Ken Reid/Greystoke Photography All-star Taylor Wright will lead the Kelowna Falcons into the 2018 West Coast League season.

Falcons’ roster stocked with experience for 2018

Kelowna hosts its traditional free home opener against the Bellingham Bells Friday at Elks Stadium.

  • May. 31, 2018 11:30 a.m.

With nine players returning this season—including a pair of West Coast League all-stars—the Kelowna Falcons expect to hit the ground running in 2018.

Led by infielder Tyler Wright and pitcher Cal Hehnke, general manager Mark Nonis is excited about the Falcons largest contingent of returnees in the club’s 18-year history.

“The guys coming back know what to expect, they’re going to be valuable leaders for us this season,” said Nonis. “It’s such a relief to know you have a group here than can help get the new guys settled in. We’re looking forward to seeing them come together.”

The Falcons kick off the new WCL season Friday night at Elks Stadium with their traditional free home opener—courtesy of Steve Nash Fitness/UFC Gym—against the Bellingham Bells.

Wright, an all-star and MVP candidate, led the Falcons offense in 2017 with 11 home runs, 54 RBIs and a .337 batting average. Hehnke anchored the pitching staff with a 4-0 record, 3.17 ERA and 52 strikeouts, the third highest total in the WCL.

Nonis said Kelowna will also be looking for leadership and production from a pair of returning outfielders, Trent Tinglestad (.310, 16 RBIs) and Vancouver native Lucas Soper.

Among other returnees are a pair of Kelowna products in outfielder Davis Todosichuk and pitcher David Tongue.

As important as stability is on the roster, Nonis is also encouraged by the return of field manager Bryan Donohue for his third season at the helm.

Donohue led the Falcons to the first-half North Division title in 2017, posting a record of 17-10.

“Bryan’s familiarity with the program and the players makes my life easier,” said Nonis. “He comes in here knowing what to expect. I agree with his philosophy, the synergy is there, I see a lot of good things coming into the season.”

The Falcons are also steadily becoming a more popular sports ticket in town, averaging more than 1,200 fans in each of the last two seasons.

“The community has done well supporting us,” Nonis said. “Our attendance has been growing and we feel we can continue to offer good value entertainment for the fans.”

First pitch Friday between the Falcons and Bells is 6:35 p.m. The clubs meet again Saturday at Elks Stadium at 6:35 p.m. and Sunday at 6:05 p.m.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@capnewsports

whenderson@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Six bears destroyed in three days in West Kelowna

A West Kelowna business has been charged for leaving garbage around Lake Okanagan Resort

Boil water notice rescinded for parts of West Kelowna

Westbank Centre residents along the Old Okanagan Highway can safely drink their water again

West Kelowna Warriors being sold back to BC Hockey League

Current owner Kim Dobranski said the sale back to the BCHL should be completed by the end of October

Police standoff ends peacefully in West Kelowna

A distraught man was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon

Central Okanagan MP candidates put thousands into Facebook ads

Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr leads the pack with over $15,000 in ad spending according to a report

Competition shakes up for the Okanagan Mixoff

The Okanagan Mixoff takes place Nov. 7 in Kelowna

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

VIDEO: Meet your Kelowna-Lake Country candidates

All seven Kelowna-Lake Country candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

VIDEO: Meet your Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates

Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola candidates answer questions about themselves and their policy

South Okanagan dangerous offender guilty plea struck down

Trial delayed again because Ronald Teneycke failed to elect his choice of trial

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

Most Read