Bellingham Bells Take Game 2 in a Thrilling Walk-off!

Saturday night the Bellingham Bells came home for game 2 of the West Coast League divisional series. Their opponents were the Kelowna Falcons, who had won game one the previous night by the score of 4-2. The Bells were looking to stay alive with a win as UCLA bound Nick Nastrini took the mound. Little did we know that Nick would pitch his best game of the season at the right moment.

Nick made UCLA look like geniuses in signing the 18-year old as he pitched an ace-like 6 innings of 1-run ball. He gave up 2 hits and struck out 5 Falcons. Kelowna had no idea how to handle Nick as the fans could see the frustration on their faces.

The game remained scoreless through 1 ½ innings. In the bottom of the 2nd, first baseman Cody Pasic belted a long home run to right field as the Bells took an early 1-0 lead. The fans sensed victory by their energy level once the ball left the ballpark. In the 3rd, DH Landen Kimbro lined a single to center to score two more Bells to increase the lead to 3-0. In the 4th, Nick would give up his first and only run on a home-run to left field.

Nick would give way to the bullpen after six innings as the game stood 3-1. With every pitch and the roar of the Bellingham crowd, we all sensed victory and were looking forward to the finale Sunday night. Were we wrong for that feeling of victory? Bellingham had a dominant bullpen all year long. Game 3 would be here before they knew it.

Manager Bob Miller turned to the right-hander Theron Kay out of Cal-State Northridge. He quickly retired the side in the 7th. Bellingham bats would be silent as well. Kay quickly got into trouble into the 8th when he gave up a home run to cut the lead to 3-2. He was later pulled as the Falcons got back to back base hits. Ben Leeper would come in and try to stop the bleeding and try to finish the ballgame. He wasn’t the Ben Leeper we were all used to as he became wild and the Falcons would tie it up at 3. Both teams’ bats would go silent over the next inning and half as we went extra innings.

Both teams would continue to be silent. The fans at Joe Martin Field were wondering if they would ever see the post-game fireworks they were promised. Innings 10 and 11 provided goose eggs as we went to the 12th inning. Bells left-handed pitcher Austin Weiermiller, out of Stanford, retired the Falcons with ease as went to the bottom of the 12th. Local boy and lead-off batter Ernie Yake lead off. He was able to work a walk. Bellingham played small ball as Dusty Stroup sacrificed him to second base as he laid down the perfect bunt. Matt McLain fouled out to the 1b of the Falcons as Yake smartly took advantage as he tagged up and advanced to third. Bells fans were going nuts as they knew victory and fireworks were in their sight. Jordan Stoner, left fielder out of Tennessee-Martin and from Puyallup, Washington didn’t want to disappoint them as he lined a single to left field to score Yake. The Bells had another walk-off victory and game 3 would be on Sunday night with the winner to advance to the championship game versus Corvallis! Stoner was mauled by his teammates! The crowd was on their feet as Bellingham added another thriller to their 2018 season.

The Bells fought a tough battle on Sunday night against Kelowna. They battled back to tie it, but it wasn’t good enough. In the end Kelowna pulled out a 7-6 victory to advance to the finals and ending the Bells season. Congratulations to Bellingham on an outstanding season. Hang your heads high! Thank you Bells for your performance on and off the field. Thank you to the Bells staff from top to bottom on your hospitality on and off the field. What an amazing and top-notch organization! Thank you to the fans of Bellingham who truly appreciate the game of baseball. If you are a baseball fan, you should really go attend a game in Bellingham. We promise you it will be an experience of a lifetime.

I can’t wait until 2019.

Go Bells!

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News Reporter
Brian joined the SSU in 2017 and covers the Everett AquaSox. I'm a graduate of Washington State University and I'm a die-hard baseball fan.