The Kelowna Falcons broke their three-game losing skid with an empathetic 4-2 win over the Gresham GreyWolves Sunday in West Coast League action. With the win, the boys avoided the sweep and improved their record to 7-7.
The boys from British Columbia needed a big win. They lost both previous games to the GreyWolves in heartbreaking fashion, one in extra innings and the other after a blown lead that led to a walk off ending in the bottom on the ninth.
The game started off well with the speedy right-hander Jake Simmons on the mound. He wasted no time up there and tossed a fantatsic game. The Falcons starting pitching has been excellent the entire summer, and Simmons continued that trend on Sunday.
Simmons went seven innings and was one of the big reasons why the Falcons won. He was continually tossing strikes and earned the respect of his teammates for his performance. When asked who impressed him tonight, Bryan Donohue, the Falcons first year manager, didn’t even hesitate with his reply.
“(Jake) Simmons. He’s a pitcher that when he is throwing, he throws strikes and works quick,” Donohue said.
Donohue, was happy with his teams effort as they broke their skid of losses. When asked about how he felt to win tonight’s game, he said, “We needed it. I think everybody knew coming into this game that we are not walking out of here and getting swept.”
The Falcons looked to have hit a bit of trouble when in the bottom of the eighth inning, the bases were loaded with two outs. The GreyWolves were threatening the birds lead late once again. Enter O’Keefe Hall, the Falcons newest pitcher. The big slinger was brought in to deal with the dicey situation a day after joining the team.
He performed beautifully, getting the GreyWolves batter to pop up high and end the inning. Hall was fired up after and really made a great first impression. Jared Morton came into the ninth and subsequently earned his second save of the summer. He was absolutely clinical, which appears to be his pitching style. He’s calm and collected under pressure, something the Falcons coaches love to see.
Donohue still had a message for his team, despite the win.
“We just need to have confidence that our team can do that every single day. Knowing that we are going to have a quality start, knowing the guys are going to play good defense, it will just take a couple of guys to step up and do something offensively. We just need to go in there and play our game, take care of our business and play clean. If we do that, we’re fine.”
The Falcons will now return home for a six game homestand, first welcoming the Corvallis Knights into town and then following that series with a weekend set against the Cowlitz Black Bears.
The Falcons are looking forward to exacting some revenge on the Knights, a team that beat them handily in two of three games earlier this week. First pitch is set for Tuesday night at 6:35 pm