Transportation issues getting to Victoria didn’t help the Kelowna Falcons on Wednesday night as they dropped their West Coast League season opener 8-6 to the newly expanded Harbourcats.
The Falcons bus had a flat tire outside of Merritt, before having more difficulties when getting into Hope. As a result the Falcons found themselves stranded and waiting for a secondary bus to pick them up for roughly two and a half hours. They would miss their 1 p.m. ferry reservation, but did manage to catch the five o’clock ferry.
Once they finally got to the ballpark they quickly changed, had a quick warm up, then started the game.
The bus delay didn’t seem to affect the Falcons offense early on, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Chandler Tracy would homer in his first WCL at bat to drive in Grayson Porter to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Then in the third, Darren Kolk would single home Darryl Baca to put the Falcons up three.
Falcons start Marc Andre Habeck cruised through the first three innings facing the minimum, but got into trouble in the fourth. He would give up the lead on four earned runs on four hits.
The offense would get that run back in the top of the fifth as Tracy would collect his third RBI of the night, doubling home Kolk to tie the game.
However in the bottom of the inning the Cats would get two more off Habeck to regain the lead.
In the seventh the Falcons would tie the game again after Porter hit a solo homerun before Kolk scored on a dropped third strike.
The Cats would answer with an unearned run off reliever Austin Rice in the bottom of the inning, before adding an insurance run in the eighth to seal the victory.
Rice was hit with the loss, while Nick Pivetta picked up the win for Victoria.
The Falcons offense pounded out nine hits and two homeruns. Tracy and Porter both finished 2-4 at the plate. Tracy with three RBIs, Porter with two, while Kolk also had two hits an RBI and two runs scored.
The Falcons will get some much needed rest and will take on the Harbourcats in game two of the three game series Thursday evening at 7 p.m. Michael Frericks (Wayne State College) will get the start for the Falcons.
The club will return home Saturday morning in preparation for their home opener that night and admission is FREE courtesy of Kon Kast Products. The gates will open at 5:30, with the first pitch set for 6:35 p.m.