The Kelowna Falcons dropped their third West Coast League game in a row and were swept for the first time this season as they fell 8-2 to the Portland Pickles on Sunday night at Walker Stadium.
Portland pitching held the Falcons offence to just one hit through eight innings while the Pickles scored in five of the eight frames and were able to complete the series on a hot day in Oregon as the Portland bats scored eight runs on eleven hits en route to their fourth victory in a row.
A Gio Diaz sacrifice fly opened the scoring in the first inning on two uncharacteristic errors from the Falcons allowed Carson Breshears to move to third base before being brought in by Diaz for the 1-0 Pickles lead.
Portland continued to apply the pressure in the 2nd inning on a pair of two-out RBI singles to extend their lead to 3-0. Jace McKinney and Breshears both collected RBI singles off of Kelowna starter Stone Churby as the Falcons found themselves in an early hole.
Matt Land broke a long stretch of hitless baseball for Kelowna with a two-out single up the middle, which broke a stretch of 13 innings without a base hit for Kelowna.
The Pickles continued their scoring in the 5th inning on a lead-off home run off the bat of Diaz, Portland’s second homer of the weekend, put the home side ahead by a 4-0 score before the Pickles biggest offensive inning of the game came in the way of a three-run 6th frame.
Portland brought eight batters to the plate while collecting three hits and another two errors from the Falcons helping them to a big inning. McKinney led off the scoring with a sacrifice fly before more two-out runs came in the way of back-to-back RBI doubles from Sam Novitske and Diaz, his third RBI of the night, and broke the game open at 7-0.
Kelowna’s offence continued its struggles while Portland added another run in the 8th inning thanks to an RBI double from catcher Daniel Edson to take an 8-0 lead before Kelowna broke their scoreless stretch as Taylor Wright came home on an error from Diaz before Garrett Kelly drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it an 8-2 game, which would be the final score.
Churby started the game for Kelowna, going three innings while allowing three runs and being saddled with the loss while Michael Frias picked up the win for the Pickles, going three innings in relief and allowing just one hit.
The Falcons (20-16/6-4) have two days off for the West Coast League’s All-Star Game before returning to action on Wednesday, July 18th as they host the Bend Elks (11-28/4-8) for a three-game series at Elks Stadium. Tickets can be purchased through the Falcons website or at the door ahead of the 6:35 PM first pitch.
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