Kelowna Falcons

Bears Beat Falcons

The Kelowna Falcons suffered their third straight loss in the opening game of a three-game series against the Cowlitz Black Bears by a 6-2 score on Friday night at David Story Field.

The Falcons found themselves on the wrong side of the score in the opening inning of play as a walk lead to the first West Coast League at bat for Austin Bell, who delivered in a big way, crushing a two-run home run to right field off of Kelowna starter Dru Fitz to give the Black Bears an early 2-0 lead in the opening frame.

Cowlitz offensive attack continued in the 2nd inning with a lead-off triple coming courtesy of Isaac Deveaux which was followed up by a base hit from Dalton Mitchell, who got to third because of a missed played ball in the outfield. Jonathan Hodo drove him in with a single of his own and pushed the Black Bears lead to 4-0 after two innings.

The offense got a spark in the top half of the 3rd inning as returnee Matt Voelzke laced a liner up and over the right field bullpen for his first home run of the season off of starting pitcher Zach Heaton to make it a 4-1 game and was just the second hit for the Falcons up to that point.

Manager Bryan Donohue says the approach will have to improve from his hitters over the course of the summer, “I think the biggest key right now is finding a way to put competitive bats and good hard contact on the ball in situations. Strikeouts are easy to defend and we weren’t able to put much pressure on their defense tonight.”

The Black Bears did not let their five-run lead slip for long as another newcomer to the Cowlitz squad, in the likes of Anders Sosa, smacked a solo homer over the “Party Deck” in right field for his 1st homer of the summer and giving Cowlitz a 6-2 advantage.

Kelowna put a scare into the game in the 8th inning while loading the bases thanks to a pair of singles and a walk before Dan Pruitt moved the line along with a hot shot infield single for his 2nd RBI of the season and cut the lead to 6-2 but that would hold up as the game’s final score.

With another early lead going in favour of the opposition, Donohue says that the starting pitching will only improve as the summer wears on, “I think we’ve seen some growth out of pitchers so far and we’re just makig one or two mistakes that the other team is taking advantage of. If we can get settled in the first couple of innings and let our dangerous offense go to work, I think it will be a completely different script for this team.”

Starter Dru Fitz was saddled with the loss on the night, allowing 5 runs (3 earned) on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts while reliever Marty Maves picked up the win for Cowlitz, coming on in relief with a scoreless inning while striking out one to improve to 2-0 on the season. The two teams will battle against each other at David Story Field on Saturday night with first pitch scheduled at 6:35 PM on with Trevor Miller.

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