The Bellingen Brewers lost consecutive games in B grade for the first time this season, letting a late lead slip away against the Sawtell Dodgers. In an error-filled contest, Sawtell scored twice in each of the final two innings while holding the Brewers scoreless, to turn a 10-7 deficit into a narrow 11-10 victory.
Bellingen got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, but the Dodgers answered with four in the top of the second inning to take a 4-2 lead.
The Brewers came right back with three runs in the bottom of the second, the rally starting with two out as Scott Hansen reached on an error, stole second base and scored on Mick Nelson's hit. But Sawtell responded again with a single run to level the scores in the top of the third inning, then two more runs in the top of the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.
Bellingen looked to take control of the game in the bottom of the fourth. After Hansen and Nelson started the inning off with hits, the Brewers went on to score five times, all runs crossing the plate on wild pitches.
From there, however, the Brewers bats fell silent. Sawtell scored two runs after two were out in the fifth inning to pull within 10-9. They retired Bellingen quickly in the bottom of the frame to extend the game another inning, scored twice more, then held the Brewers off the scoreboard again to steal the win, 11-10.
In the A grade encounter that followed, Bellingen was without half its starting line-up and it showed, as the Dodgers rolled to an easy win, 17-2.
Trailing 9-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning, the Brewers mounted their one scoring threat of the day. Callum Rayner, Jon Lowe, Rob Kozik and Paul Holding started the inning with four consecutive singles to score one run, then with two out Hansen walked to force in another, but that was all Bellingen could manage.
The Brewers will be back in action against the Coffs Harbour Allstars next Saturday.