Brandon Marris back to lead Falcons' rotation
With the club's outstanding pitcher from 2011 back for another summer, at least one key position shouldn't provide undue stress for the Kelowna Falcons' coaching staff this season.
Right-hander Brandon Marris has quickly re-established himself as the lynch-pin in the West Coast League team's starting rotation after working seven solid innings Monday in the Falcons' 12-1 win over the Kitsap Bluejackets
Marris, 21, yielded just two hits and didn't walk a batter in the club's home opener before 1,367 fans at Elks Stadium.
"It was huge for him to come back to us this season, he had a great year at university and he's carrying that over with us," said Falcons' head coach Al Cantwell. "We have all the confidence in him as a pitcher, he has a great arm and he's a great kid. He really sets up our rotation nicely, gives us seven strong innings every time and that does a lot for our bullpen. He sets a recipe for success."
As a junior at Southeastern Oklahoma this season, Marris was a sparkling 11-4 with a 2.51 ERA.
Cantwell said Marris has returned to Kelowna an even better pitcher than when he left in August 2011, and wouldn't be surprised to see the Colony, Texas native soon garner some big-league attention.
"He's an absolute bulldog out there, this kid can pitch" Cantwell added. "He needs to get some attention, make the all-star team and be seen by the right people. If the right person sees him, hopefully we can see his name next year in the Major League draft."
Equally promising for the Falcons is that Marris had plenty of support Monday as his teammates rapped out 15 hits.
Cantwell believes the Falcons have an offense this season with considerably more punch than the one that had trouble scoring timely runs last season.
"Last year we were a little undersized, we had guys that could hit but they were really mostly singles hitters," said Cantwell. "This year we have a little more pop, six or seven guys who are doubles hitters and that's exciting. You get a walk and suddenly you're in scoring position. All the way through the order, 1 through 9, we've got guys who can hit."
The Falcons will close out a three-game series against the Bluejackets Tuesday at Elks Stadium, then will host the Cowlitz Black Bears for three games, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. All games go at 6:35 p.m.