 15, at 3:05 p.m. at Joe Martin Field to close out this weekend series.
Then, after a day of much deserved rest, they will depart for Port Angeles to represent Bellingham in the 2018 West Coast League All-Star game.
The Bells increased their lead in the West Coast League North Division to 3.5 games over second place Kelowna Falcons (20-14).