Kelowna Falcons

Next Stop: Kitsap

Three down and six to go on the road as the Falcons open a three game series in Kitsap tonight against the Bluejackets.

Yesterday the Falcons (12-6) won both games of the doubleheader in Yakima and took over first place in the West Coast League’s (WCL) East Division.  Yakima now trails the Falcons by just half a game and find themselves in Bellingham starting on Tuesday.

What a difference a year makes. Last season the Falcons won just 14 games.  Fast forward and with a series win in Kitsap the club will already reach the 14 win plateau, with a chance at 15 with a series sweep.

The offense has been solid hitting at a .291 clip with a .387 on base percentage.   Hunter Villanueva continues to swing a hot bat, with a .348 average and leads the club with 23 hits.  Justin Flores has been a big bat in the middle of the order with 22 hits, three homers and shares the team’s RBI lead with Villanueva as each player has 12 RBIs.

Pitching has been good for the Falcons as well with a 3.93 team ERA allowing 70 earned runs, which is among the lowest in the WCL.

This does have the makings of a low scoring series as both pitching staffs don’t give up a lot of offence. Kitsap’s pitching staff boasts the league’s lowest ERA at 2.88.  In their 18 games they have allowed a league low 51 earned runs and 139 hits.    They do however pitch to hit and let their defence do the work, much like the Falcons staff.  The Jackets have struck out just 115 batters, third fewest in the WCL.  The Falcons have fanned 114.

The Bluejackets (9-9) offence has not been very dangerous yet this season.  They have scored just 70 runs, only Medford has scored fewer.  As a team they are hitting .256 with 158 hits and just a pair of homers.  Catcher Tyrus Greene is hitting .381 in 21 at bats without an extra base hit.  Brett Bautista leads the team with 25 hits.

The Falcons are making their first trip back to the Kitsap Fairgrounds for the first time since the 2013 summer.  All time the club is 11-16 in Kitsap, but are 28-26 overall since the Bluejackets entered the league in 2005.

Monday night right hander Michael Koval will start for the Falcons, while Kitsap counters with lefty Cameron Weinberg (0-1).  Tyler Gillies starts Tuesday night for the visitors, then Joel Lamont heads to the hill in the series finale.

Listen to all three games of this series with the voice of the Falcons Kyle Anderson HERE.

The Falcons return home on July 6th to open a series with Klamath Falls.

Photo courtesy of Greystoke Photography

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