Kelowna Falcons


KELOWNA, BC – The Kelowna Falcons used a 7-inning start from Blake Tritch and a dominating pitching performance to help them to a three-game sweep of the Yakima Valley Pippins with a 2-0 victory on Friday night at Elks Stadium. 

Both starting pitchers came with their best stuff to begin the ballgame as Falcons right hander Blake Tritch and Pippins lefty Jack Gonzales we’re dealing from the mound. 

Yakima earned the game’s first hit in the 3rd inning of played, which was erased with a caught stealing from Falcons catcher Ben Smith before Kelowna broke the deadlock in the 5th inning to get ahead by a 1-0 score. 

James Shimashita collected the Falcons first hit of the night before Conagher Sands legged out an infield single to put two men on with no one out and Richi Sede at the plate. Sede laid down a bunt that Pippins infielder Tyler Dean threw into right field and allowed Shimashita to score from second and give Kelowna a 1-0 lead. 

The Falcons went on to load the bases with one out but an Austen Butler pop out and a flyout off the bat of Bradley Norton to right field ended the threat as Kelowna stakes themselves to a 1-0 advantage after 5 innings. 

Blake Tritch continued to dominate in his start, sitting down 9 straight Pippins at one point before a 7th inning error allowed a runner to reach base. The Chaska, Minnesota native struck out Christian Padilla to conclude the inning. 

His counterpart in Gonzales was fairing extremely well, giving up just three hits through his outing and struck out Ben Smith looking to finish off seven strong innings of work for the Pippins as the game remained tight into the late innings. 

Tritch’s outing came to an end in the 8th inning as the Pippins put two men on with no one out and Matt Voelzke took over from the bullpen. After a walk loaded the bases, Voelzke fanned Tanner Parker and Nick Israel to end the threat and keep the Falcons lead at 1-0. 

The Falcons got a big insurance run in the bottom of the inning after Austen Butler led off the inning with a single and stole second base. Marvcus Guarin came up with two outs and Butler on third as he grounded a ball that took a hop over the third baseman Israel into left field for an RBI single and a 2-0 Kelowna lead. 

Voelzke remained on for the save in the 9th inning and sat down the Pippins in order as the right hander earned his second save of the season and held the Falcons to shutout Yakima Valley with a 2-0 victory. 

The Falcons (6-9/16-25) will host a pair of non-league games at Elks Stadium this weekend, beginning on Saturday night as they welcome the Northwest Honkers to town. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM with tickets available on the Falcons website as well as at the gate ahead of the opening pitch of the ballgame.

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