The Kelowna Falcons were unable to hang onto to an early lead as a five-run 6th inning was the undoing in a 10-5 loss to the Victoria HarbourCats on Sunday night at Royal Athletic Park.
Kelowna wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, taking an early lead in the 1st inning and all coming with two outs. With a pair of runners on base, Cole Cummings bent a hit inside the right field line that rolled down into the HarbourCats bullpen, scoring two runs and giving the Falcons a 2-0 advantage.
Ezra Samperi stood in as the next batter for Kelowna and grounded a ball off the glove of a diving Parker Bramlett and his 3rd RBI of the season helped the Falcons to a 3-0 lead before the HarbourCats came to bat.
Garner Spoljaric made his second start for Kelowna, working through two scoreless innings before Victoria put him in his first jam of the game in the 3rd inning to get on the scoreboard.
The HarbourCats loaded the bases in the frame with Frankie Niemann flying a ball to right field that was good for a fun to come home on a sacrifice fly and cut the deficit to 3-1 before Spoljaric was able to strand runners on the corners and keep the Falcons ahead.
Kelowna was quick to answer and retake the three-run lead in the top half of the 4th inning. Johnny Carr looped a single into shallow left field that brought home Richi Sede into score and give the Falcons a 4-1 lead.
That’s when the HarbourCats offence would come alive, scoring a run on an error by first baseman Conagher Sands before Victoria sent eight batters to the plate and scored five runs to give them their first lead of the ballgame.
Bramlett came up with the bases loaded and ripped a double over the head of Brayden Merritt in right field to clear the bases and give the HarbourCats their first lead of the ballgame at 5-4.
The inning didn’t come to an end there as the HarbourCats added two more runs with a two-run home run to left field off the bat of Jason Willow, who picked up his 3rd home run of the season and a 7-4 lead into the late innings and cap off a five-run 6th inning.
Victoria added to their lead in the 7th inning as Frankie Niemann brought in a run with a sacrifice fly to right field with the bases loaded that extended the lead to 8-4 into the 8th inning before Kelowna responded with a run of their own.
Brandon Hupe put a charge into a ball over the wall in left field for his first home run of the summer and the solo shot in the 8th inning drew the Falcons closer at 8-5 heading into the home half before Victoria added to their advantage.
Willow was back at it again in the 8th inning for the HarbourCats, knocking a triple into the right field gap that scored Bramlett from first base before a sacrifice fly from Griffin Paxton have Victoria a 10-5 lead, which they would hold onto in the 9th as the final score.
The Falcons (6-13) look to avoid the sweep and salvage the series against the HarbourCats (16-7) on Monday afternoon with a Canada Day matinee taking place at 1:00 PM at Royal Athletic Park.