Sweets stunned by Kelowna, 6-3Posted: Updated:
KELOWNA, B.C. – Kelowna rallied for five runs on four hits in the bottom of the eighth to earn a 6-3 victory and stun the Sweets on Friday night at Elks Stadium.
With the win, the Falcons (10-5) took three-of-four from the Sweets (4-12). The Sweets are just 1-9 in their last 10 games, all on the road.
The Sweets battled all game long and their hard work paid off in the seventh inning. Trailing 1-0, Chance Kopacz led off with a double but was picked off at second. A strikeout left the bases empty with two outs but Ryan Cooper kept the inning alive with a single. Kris Paulino followed with a ground ball to second that was misplayed to put runners on the corners. Hitless on the game with runners in scoring position, Alex Bonczyk laced a two-strike, two-run triple over the head of the right fielder to give the Sweets a 2-1 lead. Brett Jacobs followed with a single to make it 3-1.
Walla Walla then put runners on second and third with no outs in the eighth inning looking to put the game away. Curtis Sawchuk, however, came on to notch a pair of strikeouts to leave the runners on base.
Kelowna used that momentum in the bottom of the eighth. A pair of one-out walks started the rally and a broken-bat single to left loaded the bases. Cameron Alvarado then worked a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-2 before Ben Ruff was able to get a strikeout for the second out. A Sweets killer all week, Kyle Pearson stepped to the plate with two outs and knocked a two-run single to right-center to make it 4-3 Kelowna. The Falcons added two more runs for the final margin.
Hunter Virant made his first start of the summer for the Sweets and lasted five innings. He allowed just one run on one hit but walked seven. Virant held the Falcons hitless for the first four innings before a Jerry McClanahan single to right field with one out in the fifth. He got a strikeout and a fly out to end a threat in the second but struggled in the third. He walked Alvarado to leadoff the inning and then sent him to third as his pickoff throw went into center field. Alvarado came around two pitches later on a wild pitch. Luke West was strong in relief, allowing just two hits over 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
For the second-straight night, the Sweets had several chances to get on the board early. They loaded the bases with two outs in the first but Kelowna starter Case Coshow got a strikeout. The Sweets put two runners on with no outs in the second but Cooper's line drive to short turned into a double play as Patrick Johnson made leaping catch. Walla Walla then hit into double plays in the fourth and fifth innings.
The Sweets continue their seven-game road trip on Saturday in Bremerton, Wash., against Kitsap. Matt Imhof will get the ball in the series opener on Saturday night at 6:35 p.m.