The Kelowna Falcons suffered their third straight loss in their home opener at Elks Stadium on Friday night with a five-run 4th inning being the difference in a 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Ridgefield Raptors.
The Raptors were quick to get on the scoreboard and had the bats going early, loading the bases with one out in the game before back-to-back RBI singles courtesy of Jack Bauer and Ole Arnston to push Ridgefield to a 2-0 lead as they left the bases loaded in the inning.
Ridgefield once again loaded the bases in the second inning but Gage Wall and the Falcons prevented any damage and runs to come across the plate before chipping away at the lead in the bottom of the 3rd inning.
Brian Landon collected the Falcons first hit of the night before stealing second base to get into scoring position. Austen Butler delivered an RBI single to center field that would bring Landon in to score for his 3rd RBI of the season and cut the deficit to 2-1.
The Raptors didn’t let that short lead stand for long, tallying five runs on four hits while sending nine batters to the plate to take a commanding lead on the game. Ridgefield had the bases loaded with one out as, after a sacrifice fly had already scored a run, Dominic Enbody delivered a two-run double to the left field corner, just past a diving Brayden Merritt to push the visitors ahead by a 5-1 score.
Bauer collected his second RBI on the night as he cashed in a run with a single before Arnston hit a frozen rope to the gap in left center field to drive in his second run of the game and cap off the five-run frame and give the Raptors a 7-1 lead.
The offensive attacks for each team weren’t much of a factor after that, generating a combined 3 hits between the two sides as the score finished in a six-run victory for Ridgefield. A bright spot for the Falcons on this night, however, was the pitching performance of left hander Nick Nygard.
After surrendering three runs in the 4th inning, the University of Portland Pilot settled into a nice groove, sitting down seven straight Raptors at one point in the game to go on to throw the most of any Falcons pitcher this season with five innings behind him, allowing three runs on four hits and striking out four with no walks.
The Falcons (1-3) will look to rebound in the second of their three-game series against the Ridgefield Raptors (2-2) on Saturday night at Elks Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6:35 PM with tickets available at the Falcons website as well as at the gate ahead of the opening pitch of the ballgame.