Kelowna Falcons

Series Preview: Pickles

The Kelowna Falcons look to keep the momentum going as they host the South Division’s Portland Pickles for a mid-week three-game series beginning on Tuesday night at Elks Stadium.



2019 Season Series:

Tuesday, June 25th @ Elks Stadium (6:35 PM)

Wednesday, June 26th @ Elks Stadium (6:35 PM)

Thursday, June 27th @ Elks Stadium (6:35 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 come into this weekday series after their first series win of the season, picking up two of a possible three victories over the Cowlitz Black Bears on the weekend. Kelowna earned a 10-9 victory on Friday night after coming from behind before earning the series win by outlasting the Black Bears by a 4-3 score on Saturday. Cowlitz was able to salvage the series as they posted an 8-6 win in the series finale on Sunday evening.
  • The offence started to come alive for the Falcons in the series on home soil, scoring 20 runs in the three-game set. Kelowna holds a .310 on-base percentage for the season and hold a .221 batting average as well as sitting 7th in the league in home runs with 6 on the season, hitting 5 of them at home.
  • Pitching for Kelowna has been a strong point over the last few games as well, especially looking at the bullpen. The Falcons have surrendered a .239 batting average against, which is 4th best in the West Coast League. Strikeouts were something that Kelowna really surged with in their three-game set against Cowlitz, fanning 33 total batters over the series and 126 on the season.


  • The Pickles enter the weekday set against the Falcons after defeating the Victoria HarbourCats in two of their three games in the Rose City over the weekend. The Pickles earned a pair of one-run victories on Friday and Saturday, defeating the ‘Cats by a 6-5 score and 2-1 before falling in the series finale on Sunday evening by a 7-5 score.
  • Portland comes into the series looking to try and get their bats going, sitting in the final spot in the league in batting average at .202 through 18 games this season. Getting on base is something the Pickles do well, and stay very patient at the plate as they sit 4th in the league in walks this season at 80.
  • One of the biggest keys to the Pickles earning a playoff spot and having as much success as they did a season ago came in the way of pitching and that has been a much different story this campaign. Portland holds a 4.70 earned run average as a staff this season, surrendering 11 home runs this season with a .274 batting average against. Portland has given up the second most hits this season at 177 in 159 innings pitched.

Players To Watch:
OF James Shimashita (5’9”/180 lbs/San Jose State)

The freshman from San Diego, California found his swing in the three-game series against the Black Bears, going 5-for-12 at the plate and collecting a series-high 4 RBI’s and a pair of runs scored. Shimashita bumped his batting average to .244 on the season and has hits in two of his last three games. Shimashita shows plenty of range in the field as well, playing a multitude of positions as well as having pitched this season.  

INF Cole Cummings (6’2”/190 lbs/UC Santa Barbara)

It was an outstanding series at the plate for Cummings, who collected a series-high 7 hits, going 7-for-12 (.584) in the three games versus Cowlitz. The Corona, California had his weekend highlighted with a 4-for-4 effort on Saturday night in a 4-3 Falcons victory as Cummings knocked a triple and a stolen base in the game. The batting average improved to .344 on the season and has reached base in five straight games.

P Tucker Grote (6’4”/175 lbs/Mt. Hood Community College)

It was an outstanding debut out of the bullpen for newcomer Tucker Grote, who pitched four innings of scoreless ball in Friday night’s 10-9 victory for Kelowna. The Gresham, Oregon product struck out a pair of batters in his four innings of work in the opening game of the set, allowing just four hits and walking no batters and giving the Falcons bullpen a strong arm in the later stretches of the game.

INF Kyle Manzardo (6’1”/185 lbs/Washington State University)

One of the driving forces of the offence this season for the Pickles has been left handed hitter Kyle Manzardo, who leads his team with a .290 batting average. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho native leads the Pickles with 18 hits as well as 6 doubles on the season and has walked a team-high 16 times on the campaign. To add to the batting totals, Manzardo also sits atop the Pickles club in stolen bases this season, going 3-for-3.

INF Alex Lambeau (6’0”/180 lbs/Loyola Marymount University)

Coming in as one of the hottest hitters on the Pickles, Lambeau enters the series having reached base in each of his last six games as well as scoring a run in the last five of his appearances. The Seattle, Washington native owns two multi-hit games in his last three contests, holding a .384 average in the three-game series against the HarbourCats and holds a .241 average on the season with two doubles and four RBI’s.

P Titus Groeneweg (6’5”/180 lbs/Cal State Fullerton)

There hasn’t been much better from the mound this season than Groeneweg, who has been sensational when called upon. The Vacaville, California native may see the hill in the final game of the series against the Falcons and holds a 1-0 record with a 0.81 ERA in three games this season. Having only surrendered one run in 11 innings of work this season, Groeneweg has struck out 13 batters and walked none so far in the 2019 season including a four-inning victory against Victoria his last time out on June 22nd, allowing a run on four hits with three strikeouts.

The Falcons and Pickles play in the only three-game series of their season beginning on Tuesday night and running through to Thursday. The final game of the set is a big one as it’s the Falcons annual Firefighter’s Night with fireworks presented postgame. All start times for the series are set at 6:35 PM with tickets available at the Falcons website as well as at the gate ahead of the opening pitch of the ballgame.

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