Bellingham, Wash. —
The Porltand Pickles fell 3-2 on a Father’s Day Sunday afternoon to the Bells in the series finale in Bellingham, Washington. The Bells earned the sweep, wining by scores of 2-1, 3-2 and 3-2, and have won five in a row. The Pickles have dropped three straight after ripping off five straight wins entering the series. Portland (9-5) remains in first place in the West Coast League South division, maintaining a half-game lead on the Corvallis Knights, also winners of five straight.
Bellingham struck first with three runs in the second inning, but the Pickles came back with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Sam Novitske and Zander Clarke led off the frame with singles, and a Daniel Lopez groundout advanced the runners into scoring position. Joey Cooper followed with a ground ball through the right side, scoring Novitske with Portland’s first run. Brody Barnum made a productive out with an RBI groundout that scored Clarke and made it a 3-2 game.
Both pitching staffs settled in after that, with zeroes going up on the board the rest of the way. Portland put the potential tying run in scoring position in the sixth and eighth innings, but could not bring it home. Bellingham had four pitchers combine to seal the win, surrendering zero walks in the game. Portland out-hit the Bells 9-4 in the contest.
Michael Newstrom pitched four innings in his start for the Pickles, allowing three runs with just one earned run. He struck out five and walked three, allowing two hits. Colin Suter threw four innings of effective relief, allowing no runs on just two hits, walking none and striking out three.
Gio Diaz went 1-for-4 for a third straight game, leading the Pickles offensively in the series. Catcher Daniel Edson went 2-for-4 on Sunday and Joey Cooper had two hits including an RBI-knock.
The Pickles host a non-league series with the Gresham Greywolves of the Great West League beginning Tuesday night at Walker Stadium. Then, the West Coast League schedule resumes with a three-game series next weekend at the Walla Walla Sweets.
Be sure to follow the team by visiting the Portland Pickles Facebook page, as well as on Instagram and Twitter @PicklesBaseball and PortlandPicklesBaseball.com