Kelowna Falcons

Cats Take Two

The Falcons finally got to the baseball field Sunday afternoon after having games postponed on Friday and Saturday. Game one against the visiting Victoria Harbourcats was set for Friday night, but wet field conditions pushed the game to Saturday, setting the stage for a doubleheader. Mother Nature chose not to cooperate though, raining out both Saturday games as well.

With the sun finally out on Sunday, the only two Canadian clubs in the West Coast League met for the first time this season in an afternoon/evening doubleheader. The Falcons were back at Elks Stadium after a 3-game series sweep against the Walla Walla Sweets that saw their winning streak stretched to 5, and their record go to 5-1 for the year.

The Harbourcats, fresh off a series sweep of their own, came into the Okanagan looking to knock the Falcons off their perch atop the North division, and they did just that, taking both games of the doubleheader, and moving both clubs to 5-3 on the season.

With the doubleheader cramming two baseball games into one afternoon, the teams played abbreviated 7-inning matchups in place of full 9-inning games. The afternoon’s first meeting ended with a 5-1 ‘cats victory. It was a close affair throughout, scoreless all the way until the fifth, when the Falcons grabbed the game’s first lead. They held onto it until the seventh, when the visitors knotted it up. The eighth inning served as ‘extras’ due to the shorter outings, and after giving up 4 runs to the visitors, the birds couldn’t match the offensive output, falling 5-1.

Pitcher Blake McKinney took the loss in game 1. He came into the game in relief of starter Jordon Ragan, who went 6 2/3 innings, allowing only 1 earned run and 1 walk.

The story of game 1 wasn’t the score though; it was the fireworks in the extra inning. A Harbourcats base runner up-ended the Falcons’ Lane Lacrone with a hard slide into second. Lacrone took exception to the slide and after some pushing and shoving, things got heated and both dugouts emptied onto the infield for some rough stuff, resulting in ejections on both sides. After a lengthy delay and the ‘cats eventual victory, the sides took a break and met again nearly an hour later for game two.

The late game of the day also went to the visitors, though it wasn’t quite as tight as game 1. The Falcons took an early 1-0, but the Harbourcats responded in the second with 2 runs of their own, before going on to score in each of the next 3 innings. The birds mustered up a run in the fifth, but the club from the Island had already hung 7 on the scoreboard by that point. Both teams added one each in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough for a Falcons team that didn’t look sharp throughout the day.

Coach Bryan Donohue gave credit where it was due, but he thought his club was their own worst enemy today: “We come in riding a five-game win streak, then all of a sudden we don’t take care of our own business and look what happens, we get beat twice.”

The winning streak may have ended for the Falcons, but another streak stayed alive. Lane Lacrone had a two-hit game in the early matchup, putting him aboard in every game this season. He didn’t get a chance to extend the streak however, as he sat for Sunday’s second game. He’ll look to keep his hot streak alive on Tuesday when the Falcons travel to Corvallis to take on the Knights.

Game 3 of the Falcons/Harbourcats series will be played at a later date, yet to be announced.

Story courtesy of Matt Inglis – Falcons Media

Photo courtesy of Matt Inglis

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