After a long 10-hour bus ride that began at 6 .m. on Wednesday morning, a very tired group of Kelowna Falcons rolled into Cowlitz County and Longview/Kelso Washington for their season opener against the winless Black Bears.
Despite the trip the Falcons jumped out to a 1-0 lead after a first inning RBI double by catcher Tyler Qualls. The lead was short lived however, as in the bottom half of the second the Black Bears tied it with a solo home run off the bat of centerfielder Nick Paxton. The Bears added another in the home half of the third off Falcons starter Phil Maton.
The score remained 2-1 Bears until the sixth when the home side scored another off Falcons reliever Cale Coshow.
In the top of the seventh the Falcons would strike thanks to an RBI single by Jace Conrad to bring the score within one.
In the home half of the seventh the long ball caught up with Falcons reliever David Ernst as he gave up a solo shot to Tyler Madrid to seal the win for the Black Bears, 4-2.
The Falcons (0-1) saw a multi-hit game from Qualls and Tucker Alexander, both finishing 2-4. It’s the second straight season opening loss for the Falcons and Head Coach Al Cantwell.
Maton who suffered the loss did strike out seven over four innings.
The Falcons and Black Bears (1-3) will continue the series Thursday night at Story Field. The Falcons will send lefty Tyler Hoelzen from Sacramento State to the hill to lead a much more rested team.
The Falcons home opener, featuring free admission, will go Sunday at Elks Stadium as the Kitsap Bluejackets come to Kelowna. First pitch is 6:05 p.m.