Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
June 7, 2015, Victoria, BC (ISN) – The Kelowna Falcons pounded out 17 hits, including four home runs, to power their way to a 8-3 victory over the Victoria HarbourCats in West Coast League (WCL) action Sunday afternoon at Sports Traders Diamond at Royal Athletic Park in Victoria.
Victoria baserunner Zane Takhar does his best to disrupt the throw of Kelowna shortstop Hunter Villanueva during this double play opportunity in Sunday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
With the win, the Falcons claim the inaugural Accent Inns Cup which is awarded to the team that wins the season series between the two British Columbia based WCL teams. The Falcons lost to Victoria in the ‘Cats home opener Friday (9-2), but came away with wins Saturday (5-2) and today to claim the trophy.
Kelowna starting pitcher Elias Bedolla (Oholone College), showed the 1,281 fans in attendance why he went 7-2 in his college season this year, limiting HarbourCats hitters to just two hits over his six full innings of work. He would strike out seven and walk just two to get his first WCL win of 2015.
Kelowna starter Elias Bedolla baffled the HarbourCats through six innings, allowing no runs and just 2 hits over his six innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Bedolla got all the support he needed from an offence that jumped on Victoria starter Shawn Kennedy (Georgetown College) for nine hits in his five innings of work, scoring a pair of runs in the third, including a solo home run from Kelowna’s Josh Egan (Sacramento State) to lead off the third, and adding another in the fourth to go up 3-0.
Shawn Kennedy made his first start as a HarbourCat and was roughed up a bit, giving up 3 runs on 9 hits, including one home run, over his five innings of work (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
They would blow things open in the top of the seventh getting a pair of two-run homers off reliever Riley Edmonds(Otero College), the first by Justin Flores (Cal State Monterey) and the second by Andre Jackson (Utah), to jump into a 7-0 lead.
Kelowna second baseman Matt Hearn goes high into the air to snag an errant throw on a HarbourCats stolen base attempt in Sunday’s game (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The HarbourCats finally got things going off Kelowna reliever Sam Murphy (Nebraska Omaha) in the bottom of the second when Chris Fougner (Salt Lake CC) drew a lead-off walk, Kyle Francis (Everett CC) doubled and both came home on a single to right by Jackson Thoreson (St. Mary’s College).
First baseman Jackson Thoreson would have the biggest HarbourCats hit of the day, launching a 2-RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
A solo shot by Kelowna’s Vinny Esposito (Sacramento State) in the eighth off reliever Connor Suing (Western Oregon) would add an insurance run, putting the game out of reach for the ‘Cats, although base hits in the bottom of the ninth by local products Zane Takhar (Northeastern State) and Morgan Varley (Thompson Rivers), the latter scoring PJ Floyd (Sacramento State) who had reached on a fielder’s choice, gave the remaining fans one last thing to cheer about, closing out the scoring at 8-3.
Kelowna’s Justin Flores (left) is congratulated by teammate Hunter Villanueva after launching a 2-run home run in the top of the seventh (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Offensively for Kelowna, Esposito, Flores, Jackson and Egan all had three hit days to lead the way. On the mound, Bedolla had relief help from Murphy, Aiden Kearney and Matthew Kirk, who each pitched an inning. Suing and Ryan Preston (New Mexico), making his first appearance since arriving to the club last night, each pitched an inning of relief for the HarbourCats.
Victoria second baseman Brady Rogers looks for the call after putting a tag on Kelowna baserunner Andre Jackson during a play at second base on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
The HarbourCats now enjoy a day off before the Kitsap Blue Jackets come to town for a three game set beginning Tuesday evening, with a 6:35 PM start. The second game in that set will go Wednesday at 6:35 PM, followed by a Thursday matinee game at 1:05 PM on School Spirit Day! No starters have been announced for that series.
Base hits by local products Zane Takhar (left) and Morgan Varley (right) the latter which cashed in the HarbourCats third run, gave the fans one last thing to cheer about on Sunday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN)
Game Notes: Reno Rankin (LA Mission JC) made his HarbourCats debut today, playing centerfield and batting second and getting one of the HarbourCats hits. Dane Fujinaka (Sacramento State) made his debut behind the plate for the HarbourCats and impressed the crowd by throwing out three base runners at second. Chris Fougner had his first no-hit day at the plate in six games, but walked once and scored one of the HarbourCats runs.
Chris Campbell of Accent Inns (right), presents the Accent Inns Cup to Kelowna Falcons head coach Billy Clontz after the Falcons 8-3 win over the HarbourCats on Sunday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / ISN).
Watch for a full set of images from this game on Christian J. Stewart’s web site at http://christianjstewart.zenfolio.com/harbourcats