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Bells put end to HarbourCats' season

Bellingham beats Victoria 4-2 to sweep series
Victoria HarbourCats pitcher Nick Lee bats against the Bellingham Bells in Game one of WCL first round playoff series at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria on Aug. 9, 2022. The HarbourCats season came to a close in Bellingham on Wednesday night. DARREN STONE, TIMES COLONIST

The Victoria HarbourCats pushed the Bellingham Bells to the limit on Wednesday night at Joe Martin Field, but couldn’t keep the West Coast League North Division first-half champs from completing the sweep of their best-of-three first-round series.

After the HarbourCats took a 2-1 lead in the top half of the eighth inning, thanks to a sacrifice fly RBI from Nick Lee, the Bells delighted the home crowd by plating three in the bottom half of the inning to come away with a 4-2 victory.

The Bells, who beat the ­HarbourCats 8-2 in the series opener on Tuesday night at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park, now move on to face the Wenatchee AppleSox in the one-game, winner-take-all North Division final. The AppleSox made quick work of the expansion Kamloops ­NorthPaws, easily sweeping their first-round series.

On Wednesday, the HarbourCats got a strong start from pitcher Flynn Ridley who went five innings while giving up just one run and striking out five. Ben Smedshammer took the loss for Victoria, allowing three runs in two innings of work.

In the South Division, the Corvallis Knights forced a deciding game in their first round series by beating the Yakima Valley Pippins 5-3. Game 3 goes tonight in Corvallis. The winner moves on to the play the Ridgefield ­Raptors.

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