The Kelowna Falcons halted a six-game losing streak and managed a split of their West Coast (Baseball) League doubleheader with a 6-2 win over the Walla Walla Sweets on Wednesday.
The Falcons lost the first game of the twinbill 6-4 and sit at 4-7 going into Thursday’s third game of the series in Walla Walla.
A combined one-hit performance by three pitchers got the Falcons back in the win column in the second game.
As in the first game, the Sweets got on the board first, courtesy of a rash of bases-on-balls. Falcons’ starter, Matthew Moriarty lasted just 1 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit, but did give up two runs on five walks.
Brett Solano came out of the pen and was brilliant, throwing 4 2/3 shutout innings. He gave up but one Sweets hit, while striking out six on the way to the win. Matt Rigby cleaned up in the seventh, striking out one on route to a save.
Offensively the Falcons tied the game in the top of third with a pair of runs. Scotland Church smacked a one out single to score both Kevin Biro and Josh Croft.
In the top of the sixth the Falcons scored three runs, all in very different ways. Thomas Lanecollected his first run-batted-in of the summer with a single to score Church. The next batter, Colton Waltner, hit a sacrifice fly to score Nick Minteer. Then Brandon Grimsley scored on a wild pitch.
The Falcons scored an insurance run in the seventh when Grimsley knocked in Jeff Nelsonwith an RBI single.
In all, the Kelowna offence outhit the Sweets 11-1, led by Jared Smith and his three-hit night. Grimsley, Minteer and Church each had a pair of hits.
In game one, the Sweets took advantage of a wild Kevin Flemer, who was making his Falcons debut. The Oregon State starter lasted just one inning, walking four and allowing five runs. Joel Lamont pitched the second inning and allowed a run on two hits.
Finally, Aaron Mason took control throwing the final four innings, giving up just three hits, but the damage had already been done.
With the Falcons trailing 6-0 in the fourth inning, the offence finally showed some life, getting a RBI sac fly from Smith to score Church. The Falcons had three hits in the inning.
Then in the sixth, the Falcons scored a pair of runs as Minteer crossed on a Waltner fielder’s choice before Grimsley scored on an error.
In the seventh Grimsley brought in Nelson on an RBI single, but that’s as close as the Falcons would come.
Flemer was tagged with the loss despite the Falcons outhitting the Sweets 10-6. Church, Nelson, Minteer and Grimsley each had a two-hit game.