Falcons Fall In Opener On Vancouver Island To HarbourCats

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The Kelowna Falcons suffered a defeat in the opening game of their three-game long weekend series against the Victoria HarbourCats by a 5-2 score on Saturday night at Royal Athletic Park.
A pair of runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings was enough for the HarbourCats with a solid starting effort from Jack Hyde and the bullpen gave Victoria a series-opening victory.
The HarbourCats were first to put a threat on the bases, loading them up in the 2nd inning with no one out to try and open the scoring. Falcons starting pitcher Blake Tritch was able to navigate out of two outs before Parker Bramlett gave Victoria an early lead.
Bramlett smacked a hard hit ball off the glove of Tyler Grissom into the outfield which scored a pair of runs and gave Victoria a 2-0 advantage in the 2nd inning before Kelowna had a response but it came with an asterisk.
Grissom came to the plate with two outs against him and spanked a double to left center field with two runners on. Both came in to score but was ruled that a runner had missed tagging a base on the way home as Kelowna could only score a single run and cut the deficit in half to 2-1 heading into the home half of the 3rd inning.
Victoria got the run back and adding another in the bottom of the frame with Emilio Nogales punching an RBI single back up the middle before Nate Pecota grounded into a fielders choice that allowed a run to plate as Victoria extended their lead to 4-1 heading into the middle innings.
Matt Voelzke cape out of the bullpen and gave the Falcons three solid innings of relief while Victoria starter Jack Hyde was terrific, surrendering a run in five innings of work before handing off to Hunter Hennigh in the bullpen.
The Falcons worked another run home with two outs against them in the 7th inning with Cole Cummings slicing a double to left center field. Brayden Merritt came through with a single through the right side of the infield that brought Cummings in from 2nd and his 4th RBI of the season cut the lead in half for a 4-2 Victoria lead.
The HarbourCats added to their lead in the 8th inning as they brought home another run to make it a three-run game once again. A groundout from Chase Wendeser was able to score Harrison Spohn from third base and extend the advantage to 5-2 in favour of Victoria.
The Falcons (6-12) look to even the series against the HarbourCats (15-7) on Sunday night with the second of their three-game series. First pitch goes at 6:35 PM.