The Kelowna Falcons worked their way back from a three-run deficit but could not get ahead as they fell in Game #2 of the North Division Final to the Bellingham Bells by a 4-3 score in 12 innings on Saturday night at Joe Martin Field.
Pitching dominated the game as each the Falcons and Bells staffs gave outstanding efforts before Jordan Stoner collected a two-out, RBI single in the 12th inning to extend the Bells season and tie the series 1-1 and force a winner-take-all Game #3 on Sunday night.
The Bells were first to get on the scoreboard for the second straight night as Cody Pasic led off the 2nd inning with a solo home run to right field off of Kelowna starter James Brooks to give Bellingham a 1-0 lead after two innings of play.
After stranding a pair of runners in the second, the Bells offence came to work in the 3rd inning as they collected four hits with the big hit being a two-run, two-out single from Landen Kimbro that’s extended the Bellingham advantage to 3-0 after three innings.
Brooks settled into a nice groove after that while Bells starter Nick Nastrini had the Falcons off balance, allowing no hits through the first three innings before getting on the board in the 4th.
Dan Pruitt continued his strong finish to the regular season with the Falcons first hit of the game leaving the ballpark to left field for his 1st home run of the playoffs that got Kelowna with a pair of runs at 3-1.
Kellan Richards came on to relieve Brooks in the 5th innings and was outstanding in the game, throwing 2.2 innings allowing just one hit before giving way to Cal Hehnke in the 8th frame.
Bellingham got six strong innings from Nastrini before going to Theron Kay, who pitched into the 8th inning where the Falcons got their way back in the game.
Taylor Wright clubbed a solo home run to right field for the second straight night to get the Falcons within a run and loaded the bases with two outs for Ezra Samperi, who drew a walk off of Ben Leeper to tie the game up at 3-3. Matt Land struck out to end the treat as Kelowna couldn’t take the lead.
Hehnke and Leeper each battled against each other for the 9th as the game shifted into extra innings with Hehnke going 4 strong innings allowing no hits while Leeper pitched 2.2 before handing off the ball to Austin Weiermiller.
The pitching held the game tied into the 12th, where Ernie’s Yake led off with a walk on reliever Isaac Olson and got to third base with two outs for Jordan Stoner to deliver the game winning hit and keep the Bells season alive.
Olson took the loss in the game, allowing a run on one hit and one walk while Weiermiller picked up the victory in the game, tossing two innings of scoreless ball allowing no hits.
The Falcons and Bells will conclude their North Division Final best-of-three series with an all decisive Game #3 coming from Bellingham on Sunday. First pitch is set for 6:35 PM at Joe Martin Field with the game being broadcasted live on the Falcons Broadcast Network with the Voice of the Falcons, Trevor Miller.