Joel Norman AppleSox Media

The Wenatchee AppleSox scored three times in the ninth inning but fell to the Bellingham Bells, 6-5, on Thursday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium.

Wenatchee (32-13, 13-5 second half) dropped back-to-back home games for the first time this summer. They remain in first place in the second half of the North Division, a game-and-a-half ahead of Victoria and two games ahead of Kelowna. The HarbourCats were rained out on Thursday while the Falcons defeated Nanaimo, 7-2. The AppleSox are tied with the Corvallis Knights for the best record in the West Coast League.

Wenatchee trailed by four runs in the bottom of the ninth but came within one run of tying the game. A wild pitch scored one runner from third but the final out was recorded at third base, thwarting the AppleSox of the opportunity to put the tying run 90 feet away.

Samuel Round became the AppleSox’ second starter to punch out double-digit hitters as he struck out 10 over five innings. Izzy Lopez went 3-for-4 and scored two runs while Reeve Boyd singled twice and also walked.

The AppleSox trailed 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth. One unearned run scored in the top of the first when three of the first four hitters reached base but Round struck out the final two hitters of the inning to strand two men. He punched out the side in order in the second to stick out five consecutive batters. Round’s first two outs recorded in the third were also strikeouts but the Bells cashed in on a leadoff walk with a two-out RBI single.

Lopez led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, went to second on a wild pitch and broke for third before the pitch that Boyd dumped into center field. The AppleSox added a second run two batters when Franke Carney singled in Boyd after a sacrifice bunt in between.

The Bells didn’t wait long to tie the game back up, plating two runs thanks in part to two walks and two errors while only collecting one hit. They added an insurance run in the eighth and another in the ninth, which proved to be the difference, but gave them a four run lead at the time.

Pinch hitter Mason Persons drew a full-count walk in the bottom of the ninth and went to second two batters later on Lopez’s third hit of the game. Boyd singled to load up the bases and Cam Hoiland reached on a fielder’s choice to score Persons from third. Carney reached on an error and Lopez scored to put Hoiland at second and Carney, the tying run, at first. Hoiland broke for third in the middle of Carson Ohland’s at-bat and scored from third without hesitation to cut the deficit to one. Carney advanced to second, hesitated momentarily about also moving up a base before deciding to but was thrown out at third to end the game.

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Prior to Thursday’s game the AppleSox presented right-handed pitcher Jake Putnam with the fifth annual Tommy Watanabe Award

Learn more

Thursday, July 27, 2023 AppleSox v Bellingham
Jake Putnam heads to infield ceremony to receive Tommy Watanabe Award credit; AppleSox Media

The defeat was the AppleSox first home series loss since June 6-8 and only their second all summer. Wenatchee is 18-6 at home and welcomes the Edmonton Riverhawks for a three-game series starting Friday night at 6:35.

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