The Kelowna Falcons defeated the Cowlitz Black Bears 8-6 in West Coast League action Tuesday night at Elks’ Stadium.
With the win, the Falcons (14-9) have taken the series against Cowlitz and will go for the sweep into night’s final tilt.
Kelowna is now in first place in the West Coast League’s North Division with a win. They are tied with the Bellingham Bells, but the Falcons own the head-to-head series 2-1.
The Falcons came out guns blazing and scored five runs in the bottom of the first. They then continued the onslaught and crossed the plate three more times in the bottom of the second. Kelowna would need all of those runs as the Black Bears put together a late game rally which saw them score five runs in the final two innings.
Cal Hehnke, Kelowna’s starter, was excellent and pitched eight innings while giving up six hits and three earned runs. He also walked one and struck out eight. He is now first on the Falcons in terms of striking batters out and his record remains a polished and perfect 3-0.
Bryan Donohue was happy with his starting pitcher.
“He attacked hitters really well. He trusted his stuff and used his velocity to beat some of their better hitters. If a guy gets a big hit, it doesn’t phase him. He’s able to come right back. Good job by him by staying focused and pitching clean.”
Despite the eight runs scored, Donohue wanted a bit more out of his batting lineup.
“I was a bit frustrated with our hitters, Donohue said. “We had some opportunities to add on a run here and there that we didn’t convert. We’ll use that as a learning point for us.
“It’s two nights in a row where essentially, they gave us some free bases and we made them pay for it,” he added. “The middle of the order was the ticket again for us. I’ve just been really proud of the guys lately. When we’ve had opportunities when an opposing pitcher or defense give us some base runners, we’ve done a good job of cleaning things up.”
Shea Barry came into the ninth inning and had a rough go. He was replaced by Sam Menegat, who came into the situation with the bases loaded and no outs. He was able to pitch his way out of trouble and save the game.
“Really good job by Sam Menegat to come in and get three contact outs. It was a good job to come in with the bases loaded and nobody out and throw strikes. I thought he was really competitive for us. ”
The Falcons go for the sweep tonight at home. First pitch will be at 6:35 pm.
The Falcons are also proud to announce a fireworks show following their home game on Wednesday night. The fireworks show will take place post game and is free to watch with a game ticket.
Wednesday night is also the annual Firefighters Burn Fund Fundraiser game. A number of members from the Kelowna Fire Department will be on hand with games, a truck and prizes. All gate admission will be donated to the fund.