Kelowna Falcons

Falcons Open Season

The Kelowna Falcons and Victoria Harbourcats will renew acquaintances to open up the 2015 West Coast League Season Friday – Sunday at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.

This traditional opening series between the two Canadian teams, has seen a split in series winners (Victoria 3-0 sweep in 2013, Kelowna won 2-1 in 2014), and always excites fans as the opening series should.

The Kelowna Falcons have 43 players set to don the uniform this season, but only 23 will be making the trip to Vancouver Island.

Among those set to play on Friday are returning Pitchers Sam Murphy (Lake Worth, FL – University of Nebraska-Omaha), Joel Lamont (White Rock, BC – Okanagan College), and returning outfielder Brandon Grimsley (Shawnee, OK – Southeastern Oklahoma State University).

Second year head coach Billy Clontz has put together a roster that he believes “will be more cohesive, and be ready to compete for one another.”

While the starting rotation has not been announced, possibilities include Jayse Bannister (Kamuela, HI – Holy Names University), Elias Bedolla (Fremont, CA – Ohlone College), and Lamont.

Bannister threw 83.1 innings this spring and compiled a 3-4 record with a 3.67 ERA, while Bedolla had a 2.93 ERA in 86 innings. He finished with a 7-2 record.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Falcons hope that Grimsley can continue his good numbers from the college season. He hit .373 with 40 RBI’s, and was named 2nd-team All-Central Region by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.

Other notable players for opening weekend include Ben Gamba (Vacaville, CA – Holy Names University) who hit .379 with 29 RBI’s in 48 games. He also drew 28 walks.

A pair of players hit for an identical average of .386, as Ben White (Yucaipa, CA – La Verne University) joins the Falcons for Friday’s game, he added 48 RBI’s and was walked 23 times for a .480 OBP.

The other player hitting .386 is Kirby McGuire (Round Rock, TX – Mclennan College), and he will arrive in Kelowna in time for the June 9th Home Opener after falling in the JUCO World Series final. Mcguire had 49 RBI’s in 60 games this season. He will be joined by his college teammate and returning player Will Fox (Montgomery, TX – Mclennan College) for Tuesday at Elks Stadium.

You can follow the Falcons on the road in Victoria HERE by tuning in to Harbourcats radio voice Jordan Smith.

After this weekend’s opening series, Kyle Anderson will have all the Kelowna Falcons action on HERE starting with the June 9th Home Opener. Pre-game show starts 15 minutes prior to first pitch.

Photo courtesy of ISN Victoria

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