Bellingham, Wash. —
The Pickles suffered another 1-run defeat Saturday night visiting the Bellingham Bells by a final score of 3-2. Portland led 2-1 entering the bottom of the ninth, but the home Bells rallied to score twice, capped by a walk-off single to deep right field by pinch-hitter Matt James.
It is the second straight 1-run loss for Portland, who fell 2-1 on Friday night. The Pickles are now 9-4 overall, and their lead at the top of the West Coast League South division is 1-1/2 games over the Corvallis Knights.
Trailing 1-0 after four, the Pickles took the lead in the fifth inning when Sam Novitske (Fr ‘19 - Oregon) and Noah Cardenas (Fr ‘19 - UCLA) produced consecutive 1-out singles to left field. Jace McKinney (Jr ‘19 - University of Portland) drew a full-count walk, and lead-off hitter Gio Diaz (So ‘19 - St Mary’s College) scored Novitske with another single to left. Carson Breshears (RS Sr ‘19 - Gonzaga) followed with a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Cardenas and putting Portland in front 2-1, a lead that would stand until the ninth.
Brad McVay (So ‘19 - University of Portland) threw five innings of scoreless ball in his first start of the summer for the Pickles. Damon Treadwell (Fr ‘19 - Cal) followed with two innings of scoreless relief. Max Jones (Sr ‘19 - Cal St-Monterey Bay) went 1/3 innings, leaving with runners on the corners and 1-out in the 8th inning. But reliever Brad Bonnefant (Sr’ 19 - University Nevada-Reno) got a strikeout and groundout to end the threat and keep Portland in front by a run. Bellingham (9-5) pushed two runs across off Bonnefant in the bottom of the ninth, though, to get the win.
The Pickles look to salvage the series finale Sunday afternoon on Father’s Day at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham, Wash. First pitch is set for 3:05pm. Hear every Pickles game on AM-860 The Answer, or streaming on the “Listen Live” tab of PortlandPicklesBaseball.com. Be sure to also follow the Pickles on social media on Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram @PicklesBaseball.