The Kelowna Falcons made it three straight West Coast League wins with a 2-1 victory Sunday night over the Yakima Valley Pippins.
On Saturday at Elks Stadium, the Falcons opened the series with a win courtesy of a walkoff home run from Ian Dawkins. This time around the star of the show was Kade Mechals, the starting pitcher out of Western Oregon University.
Mechals pitched eight scoreless innings, allowing just four hits and striking out five.
Head Coach Bryan Donohue was extremely impressed with the performance of Mechals.
“He pitched,” Donohue said. “He had some guys battle some tough counts on him but he found ways to get outs. That’s why he’s back here. He came out last year and did the same thing for us but I just think he’s that much better this year. To come out and throw eight scoreless innings in his first outing is going to help us immensely moving forward.”
The Falcons didn’t generate much offense but manufactured the runs they needed.
“Their pitcher pitched a hell of a game,” said Donohue. “In my opinion, that was probably the best pitching performance we’ve seen. He was able to get so many strikeouts early and we were really struggling.
“Some team baseball got this all started,” he added. “We played some hit and run and Matt Voelzke was able to get Ian Dawkins to third. Taylor Wright came up with a massive two-out hit and then Matt Bottcher our new guy was able to record another two-out hit. Getting that second run was huge. The way this game was going just it felt like more.”
Brayden Price, the big righty out of West Texas A&M, came on in the ninth to close out the ball game.
“He’s a competitor,” Donohue said of Price. “He came out and got ahead of hitters. We lost their leadoff guy and Price got away from himself with the second batter but did a good job after of making sure that we weren’t going to allow the runs to score. They got the one but we were okay with that to get the out. He found a way to battle back and get the win for us.”
The Falcons will go for the series sweep when they meet the Pippins tonight at 6:35 p.m.