Author: Larry Read
KAMLOOPS, BC—Fans saw a little bit of everything as the Edmonton RiverHawks took the host Kamloops NorthPaws 2-1 in a three-game set at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium. The two teams evened their six game West Coast League regular season series at three a piece.
This time: Edmonton won the opener 5-2 on Tuesday (July 11), The NorthPaws needed extra innings to snap their seven-game losing streak winning 5-4 in 10 innings Wednesday (July 12). Edmonton rallied from a 4-0 deficit to score twice in the fifth and seven times in the sixth inning en route to a 9-5 win on Thursday (July 13).
Edmonton moves to 3-4 in the second half and has an overall record of 10-23. Kamloops falls to 2-8 in the back half with an overall record of 8-28.
The Paws will have five days off before their next series. They don’t play again until Tuesday, July 18th when they visit the Lefties in Port Angeles.
Edmonton is moving down Highway 97 to play the Falcons in Kelowna. That three-game set at Elks Stadium will begin tomorrow (July 14).
All West Coast League games are available via their website: https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/
Tuesday, July 11, 2023: RiverHawks 5 NorthPaws 2
The NorthPaws saw their winless streak extend to seven as they fell to Edmonton by three. The RiverHawks scored two in the second and third innings and added one in the fourth. Kamloops scored both their runs in the seventh.
The 661 fans on hand saw Kamloops have a chance to close the gap in the bottom of the eighth when they loaded the bases but couldn’t push anything across.
Catcher Nico Libed (Chula Vista, CA) was 1-3 with two runs batted in. Will Gardner (St Albert, AB) was 1-4 with a run scored and an run batted in for the RiverHawks. Halen Knoll (Edmonton, AB) started and was the winning pitcher going seven innings surrendering three hits, two runs, striking out four and walking one. He is 4-3 on the year in his seven starts. Shaun Atamanchuk (Beaumont, AB) pitched the last inning and two thirds for his third save.
Kamloops starter Griffin Almond (Thornbury, ON) went seven and two thirds for the loss (2-3). He gave up four hits, four runs and walked three.
Offensively, Tommy Green (Courtenay, BC) and Cooper Neville (Glendale, AZ) were both 1-3. Green had two runs batted in. Neville scored a run.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598686
Wednesday, July 12, 2023: NorthPaws 5 RiverHawks 4 (10 innings)
The NorthPaws battled back in this one as the snapped a seven-game losing skid and their third victory in five meetings with Edmonton this year.
Kamloops scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to erase a 4-1 deficit. In the 10th, Phoenix Sommay (Temecula, CA) led off with a walk. The NorthPaws loaded the bases before Bennett Freiter (White Rock, BC) hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Sommay with the winning run.
David Jeon (Coppell, TX) pitched the last inning to get the win for Kamloops. He struck out two as he moved to 2-2 on the year. He was the third of three Paws pitchers. Noah Bourqouis (Surrey, BC), the third of three RiverHawks pitchers took the loss. He is 0-2 on the year as he went two and a third innings, giving up a hit, a run, walking four and striking out two.
Joey Baran (Austin, TX) was 2-5 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Sommay was 2-5 with a run scored and an run batted in while Neville scored a run and was 2-3.
For Edmonton, Gardner was 2-3 at the dish with two runs batted in.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598687
Thursday, July 13, 2023: RiverHawks 9 NorthPaws 5
Kamloops opened a 3-0 lead after the first inning and were up 4-0 until Edmonton scored twice in the top half of the fifth. After the NorthPaws make it 5-2, The RiverHawks sent nine men to the plate and spit out three Kamloops pitchers en route to a seven run sixth inning. That inning included two home runs—by Mark Mossanna (Chandler, AZ) and Jakob Poturnak (Vancouver, BC).
Edmonton had 11 hits in the ball game along with six errors. Kamloops had only four hits and left 14 men on base.
Brendan Lopeppky (Calgary, AB), the fourth of five RiverHawk pitchers earned the win. He pitched three innings, giving up three walks, one hit and had three strikeouts. Anthony Manuel (Antioch, CA) was tagged with the loss, responsible for all nine runs through an inning of work.
Offensively: Poturnak was 3-4 with a run scored. Mossanna was 1-5 with two runs batted in and a run scored while Jonny McGill (Richmond, BC) was 1-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored as well for Edmonton.
Neville was 0-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored. Sommay was 0-4 with two runs batted in. Green and Tyler Glowacki (San Diego, CA) were both 1-5 with runs scored.
Green was playing his last game with Kamloops as he joins NCAA Div I Purdue this fall.
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598688
HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS on Thursday’s loss:
“We had the lead with one hit. They had made several errors and gave us many opportunities to put the game away and we didn’t take advantage of it. We had guys in scoring position again but couldn’t get that hit. We can’t when it counts and it comes back and bites you. Baseball Gods have a way of turning against you if you don’t score when you have to.”
On the seven-run inning: “Did he leave Manuel in too long?” “I did a horrible job. I told the team that too. I thought that was the worst job I have done all year with my pitching staff. It’s on me. I should have done better.”
SHORTSTOP TOMMY GREEN (COURTENAY, BC) on Edmonton Series: “We lost a close one on night one. Night two the walk off crew did it again. We gave it to the fans. Good crowd tonight, we were hanging in there but one tough inning did us in. It was very symbolic of how this season has gone for us. There is still time for the guys to turn it (the season) around.”
OUTFIELDER CASEY WAYNE (PHOENIX, AZ):
“I thought we played hard in this series. Our energy was there in comparison to our previous two series. Playing at home really helped. The fans were amazing. They did a great job of keeping us involved. We did a lot better on the field and in the dugout to keep the energy high. Sometimes it doesn’t roll our way.”
NEXT UP FOR THE NORTHPAWS:
After their break and a three game set in Port Angeles, the next home game for Kamloops is Friday, July 21st against the Bellingham Bells.The teams met in Washington State July 4-6th.
Opening pitch on Friday, July 21st will be 6:35 PM at Dearborn Ford field at Norbrock Stadium.
If you can’t make the home games, they are all webcast on https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/ . Some home games will also be shown on Shaw TV in Kamloops (Cable 10 or 105 with Blue Curve).
NEW FAN PROMOTION:
The NorthPaws are looking for their newest fans. The team is running a promotion right now which sees you capture a $15 ticket for any home game for the remainder of the season. There are only 100 of these tickets avvilable. Visit tickets.northpawsbaseball.ca and click “Find tickets” on the game you would like to attend. Enter “NEWESTFAN’ into the promo code box and the tickets are unlocked!.
The Molson’s Tailgate Party is hoppin’ before every NorthPaws home game. It runs Tuesday through Saturday 5-630 PM. The Party runs Sundays noon-1 PM. Hotdogs and a Pilsner are sold for $ 12.00 plus tax.