Kelowna Falcons

Tough “Knight”

The Kelowna Falcons surrendered eleven 7th inning runs and eventually fell to the defending West Coast League Champion Corvallis Knights by a 16-7 score on Wednesday night at Elks Stadium.

The Knights opened the game with a 3-0 lead thanks to four hits in the opening half of the 1st inning off of Kelowna starter Jared Akin, but the Falcons offence responded in a big way for their starter.

Mike Piniero singled to right field with one out before Trent Tinglestad stepped in and on the first pitch, hammered a Connor Knutson fastball deep into right field for his 1st home run of the season to get the Falcons to within a run.

The offensive attack continued with four straight singles including Cody Crowder plating the game-tying run and Lucas Soper driving in the go-ahead run. Josh Figueroa made his first appearance of the summer and had a sac-fly into right field to extend the advantage to 5-3.

Falcons manager Bryan Donohue was happy with the way his group responded when down in the opening frame, “We’ve got guys up and down this lineup that, with one swing of the bat, we know that they will be chasing the ball to the fence. I think we’ve shown that we are capable of plating runs quickly when we swing the bat.”

Akin settled into a nice groove and retired two straight scoreless innings of work before the Falcons offence added a pair of runs in the 4th inning off of reliever Aaron Shoup. Figueroa came through with an RBI double to the left field gap before Matt Voelzke plated him with an RBI single and extended the Falcons lead to 7-3.

Akin handed the night off to the bullpen after allowing a single run in the 5th inning, allowing nine hits and four runs over his five innings of work when the turning point of the game hit in the top half of the 7th inning.

Corvallis sent 15 batters to the plate and tallied 11 runs in the inning as the Falcons cycled through 4 pitchers and struggled to find the strike zone, handing out five walks while hitting two batters. Juan Carreon, David Tongue, Jake Bigham and Wyatt Hummel combined to allow 6 hits through the inning as the Knights turned a 7-4 deficit into 15-7 lead.

Corvallis added a single run in the 8th inning to take a 16-7 lead, which would hold on as the eventual final score. Donohue was looking for more out of his pitching staff, especially when ahead in the count, “You’re just not going to win in this league being as unsharp as we were at times,” commented Donohue, “We got ahead in counts and tried to be too cute and ended up letting hitters off the hook. It’s something that our guys will have to recognize and move on from.”

Juan Carreon was saddled with the loss for the Falcons while left-hander Aaron Shoup picked up the win. Kelowna heads out on the road for the first time this season to take on the Cowlitz Black Bears for a three-game series in Longview, Washington beginning on Friday night. Catch all the action with the Voice of the Falcons, Trevor Miller with first pitch on Friday scheduled for 6:35 PM HERE.

PHOTO: Cary Mellon

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