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Pitching duel expected in game 1 as Kelowna Falcons open playoffs

It’s the first in 5 years that the Falcons have made the postseason
The Kelowna Falcons host the Bellingham Bells in game 1 of the West Coast League playoffs on Tuesday, Aug. 8. (Kelowna Falcons/Submitted)

The playoffs have been a long time coming for the Kelowna Falcons.

Tonight (Tuesday, Aug. 8), for the first time since 2018, the Falcons are in the West Coast League (WCL) playoffs as they welcome the Bellingham Bells to town for game one of the three game series.

“It’s great to see original members Kelowna and Wenatchee back in the playoffs,” said Commissioner Rob Neyer. “Especially with their great fans guaranteed at least one home game. When we introduced the new postseason format last year, all we knew for sure was that we didn’t know anything for sure. But now we know that eight teams belong in the playoffs, and everyone’s in for a tremendous ride over this next week.”

Kelowna clinched a playoff spot in the last week of the season and finished the regular season with a record of 31-23 (4th in the north division). Meanwhile the Bells clinched their playoff spot halfway through the season when they won the first half and overall finished with a record of 35-18, third in the north.

Bellingham took the season series against Kelowna 4-2.

The Falcons will been to be scrappy on offense as they Bells’ pitching staff finished the regular season with a 2.94 ERA, second best in the WCL. They also average more than eight strikeouts a game.

Kelowna will be sending their ace Koen vant Klooster to the mound, who’s had a great summer. He goes into the playoffs with a three wins, a 3.88 ERA, and a league-leading 60 strikeouts over 41.2 inning pitched. The Falcons hope he will keep the Bells offense cold, as they finished the regular season with a .231 batting average as a team.

Game one takes place tonight at Elks Stadium in Kelowna with the gates opening at 5:30 p.m. and first pitch at 6:35 p.m. Game two, and if necessary game three, will take place in Bellingham.

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Jordy Cunningham

About the Author: Jordy Cunningham

Hailing from Ladner, B.C., I have been passionate about sports, especially baseball, since I was young. In 2018, I graduated from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with a Bachelor of Journalism degree
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