Kelowna Falcons

Falcons Claw ‘Cats

The Kelowna Falcons got eight strong innings of work from Jared Akin plus big nights from Cody Crowder and Austen Butler to help them to a 7-1 victory over the Victoria HarbourCats on Wednesday night at Elks Stadium.

For the first time in eight games, the Falcons scored the opening run of the ballgame with Matt Voelzke getting on base with an infield single and advanced to second on a throwing error from third baseman Aharon Modlin. Voelzke was brought in by Crowder, who sent a ball up the middle for a single that was knocked down by second baseman Trey Bigford but could not make the throw to first and put Kelowna ahead by a 1-0 score.

From there, Akin and HarbourCats starter Clark Streby locked in a pitcher’s duel with Akin working his way around a bases-loaded two-out jam in the 4th inning to keep the game 1-0. Sterby lasted five innings and handed the night off to the bullpen, which is when the Falcons offence started to break the game open.

Thomas Rudinsky opened the 6th inning with a double off of reliever Jason Solt before Ryan Fish looped a double into right field to put a pair of runners on base for Butler, who grounded out to bring home a run and give the Falcons a 2-0 advantage.

Tylor Nixon drew a four-pitch walk and stole second to set the stage for Steffen Torgersen, who sent a base hit up the middle and plated a pair with his single that pushed the Falcons lead to 4-0 and forced Lawson Humphries into the game in relief of Solt for Victoria.

As Akin continued along with his strong outing, the Falcons offence continued to add to the lead with Crowder leading off the 7th inning on a walk and stole second which forced an errant throw from catcher Matt Clayton before Nate Pecota missed his throw to third and allowed Crowder to score.

A sacrifice fly from Ryan Fish was followed by an RBI double off the bat of Butler for his second RBI of the night put the Falcons ahead by a 7-0 score, something which Head Coach Bryan Donohue was impressed to see how the offence was being spread around, “(Thomas) Rudinsky had a couple of hits and (Austen) Butler had a couple of good team at-bats before his double,” said Donohue, “I was proud to see those guys that don’t necessarily get in games in consecutive days to come out and do what they did for us.”

The lone blemish on the night for Akin was in the 8th inning as Trey Bigford sent a ball over the wall in left field for a solo home run to get the HarbourCats on the board but Akin worked through the 8th and finished his start strong. Just one run allowed on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks for the Hillsboro, Oregon native before handing the ball to Travis Martizia, who threw a scoreless 9th inning in his first appearance as a Falcon and iced a 7-1 win for Kelowna.

“We scored some runs off of some strong team at-bats in the way of sacrifice flies and ground balls,” commented Donohue, “And when you get that plus the kind of pitching we got tonight and the defense playing the way they did, you’re going to be really tough to beat.”

Akin picked up his first win of the season while Justin Solt was saddled with the loss for Victoria. The Falcons will look for their first series win of the season as they conclude their three-game series against the HarbourCats on Thursday night at Elks Stadium. It’s Canadian Night at the ballpark as fans are encouraged to wear right and white with first pitch is scheduled for 6:35 PM with tickets available for purchase HERE.

PHOTO: Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *