BELLINGHAM — Well, it had to end sometime.
After seven-straight victories and two consecutive sweeps, the AppleSox winning streak was extinguished Friday night with the Bells taking the first game of the series 7-5, at Joe Martin Field.
Bells’ ace, Nick Proctor, tamed the Sox through six innings, striking out six and allowing just three hits. At one point, he retired 13 straight Wenatchee batters, but the AppleSox finally got to him in the seventh.
Proctor gave up a single to Johnny Sage to lead off the inning before plunking Dalton Harum and walking Blake Klassen to load the bases. That was all Bellingham coach, Bob Miller needed to see to bring in Danny Garcia in relief. He fared no better.
After Sage scored on a wild pitch, Hunter Montgomery doubled home Harum to pull the Sox within one, before Dylan McPhillips knocked a double of his own, plating both Klassen and Montgomery. McPhillips was later driven in on an RBI single from Kodie Kolden to extend the lead to 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Seth Kuykendall, who again was superb for the AppleSox and gave them six quality innings, was in-line for the win after Wenatchee’s rally. But the bullpen, which has been so solid over the last week, could not hold.
Trent Sellers got through the seventh unscathed but walked the leadoff batter in the eighth before giving up a two-run bomb to WLC home run leader, Troy Viola that tied the game at 5-5. Sellers then walked his next batter and was pulled.
“I thought Sellers was over-throwing a bit,” AppleSox head coach Kyle Krustangel told broadcaster Joel Norman post-game. “He gave up a leadoff walk and then a two-run bomb to a tough hitter who took a good swing and has hit a lot of homers. He got extended and is a patient hitter, working the count to 2-1 and got himself a good pitch.”
Sellers’ replacement, Ryan Isler, walked the first batter he faced and then loaded the bases after Bells’ pinch-hitter Danny Martin laid a perfect bunt single down the third baseline.
Isler eventually worked his way out of the jam, but not before issuing two more walks and allowing the Bells to tack on two additional runs.
It just ultimately wasn’t the pen’s night.
Wenatchee had a chance after getting its first two batters on to start the ninth, but they were both left stranded following two pop-ups and a strikeout.
Isler gets hit with the loss while Garcia nabs the win. The AppleSox will look to rebound Saturday night with ace Jake Baum on the hill. First pitch is at 6:35 p.m.