Kelowna Falcons

Series Preview: HarbourCats

The Kelowna Falcons head out on the start of a six-game road trip as they touch down in the provincial capital for their final matchups of the season against the Victoria HarbourCats with a three-game series starting on Saturday night at Royal Athletic Park.


2019 Season Series:

Friday, June 14th @ Elks Stadium (15-5 HarbourCats) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, June 15th @ Elks Stadium (12-1 HarbourCats) (BOXSCORE)

Sunday, June 16th @ Elks Stadium (4-3 Falcons/10) (BOXSCORE)

Saturday, June 29th @ Royal Athletic Park (6:35 PM)

Sunday, June 30th @ Royal Athletic Park (6:35 PM)

Monday, July 1st @ Royal Athletic Park (1:05 PM)

2019 Returnees:

P Wyatt Hummel (Okanagan College/West Kelowna, BC)

P Ian Turner (Mt. Hood Community College/Maple Valley, Washington)

INF Jake Fischer (Okanagan College/Edmonton, AB)

INF Ezra Samperi (Mt. Hood Community College/Gresham, Oregon)

INF Tylor Nixon (Yakima Valley Community College/Hamilton, Montana)

INF Dan Pruitt (Western Oklahoma State/Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

INF Matt Voelzke (George Fox University/Lake Oswego, Oregon)

OF Austen Butler (University of British Columbia/Port Coquitlam, BC)

Between The Foul Poles:


  • The Falcons head to Victoria with three wins in their last five games after besting the Cowlitz Black Bears in a three-game series before splitting a rain-shortened two-game set with the Portland Pickles at home through the week. Portland opened the series on Tuesday with a 4-0 victory, holding Kelowna to just three hits before the Falcons responded in a big way, putting up 14 hits in a 9-4 win Wednesday. 5 innings were played in Thursday’s finale but that’s as far as the game got before rain would call for a cancelation.
  • The 14 hits for the Falcons on Wednesday night was a season-high for the club as they try and work their offensive attack and it will be much needed in a series against the HarbourCats, who have plenty of offensive pop. One thing Kelowna has done well this season is staying in at-bats, grinding things out and not going down on a punch out. The Falcons rank 5th best in the West Coast League when it comes to striking out, fanning just 147 times over 17 games.
  • Series by series, Kelowna has seen their team ERA dip lower and lower, coming into the set against the HarbourCats at 5.28, which is 9th in the league. Kelowna’s hurlers have done a nice job in not giving up many hits against, sitting with a batting average against of .234, good for 4th best in the league and are tied for the second-least amount of hits given up at 138, one behind Bellingham for top spot.


  • The HarbourCats enter the series as North Division leaders at 14-7 on the season and have won four games in a row, helped by a three-game sweep of the Wenatchee AppleSox through the week at home. After concluding their series in Portland with a 7-5 victory, Victoria opened the set with a dominating 14-5 win before squeaking out a pair of one-run victories, triumphing 5-4 on Wednesday before closing the series with a 13-12 win in 11 innings on Thursday night.
  • No one hits more baseballs or scores more runs than the HarbourCats, who boast the best offence in the West Coast League. Victoria comes into play holding a .309 team average, almost 25 points higher than any other team in the league, posting 237 hits and 167 runs in 21 games. The ‘Cats are tied with Port Angeles for the league lead in home runs with 15 and have struck 11 triples on the season, good for the top spot. The only part of the offence that has struggled is going down via the way of the K, striking out 189 times on the year which is second-most in the league.
  • Getting into high scoring games (like the one Thursday night) is something Victoria is capable of managing but they do hold the league’s 4th best team ERA at 4.05 and are certainly no slouches when it comes to pitching. The HarbourCats come in having struck out 174 batters this season, which ranks 2nd in the WCL but have also surrendered the 2nd most hits in the league at 190 so there is room for offence from the opposing side.  

Players To Watch:
INF Tyler Grissom (5’10”/175 lbs/Chico State University)

No Falcon has found success at the plate over the past set of games than Grissom, who has been tearing the cover off the baseball. The Canyon Country, California product comes into the series in Victoria riding an eight -game hitting streak with three of those contests being multi-hit affairs, including the Falcons last game on Wednesday night. Grissom went 3-for-5 and notching his first home run of the season and has hit for a .448 average over the course of his eight-game hitting streak.

INF Conagher Sands (6’3”/215 lbs/Cal Poly University)

One of the newer members of the Falcons roster showed some strong signs of hitting in his first couple of series in Kelowna. After leading Cal Poly as a freshman with a .328 batting average, Sands has gone 4-for-16 in a Falcons jersey so far, including a pair of RBI’s and scoring three runs. The Bakersfield, California native has earned hits in three of his four games with Kelowna, including a 2-for-4 effort on Wednesday against Portland.

P Blake Tritch (6’2”/197 lbs/North Dakota State University)

Sitting tied for 3rd amongst Falcons pitchers in strikeouts, Tritch has been an integral part of the starting unit for Kelowna this season and will be likely to get the ball in one of the three games in the provincial capital. The Chaska, Minnesota product has produced 16 K’s this season in his 14.1 innings pitched this season and was outstanding in his outing against the HarbourCats earlier this season, going six innings while allowing two runs and walking three with seven strikeouts. 

C Frankie Niemann (6’0”/204 lbs/Tulane University)

The phenomenal season for Niemann and the HarbourCats continues into the Canada Day weekend with the sophomore from Tulane University hitting an even .500 on the season, going 32-for-64 on the year and leads the West Coast League by over 100 points in batting average. The Sanford, Florida native leads the league in hits with his 32 and RBI’s as he sits at 19 on the year while coming into the weekend set riding a 12-game hitting streak, hitting .513 in that time.

INF Parker Bramlett (6’0”/180 lbs/Angelo State University)

A hidden weapon in the HarbourCats attack offensively is the speed and on-base ability of Bramlett, who leads the league in stolen bases at 13, helping to Victoria’s overall swiping total of 54. The Bullard, Texas native has earned a .333 batting average this season, including a double and 5 RBI’s while ranking 2nd in the league in walks by registering 14. Bramlett has done a great job of advancing bases and scoring runs for his squad, leading the league with 17 runs scored this season.

P Jack Hyde (6’3”/175 lbs/SUNY Binghamton)

It’s lining up to look like Hyde will face the Falcons for a second time on the mound, having not pitched since June 22nd in Portland, which was a 6-inning effort allowing no runs and striking out 5. Hailing from La Mesa, California, Hyde has been dominant in his outings this season, holding a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched, allowing 6 hits while striking out 12 batters and walking just 1 in that span. Hyde threw in 6 innings against the Falcons on June 12th back in Kelowna, allowing a run on 4 hits and struck out 7 on his way to a win.

The Falcons open their six-game road trip in Victoria with the three-game, Canada Day long weekend series opening up on Saturday night at 6:35 PM. Sunday’s game will be another 6:35 PM start before Monday holds a special Canada Day matinee at 1:00 PM. All games can be heard on with the Voice of the Falcons, Trevor Miller.

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