By Joe Traub
For Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Sequim’s Evan Hurn came through in his Civic Field return, as the former Sequim High School and Wilder Baseball club star pounded out two extra-base hits, including a two-run home run in the second inning and a double later in the game. But despite two late-game comebacks, the Port Angeles Lefties fell 11-10 to the Bellingham Bells Friday night.
The Lefties trailed 8–4 as they came to bat in the bottom of the seventh, but trimmed the deficit to one run after Ronnie Rust delivered an RBI single, Charlie Nasuti grounded out to drive in a run and Connor Denning walked to bring Rust across home plate.
Barry Caine then struck out Dylan Cyr with the bases loaded to end the inning and preserve an 8–7 Bellingham lead.
In the top of the eighth inning, the Bells took advantage of shoddy defense, plating three runs on just one hit to go back in front by four runs.
But Damiano Palmegiani struck again in the bottom of the frame, blasting a three-run home run over the wall in left-center field to trim the Port Angeles deficit to 11–10. The blast marked the third straight game in which Palmegiani had gone deep.
Nasuti threw out Danny Martin at home trying to score from second base on a base hit to end the top of the ninth and keep the Lefties down by one. But Will Armbuester struck out the side in order to end the game and give the Bells a series-opening victory.
The Bells raced out to an 8–3 lead after four frames, getting to starting pitcher Carter Loewen for nine hits and eight earned runs in 3.2 innings. Collin Burns did the majority of the damage as he delivered a two-run single in the third and then belted a three-run shot to right-center on Loewen’s final pitch of the night in the fourth.
Palmegiani finished 2-for-4 with an RBI double in addition to his clutch home run.
A relentless, balanced offensive attack and a stingy pitching staff added up to a 10–1 Port Angeles victory over the Portland Pickles as the squad won their first West Coast League series of the season Thursday night.
Kade Mechals fired three scoreless innings on Thursday, allowing just one hit while walking three batters and striking out two.
Port Angeles scored single tallies in the third and fourth innings – coming from a sacrifice fly by Ronnie Rust and solo home run off the bat of Damiano Palmegiani, respectively.
Palmegiani struck again in the fifth inning with a two-run single through a drawn-in infield to plate Ethan Groff and Rust. The Lefties started to break things open in the sixth as Groff and Evan Hurn each singled in a run.
Port Angeles then took complete control in the seventh inning. Justin Fugitt and Dylan Cyr singled to start the frame. After a sacrifice fly by Trevor Rosenberg and a pair of wild pitches moved Cyr to third base, Alex Garcia singled up the middle to make it 8–0. Groff then doubled and Rust singled in Garcia following a pitching change.
The Lefties reached double-digits in the eighth inning on Rosenberg’s second sacrifice fly of the night.
Mechals, Michael Buchanan, Jonny Chavez, Ryan Moeller and Michael Fitch limited the Pickles to five hits after Portland only generated four the night before. In the series, Port Angeles pitching allowed a total of five runs on 17 hits.
Groff and Rust led the way at the top of the order with three knocks apiece.
Port Angeles (4-3, 2-2 WCL) played Bellingham late Saturday and will host the Bells in the finale of a three-game home stand today at 1:35 p.m. Lefties broadcaster Joe Traub will provide the play-by-play of game two from Civic Field.