Author: Larry Read
KAMLOOPS, BC—The Kelowna Falcons scored five times in the sixth inning and held onto beat the hometown Kamloops NorthPaws 5-4 in West Coast League baseball action Tuesday (Aug 1) at Dearborn Ford Field at Norbrock Stadium.
Over 13 hundred fans were on hand for Stingray Radio night and saw their Paws team outhit Kelowna 9-3 in the contest. Kelowna has now evened up the regular season series at two a piece. The Falcons are now 13-9 in the second half of the season while Kamloops fell to 4-14.
The Paws took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth when Drew Giannini (Tracy, CA) stroked a RBI single scoring Robin Villeneuve (Gatineau, QC) who led off the inning with a single. Giannini was 1-4 with an RBI on the night. Villeneuve wound up 2-4.
Kelowna got to NorthPaw starter Maclain Roberts (Auckland, NZ) in the sixth when Jonas Salk (Fairfax, CA) scored on a wild pitch by Roberts. Salk had doubled to kick off the inning. Roberts was lifted after pitching five and a third innings. He left with two men aboard in favor of Matthew McDonald.
McDonald—a Kamloops product—was making his NorthPaw debut after playing Academy ball in Calgary Alberta. With him on the mound, the Falcons scored their other four runs. Three of them charged to Roberts who was tagged with the loss. He falls to 2-7 for the summer.
Kamloops cut the deficit to 5-3 in their half of the inning. Gage Mestas (Durango, CO) led it off with a single. He was followed by Cooper Neville (Glendale, AZ) who singled as well. Both scored on an error charged to Kelowna centerfielder Trey Duffield (Houston TX). Mestas was 3-5 with a run scored.
The NorthPaws threatened in the bottom of the ninth. They had the bases loaded but could only push one run across as Matthew Ward (Mississauga, ON) singled and scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Anthony Manuel (Antioch, CA). Ward was 2-3 with that scored run.
Offensively for Kelowna: Salk was 1-4 with a run scored and a run batted in. Griffin Palfey (West Vancouver, BC) started on the mound for the Falcons before switching to designated hitter. He was 1-3 at the dish with a run scored.. Pitching wise, he threw five innings of one run ball. He gave up five hits, struck out three and walked two. He was the winning pitcher moving to 1-2.
Thrasher Steed (Orange Beach, AL) came onto pitch the ninth inning for his fifth save of the year. He gave up a run, struck out two and walked two along with one hit as he made his 16th appearance of the summer.
The Falcons and NorthPaws will head to Kelowna now for games two and three of this series. They go tomorrow (Aug 2) and Thursday (Aug 3) at Elks Stadium.
The Paws will close out the 2023 West Coast League regular season in Kamloops (August 4-6). Their opponents will be the Nanaimo Night Owls.
All West Coast League games are available via their website: https://wcleague.watch.pixellot.tv/
Tuesday, August 1, 2023:
Link to Scoresheet: http://baseball.pointstreak.com/boxscore.html?gameid=598695
HEAD COACH KEITH FRANCIS ON THE FIVE RUN SIXTH INNING:
“We didn’t throw strikes. That was the name of the game. Four walks and they all scored. We are very short on pitching. I had to throw the guys tonight. I didn’t have any choice because we still have games to go and some of my starters have left (for university). We have to match up a little better. But that is no excuse. We still have to throw strikes.”
NORTHPAWS CENTERFIELDER GAGE MESTAS:
“It was a hard-fought game. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the job done. We fought to the end of it. This has been the underlying theme. Its unfortunate but we have spent the summer playing ball and making memories.”
NEXT UP FOR THE NORTHPAWS:
The NorthPaws and Falcons will duke it out in a pair of games at Elks Stadium in Kelowna tomorrow and Thursday.
They then will conclude the regular season at Dearborn Ford field at Norbrock Stadium against Nanaimo. The August 5th contest against the Night Owls will be Fan Appreciation night followed the final game of the regular campaign which has been deemed “Family Day”.
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).
The Molson’s Tailgate Party runs 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.