Falcons recharge for last half of WCL season
The first 27 games of his West Coast League head coaching career hasn't gone quite the way Billy Clontz had envisioned
Still, the Kelowna Falcons' field boss remains steadfast that his club is capable of playing considerably better baseball than it did over the first half of the 2014 campaign.
"Over the last few games, we have been playing better, we've been just a pitch or a hit away from three or four more wins, so it's heading in the right direction," said Clontz, a former player and coach with the WCL's Corvallis Knights. "We know it's not going to happen overnight, but if we can just doing the small things right, be detail-oriented and learn from our mistakes, we can get it done. It's a big test for us for sure, so we'll see how the guys respond."
At 8-19, the Falcons own the lowest winning percentage (.296) in the WCL and are last in the East Division.
Getting solid pitching, hitting and defense all on the same night has largely been a struggle for the Falcons this season.
Another factor in the lack of consistency has been the fluctuations to the roster, with several players leaving the ball club due to injuries or personal decisions.
Clontz said the Falcons' character and resolve will be put to the test over the last 29 games.
"I've never been in this situation with any team, and it's a valuable learning experience for a lot of people," said Clontz. "So what are we going to do when our backs are against the wall ? We have guys who come from a lot of good programs who haven't been in this situation before, so when it comes to facing adversity, they're really being tested. I think our guys are starting to mesh well on the field lately, so I feel like we're on the verge of breaking out of this."
The Falcons, who are in the midst of a three-day break, will return to action Thursday when they host the Bellingham Bells to open a three-game series. First pitch at Elks Stadium is 6:35 p.m.