WENATCHEE– The Wenatchee AppleSox (18-34, 8-17 second half), were held at bay for six innings by the Bellingham Bells (31-21, 16-9) until a Haydan Hastings home run game them new life, Friday night at Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium in a game the Bells won 4-3 in 11 innings.
Until the seventh, a three-run home run for Shane Hanon had provided all of the Bells’ offense. It came off of Matt Young in the third inning and was the first home run he had allowed all season. For Hanon, the WCL’s leading hitter, it was his second of the year.
Up 3-0, Spencer Howard cruised as the starter for the Bells, tossing five shutout innings on just two hits.
In the sixth, Jeff Gelinas had little trouble with the Sox, surrendering just a walk, however, in the seventh he let two aboard on a batter hit by pitch and a single, and was taken out for Jeff Zavisubin.
Hastings gave Zavisubin a rude welcome to the contest, launching his first pitch out of the ‘pen over the right field fence to tie the game 3-3. It was Hastings’ second home run of the season.
Tony Contonio covered for three innings in relief for Wenatchee behind Young’s six, however, the Sox couldn’t get a run and the game went into extras.
Without anymore rested arms, the AppleSox turned to Sheldon Liikala who threw two innings of one unearned run baseball, that included a brilliant strikeout of a Bell batter in the tenth on a pitch in the dirt.
Liikala gave up the unearned run on a single in the eleventh, and eventual throwing error, E6, that brought home the game’s winning run.
Sam Hellinger shut the door for the Bells and picked up his WCL-leading 12th save. Otis Statum singled in the inning, and got as far as second, but the Sox were unable to bring him around.
Walla Walla lost earlier in the night to help Bellingham clinch the fourth and final spot in the WCL playoffs. Game two of the series is Saturday night at 7:05 p.m., and Luke Mattson will pitch for Wenatchee.