Sports

Falcons try hang tough in WCL East

The Kelowna Falcons spent their first day off in more than two weeks making an 11-hour  bus trip to Bend, Ore. on Wednesday.

The West Coast League club headed south for the start of a three-game series against the Bend Elks on Thursday night.

The Falcons will then visit Klamath Falls for three games July 3 to 5, before returning to Kelowna for a six-game homestand.

The Falcons (5-16) hope they've turned the corner on a rough start to the 2011 season after taking two of three games from Walla Walla this week at Elks Stadium.

Kelowna won 1-0 on Sunday, 8-7 in 14 innings on Monday, then lost 6-2 in 10 innings on Tuesday.

Despite the club's early struggles, head coach Al Cantwell sees a light at the end of the tunnel.

"It's been a season of epic ups and downs," said Cantwell, "but we're seeing some good things happening, the guys are beginning to shake some of the doubt.

"A couple of hard-fought wins at home, those were team wins and character wins. We had a tough break and lost the last one, but the guys played hard. And if we keep playing that way we're going to win some games."

Injuries have taken their toll on the Falcons who have lost outfielder Blake Curruthers (wrist), shortstop Keaton Briscoe (severe shin splints), and pitcher Tyler Huffer (hernia).

The club has since added shortstop Keach Ballard from Texas who went 3-for-4 at the plate on Tuesday.

Through it all, the Falcons were only 2 1/2 games out the second and final playoff berth heading into Wednesday's action.

"It's a long season, we've got lots of games to play and we're only a shadow out of second place," said Cantwell. "If we can win a couple of games down here and not lose any ground, then it'll set us up well for the rest of July when we play a lot of games at home."

The Falcons next home action is Thursday, July 7 against the Corvallis Knights.

 

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