BELLNGHAM - It's been seven years since Bellingham has reached the postseason, but thanks to an experienced club filled largely with veteran college players, the Bells have broken the seven-year dry spell.
Bellingham begins a three-game series against Wenatchee at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at Joe Martin Field. Game 2 will be played in Wenatchee, and if necessary, Game 3 will be in Wenatchee as well.
"I feel like we got a real solid group of kids who have stayed together and understand what it takes (to win)," Bellingham coach Gary Hatch said.
Before Bellingham embarks on their first playoff since 2005, the Bells were playing their final regular season series Tuesday night, Aug. 7, at Joe Martin Field.
Walla Walla designated hitter Spencer O'Neil put the Sweets on the board in the top of the first with an RBI bloop single Bells shortstop Desmond Santos was unable to get to.
Bellingham's Jarel Lewis tied the game in the bottom of the first with a clutch two-out RBI single. Lewis laced a hard liner into left field, scoring a hustling Andrew Ely from second base to tie the game at 1-1.
After the first, both Bellingham pitcher Jared Fisher and Walla Walla pitcher Tyler Roberts settled in. Roberts worked through 16 Bells hitters without giving up a hit after Lewis' single.
Fisher gave up just two hits before being replaced in the fifth.
With two outs in the top of the eighth, Walla Walla recorded back-to-back-to-back hits against Bellingham relief pitcher Chris Harper. Bellingham had allowed three hits through the first seven innings.
Walla Walla's Alex Bonczyk drove in Kris Paulino from second base with a single back up the middle to give Walla Walla a 2-1 lead.
Bellingham answered in the bottom of the ninth. Down to their last out with a runner on third, Bells' Michael Leach hit an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2, sending the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, John Albert recorded a dramatic walk-off hit. With two outs and the bases loaded, Albert hit a flare that dropped in front of Walla Walla's lunging left fielder to give the Bells a 3-2 win.
Bellingham faces Walla Walla in the Bells' second-to-last game of the regular season at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8, at Joe Martin Field.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.