Kelowna Falcons

‘Cats Fight Back

The Kelowna Falcons made a valiant come from behind effort but eventually fell in the rubber match of their three-game series against the Victoria HarbourCats by a 4-3 score on Thursday night at Elks Stadium.

The HarbourCats were the first to hit the scoreboard in the 2nd inning off of Kelowna starter Stone Churby thanks to an RBI single from Jack Smith, cashing in Jedidiah Fagg from second base for an early 1-0 advantage. Smith was moved to 3rd and brought home on a two-out RBI single from Caleb Ricketts that pushed the lead to 2-0 in favour of Victoria.

Churby got into a jam in the 3rd inning after the bases were loaded with HarbourCats but got Hayden Jaco to line out to end the threat and settled into a nice groove up until the 5th inning when the HarbourCats were able to get on the board again and it was again Smith who would deliver.

After a double off the bat of Matt Clayton, who was moved to 3rd base on a fly ball to right field, Smith sent a ringing base hit up the middle for his second RBI of the night and extended the Victoria lead to three runs before the Falcons offence started to chip away at the deficit.

Jake Fischer opened the bottom of the 5th inning with a single to left field that brought Davis Todosichuk up to the dish and delivered a hard-hit ball that banged off the center field wall that for an RBI triple and cut the HarbourCats lead to 3-1. Matt Voelzke came up right after a drove Todosichuk in with a sacrifice fly to right field as the deficit was cut to 3-2.

Kelowna came out with a strong push in the 6th inning as Taylor Wright was hit by a pitch to open the frame before a pair of outs lead to a two-out walk to Mike Piniero and ended the game for Goodall. Nathan Walker came in for relief and had trouble finding the strike zone, hitting Fischer before walking the pinch hitter Cody Crowder to tie the score at 3-3. Walker was lifted for Tyler Yoshirara, who struck out Voelzke to end the threat and leave the bases loaded.

Head Coach Bryan Donohue said postgame it was an offensive approach he had not seen from his team so far this summer, “In big situations, we were striking out and leaving runners on, something we have not been doing all season so far,” said Donohue, “We had a lot of big swings and fly ball outs tonight that weren’t able to advance baserunners. They made big pitches and big plays in those situations; we just have to do a better job at putting a quality swing and at-bat together.”

Churby pitched into the 7th inning and surrendered just the three runs on six hits while striking out four batters and walking two and provided a quality start for Falcons. “He wanted to stay out there as long as he could,” commented Donohue, “It was unfortunate to see those early runs go against him on balls that weren’t hard hit bit he battled and gave us a deep start.”

Trevor Brigden took over in the 8th inning and the first batter he faced would decide the ballgame as Fagg lifted a solo home run over the left field fence for a 4-3 HarbourCats lead which was held onto with strong pitching out of the bullpen from Yoshirara and Po-Jui Huang.

Yoshirara earned the win on the mound with his 1.1 innings of work out of the bullpen with Huang picked up his second save of the season. Brigden suffered his second loss of the season.

The Falcons head out on the road for an extended six-game where they visit the Wenatchee Apple Sox on Saturday for a three-game series before making their way to Yakima Valley to face the Pippins for three games beginning on Tuesday night. Kelowna returns home to Elks Stadium on Friday, June 22nd against the Pippins. Catch each game on the Falcons Broadcast Network HERE with the Voice of the Falcons, Trevor Miller.

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