Falcons’ quintet named to all-star game

Led by Hunter Villanueva, five Kelowna played selected to WCL showcase next Monday, July 20 in Bellingham

Five Kelowna Falcons will play in the WCL all-star game: (from top left) Hunter Villanueva

Five Kelowna Falcons will represent the North team during the 2015 West Coast League All-Star Game in Bellingham on Monday, July 20.

The five Falcons (21-9) are the most of any team from the WCL’s East Division.

Shortstop Hunter Villanueva has been slotted in as the North’s third baseman.  His .390 average is second best in the WCL and leads the club with 39 hits.  He has also collected five doubles, two homeruns and 16 RBIs.

Outfielder Justin Flores is another easy All-Star selection.  His .387 average is the third highest in the WCL and lead the Falcons in doubles (7), homeruns (4) and RBIs (25).  His 36 hits are just three back of Villanueva and has walked 17 times.

Catcher Brandon Oliver has also garnered an All-Selection with his .365 average.  In his 52 at bats he’s collected 19 hits, three doubles, a homer and 12 RBIs.  Oliver has been solid behind the plate, as a mater of fact in the 10 games he’s appeared in, eight of them have been for a victory.

First baseman Max Carter gets the nod for the North as a big bat in the heart of the Falcons order.  Carter is hitting .311 in 16 games with 19 hits, five doubles and seven RBIs.  He leads the club with 123 putouts defensively.

The lone All-Star pitcher from the Falcons staff to represent the club is Jayce Bannister.  The lefty has primarily worked out of the pen, appearing in eight games with an impressive 0.86 ERA in 31.1 innings.  He has fanned 17 batters, while giving up just three earned runs and 23 hits.

All five players will join players from Bellingham, Victoria, Walla Walla, Wenatchee and Yakima to represent the North club.  The South team will include players from Bend, Corvallis, Kitsap, Klamath Falls, Cowlitz and Medford.

Festivities on Monday, July 20 will kick off with a Home Run Derby starting at 5:30 p.m.  First pitch for the All-Star Game will take place at 7:05 p.m. Gates will open to the general public at 4:30 p.m. and the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive an All-Star Game logo baseball, presented by John Howie Restaurants.

The game will be followed by a post-game awards ceremony and a fireworks show (provided local burn bans are lifted).

Former big league pitcher Jamie Moyer and Seattle Mariners director of amateur scouting Tom McNamara will attend the WCL All-Star Game and throw out ceremonial first pitches.

Meanwhile the Falcons begin a series with the Wenatchee Applesox tonight, then welcome the Sox to Elks Stadium Thursday to Saturday, just prior to the All-Star break.


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