Kelowna Falcons

Paxton Close To Home

The Kelowna Falcons welcome back alumni James Paxton to the Pacific Northwest and the Seattle Mariners.

Paxton who pitched for the Falcons in 2007 joins former West Coast Leaguers Mitch Haniger of the Corvallis Knights and Marco Gonzales of the Wenatchee Applesox to bolster an already talented Mariners club.

The energy levels at T-Mobile Park are sure to amp up when Paxton takes the mound. A power southpaw, he returns to the Mariners after a two-year stint with the New York Yankees. He shined with the Mariners from 2013-2018, his best season being 2017 when he went 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA. His best performance to date was his 99-pitch no-hitter against the Blue Jays in Toronto in 2018.

Back in 2007 the Falcons did not have a strong offence and had trouble scoring runs. Paxton that season made 11 starts and went 3-5 with a 2.94 ERA, tossing a pair of complete games, logged 70.1 innings and struck out 62.

“It’s exciting to see James back so close to home. He’s a BC guy with an incredible family who will no doubt get more of a chance to see him pitch live once fans are allowed back in the stands,” said Falcons’ General Manager Mark Nonis. “When James was here in 2007 you could tell there was something special about him. He was our workhorse that summer and is still one of our all-time strikeout leaders. Our whole organization is very proud of him and proud to say he was once a Falcon pitching right here in Kelowna at Elks Stadium.”

Paxton, a Ladner native, will join former Applesox ace Marco Gonzales as the anchors of the Mariners rotation as the ball club is looking to snap a 19-year post-season drought in 2021. One thing is certain, the three former West Coast League hurlers will do everything in their power to lead the Mariners back to the playoffs.

Spring training officially got underway this past weekend, and the Mariners opened up with a 5-4 win over San Diego yesterday. The Mariners train and compete at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of Cindy Rogers – Nyasa Photography

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