Falcons in Walla Walla for three

Kelowna wins two of first three West Coast League games of 2014 baseball season

After winning their season-opening series against Victoria, the Kelowna Falcons take to  the road this week for West Coast League action.

On Tuesday, the Falcons will be in Walla Walla to open a three-game series against the East Division-rival Sweets.

The Falcons are 2-1 after getting the better of the Victoria Harbourcats in a three-game series last weekend at Elks Stadium.

Despite Josh Croft’s two-run blast in the eighth inning, the Falcons came up just shy on Friday, losing the home opener 7-6 in front of 1,752 fans.

Kelowna rebounded on Saturday with a 9-7 win, as the Falcons rallied back from a 6-1 deficit with a seven-run fifth inning. Scotland Church and Jared Smith each had a pair of hits in the win.

On Sunday, Canadian Jeremy Newton tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings as the Falcons scored a 4-1 win in the series finale, despite managing only four hits.

However, with 19 runs scored over three games, GM Mark Nonis feels relatively confident about the capability of the Falcons’ offence.

“Offensively, our guys did a pretty good job of stepping up this weekend, even though we didn’t get many hits in the third game,” said Nonis. “Our starting pitchers struggled in Games 1 and 2, so that’s an area we’ll need to shore up. (Jeremy) Newton threw very well in the last game, so that was good to see.”

The Falcons are expecting four more players, including two pitchers, to join the ball club in the next week. Among them is highly-touted second baseman Tyler Brown from Southern Nevada College.

Top prospects K.J. Harrison and Andrew Godbold, who the Falcons were hoping to have on the roster this season, were both taken last week in the MLB draft. The status of those two players will depend on whether they choose to sign a pro contract.

Meanwhile, the Falcons return home this weekend as they open a three-game series against the Cowlitz Black Bears. The first pitch Friday at Elks Stadium is set for 6:35 p.m.

Falcons drafted…

Led by first-rounder Connor Joe, four former members of the Kelowna Falcons were selected last week in the Major League Baseball Draft.

Joe, an infielder and catcher with the Falcons in 2011, went 39th overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ex-Falcons Jace Conrad went in the 13th round to the Tampa Bay Rays, Brian Wolfe went in the 20th round to the Los Angeles Dodgers, while the Arizona Diamondbacks took Nate Robertson in the 27th.


Kelowna Capital News