The Bellingham Bells season has come to a conclusion after Kelowna defeated the Bells 9-6 in Game 3 of the three-game West Coast League first-round playoff series on Thursday, Aug. 13, in British Columbia.
It looked like Bellingham might extend its run as the Bells loaded the bases in the top of the ninth and scored one, but a groundout to the shortstop by Dustin Breshears ended the game.
The inning before, the Bells got two on base with no outs before hitting into a triple play that led to coach Jeff James being thrown out of the game.
Kelowna jumped out to a lead early and then scored in six of the eight innings they were at the plate. The Falcons hit an RBI double in the first inning off starter Zach Johnson, who went 3 1/3 innings, giving up five runs (four earned) and eight hits, and were off to the races from there.
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Spencer Howard fared no better on the bump, as he gave up three runs (two earned) in 2 2/3 innings. Kyle Rossman gave up a run in 1/3 of an inning before Brian Way closed out with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless pitching.
The only response the Bells could muster outside of an RBI double by Joey Harris in the second inning was a four-run rally in the sixth inning that put the Bells within one, 6-5.
Walker Olis, Harris and K.J. Brady all had RBI singles in the inning and Patrick mcGrath had a groundout that scored Olis.
Unfortunately for the Bells, Kelowna responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning and the gap was too much for Bellingham.
Kelowna will face Bend in the championship series starting on Saturday, Aug. 15.
Bellingham were the West Division champs, going 33-21 in the regular season and were led by Chris Beall (.306), Walker Olis (8 HR), Chase Scott (27 RBI) and Andrew Kemmerer (4 wins, 34 strikeouts, 1.45 ERA).
Kelowna 9, Bellingham 6
WP: Joel Lamont. LP: Zach Johnson. Highlights: Bellingham: Beau Branton 2-5; Aaron Stroosma 1-4, R, RBI, BB; Chris Beall 1-5, R; Dustin Breshears 2-4, R, BB; Walker Olis 2-3, 2 R, RBI, BB; Joey Harris 2-4, 2 RBI; K.J. Brady 1-4, RBI; Patrick McGrath 0-4, RBI; Lou Della Fera 1-3, R, BB.