Kelowna Falcons

4th Of July Victory

The Kelowna Falcons wrapped up their six-game road trip with an Independence Day victory by a 5-4 score over the Port Angeles Lefties on Wednesday night at Civic Field.

The Kelowna pitching had a strong night as James Brooks, Isaac Olson and Cal Hehnke combined for 11 strikeouts while Grant Suponchick led the offence with a home run and the game winning RBI in the 7th inning as the Falcons avoided the sweep and finished the first half of their season on a winning note.

For the first time in four games, the Falcons were the ones to strike first in the ballgame and took an early 2-0 lead in the opening inning of play. Austen Butler drove in Tylor Nixon on an RBI single before Trent Tinglestad brought home his 217-84th run batted in this season to take a two-run lead.

James Brooks started the game for Kelowna and went through the first two innings allowing just one hit and striking out four before the Lefties started to get their offence going and got within a run on an RBI double from Justin Vandebrake in the 3rd inning to make it a 2-1 Falcons lead.

Kelowna had an answer for that with a run of their own in the top half of the 4th inning as Ryan Fish got on base for the second of what would be four times on the night with an RBI single that cashed Suponchick and put the Falcons ahead again.

In a back-and-forth affair, the Lefties got within a run once again with an RBI single off of the bat of Kyle Morgan that pulled Port Angeles closer and cut the deficit to 3-2 and would press more in the 5th inning but Brooks worked his way out of a 5th and 6th inning jam to complete his outing, allowing two runs on five hits and six strikeouts.

“I thought our pitchers did well,” said Falcons head coach Bryan Donohue, “Brooks did a good job of minimizing tonight and was really proud of our hitters tonight; the approach was good and we were swinging at good pitches so it’s a good win for us.”

Grant Suponchick continued his hot road trip with a solo home run out to left field as he took a curveball and smashed it over the wall for his 2nd homer of the season and a 4-2 lead for Kelowna into the late innings.

Suponchick drove in his second RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly to give the Falcons a 5-2 lead before the Lefties struck in the bottom half of the frame, scoring twice on back-to-back home runs from Ron Brown and Dalton Harum to cut the Falcon lead to 5-4 before Cal Hehnke entered the game.

“It was good to get a quality win like that against a team that had our number last night,” commented Hehnke, “I like being the guy who can come in and get ready quickly and shut the door.”

Hehnke struck out two batters in the 8th and 9th before getting a groundout to end the ballgame and pick up the five-out save, his fourth of the season. James Brooks improved to 2-0 with the win while Baxter Halligan fell to 1-3 on the season with the loss on the mound.

The Falcons (15-12) officially open the second half of their season with a six-game home stand, beginning with their first ever matchup against the North Division’s Portland Pickles (17-8) for a three-game series starting on Friday night. Tickets can be purchased on the Falcons website or at the door ahead of the first pitch, which is scheduled for 6:35 PM.

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