By Matt Inglis
The Kelowna Falcons came into Saturday’s WCL game against the Cowlitz Black Bears winners of their last two, including a big 7-3 victory on Friday night.
The Falcons have been trying to turn a corner, clawing their way back to the .500 mark after a tough road trip south of the border that saw them win just two of six games.
After falling behind by two in the top of the second inning, the Falcons grabbed onto the lead and never looked back, cruising to a 5-3 final. The birds’ victories in Games 1 and 2 against the Black Bears assured the Falcons a series victory, a feat they’ve failed to achieve since a 3-game sweep of Walla Walla in early June.
Falcons coach Bryan Donohue knew his club needed the series win in a big way. After the game he pointed out that his club is starting to gain some momentum.
“You know, you go through a stretch like that, as soon as you start tasting W’s and seeing what it takes to get them, it starts to get. Hopefully we can just keep rolling with this thing.”
Colby Nealy started the game on the mound for the home side, and he was the architect of the Falcons’ win. Donohue had nothing but praise for the righty out of Washington State.
“He was money,” Donohue. “He was so in the zone, they were swinging at whatever he wanted them to.”
Nealy stretched it out Saturday, going eight innings, giving up only two runs, both earned, fanning five along the way. The Falcons’ starter was in command and around the plate all night, making the Black Bears work for everything they got, giving up just a single walk on the way to his first W of the season.
Jared Morton pitched the ninth for the Falcons, giving up a run on two hits and earning the save.
Solid pitching was the story on the night, but the bats weren’t exactly quiet for the Falcons. The birds racked up eight hits from six batters on the night, including a 3-hit performance from left fielder Jesse Moore. With at least one hit in each of the last two games, Moore’s batting average has jumped to .370 on the season, good for second on the team.
Robertson, Shapen, Antchak, Druce, and Morgan contributed to the hit category as well, a sure sign the bats are finally awake after a rough patch felt by the entire over the past few series.
The Falcons (10-9) will come into Sunday’s series finale against the Black Bears (8-12) hoping to complete the sweep before moving on to face the number one team in the league, the Victoria Falcons (12-3). Game time at Elks Stadium is 6:05 p.m.