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Portland at Bend

When: 6:35 p.m. Tuesday

BELLINGHAM, Wash. — A ninth straight loss could hardly have come in more heartbreaking fashion for the Bend Elks.

With a two-run lead, no Bellingham runners on base and needing just one out for the win, the Elks surrendered five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Monday night and lost it 7-4 on Matt McLain’s grand slam homer.

The loss capped a three-game sweep at the Bells’ Joe Martin Field and sent the Elks home to open a series Tuesday night against the Portland Pickles at Vince Genna Stadium.

Wins have been hard to come by for the Elks, who since opening the second half of the West Coast League season with three straight victories had lost 13 of 14 going into Monday’s game. This one looked secure, though, as Bend took a 4-2 lead into the last of the ninth and sent WCL all-star Bradley Gonzales to the mound to seal the deal.

Gonzales retired the first two Bellingham batters he faced, then the Bells got two hits and closed within 4-3 on a wild pitch. After Gonzales issued a walk, he was lifted for Coen Wynne, who gave up a single by Dusty Stroup to fill the bases. McLain followed with the decisive blow, dropping Bend to 4-14 for the second half and 11-34 overall.

Nick Roberts had two hits for the Elks, as did Jake Holton, whose RBI single in the third inning got the visitors even at 1-1. Chris Diehl hit a two-run double in the fourth and scored on John Arndorfer’s double as Bend built a 4-1 lead.

—Bulletin staff report

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