Falcons edge Cats at Elks Stadium
The Kelowna Falcons used a great pitching performance from starter Blake Tritch and late game heroics off the bat of Tyler Grissom to earn a 4-3 Father’s Day victory in 11 innings over the Victoria HarbourCats at Elks Stadium on Sunday night.
For the first time on the young season, the Falcons were able to get ahead of the HarbourCats and score the opening run of the ballgame. After a James Shimashita hard hit single, Brandon Hupe ripped a double down the left field line to score the runner from 1st base for his first RBI of the summer and a 1-0 lead in the 2nd inning.
Blake Tritch got the nod on the mound for the Falcons and after back-to-back singles in the 1st frame, the Chaska, Minnesota native settling into the game, retiring nine straight HarbourCats and was terrific on the bump for the home side.
Kelowna added to their lead in the 4th inning and it came from the middle of the order once again. Newcomer and outfielder Tyler Williams Shimashita led off the inning with walks ahead of Tyler Grissom getting on with two outs to load the bases with two outs for Austen Butler.
The Port Coquitlam, BC native flew a double into right center field that plated a pair of runs for his team-leading 4th and 5th RBI’s of the season and put the Falcons ahead by a 3-0 score in the 4th frame.
The HarbourCats battled back, however, and got on the scoreboard in the 6th inning courtesy of an RBI groundout before getting the game even in the 7th inning on an RBI single from Emilio Nogales before a Matt Voelzke error allowed a run to score and knot things up at 3-3 into the late innings.
The 7th was the last inning for Tritch, who pitched to one batter before being replaced by Connor Hurley but it was an outstanding starting effort from the right handed. Tritch threw six innings of strong ball allowing two runs on two hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
The game remained tied into the 9th when the HarbourCats looked to take their first lead of the game as they had a man on second with two outs in the frame. Matt Clayton laid a single into right field as pinch runner Parker Bramlett tried to score. Right fielder Tyler Williams came up throwing, gunning Bramlett out at home to keep the game on level terms.
The Falcons had a chance to walk the game off in the 9th inning as they loaded the bases for Dan Pruitt but the reigning West Coast League all-star struck out to end the frame as the game shifted into extra innings.
Kristian Scott came on to pitch in the 10th inning as Victoria would load the bases but Scott battled to keep the runners stranded and that turned out to be key as the Falcons would get another walk off chance in the 11th.
Tanner Barnes was hit in the left foot and allowed Tyler Grissom to take the plate as he smoked a Matt Amrhein fastball to the gap in left center field which plated Barnes from first as Kelowna picked up their 1st win at Elks Stadium this season with a 4-3 victory over the HarbourCats.
The Falcons head out on the road for a three-game series against the Yakima Valley Pippins (6-4) beginning on Monday night.