Falcons look to rebound from slow start

Kelowna goes winless through first week of West Coast League baseball season, but stays positive and regroups during a break

Shortstop Nate Robertson (right) and the Kelowna Falcons are looking for their first win of the 2013 West Coast League season.

A 0-6 start clearly wasn’t what Geoff White had in mind for his return as head coach of the Kelowna Falcons.

At the same time, the Kelowna product been around the game long enough to know a baseball season can turn on a dime.

According to White, what the West Coast League club needs is just a little momentum to get the ball rolling in 2013.

“That’s something we’ve talked about with our players, we still have 90 per cent of the season to go, so we’re not panicking,” said White, who previously coached the club on an interim basis in 2005. “It would be nice to get that first win, help the guys with their confidence and get things going in the right direction. We just need to stick with it and things will turn around.”

The Falcons have suffered their share of hard luck this season, losing twice by one run, and three times by just two runs—the latest, a 4-2 setback to Bend on Monday at Elks Stadium.

One of the problem areas so far has been pitching, as the Falcons lead the league in both walks issued and hit batsmen.

Along with some lapses in defense—including five errors on Monday night—and an occasional lack of timely hitting, the Falcons have yet to assemble an all-around, complete effort.

With very little going their way, what better time for a break, as the Falcons are in the midst of a four-day layoff, before returning to action this weekend at home to the Victoria Harbourcats.

“It’s a good time for us to step back, get some practise time in and regroup,” White said.

As much as White and the Falcons would prefer to be winning games, the concept of the WCL is largely designed allow players to work on their skills over the summer months, before returning to their respective university or college programs.

Not surprisingly, White would much rather be 6-0 than 0-6, but also understands the  individual interests of each player.

“We’re a competitive program, so we want to win,” White said. “But at the same time we’re looking to give guys an opportunity to make their games better and help them move on. If we keep working hard, the wins will come.”

The Falcons return to action Saturday as they open a three-game series at Elks Stadium against Victoria. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.

 

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