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Falcons Fall in Finale to Black Bears

June 24, 2019 - West Coast League (WCL) - Kelowna Falcons News Release

KELOWNA, B.C. - A six-run 6th inning was the undoing for the Kelowna Falcons as they dropped the third and final game of their three-game series to the Cowlitz Black Bears by an 8-6 score on Sunday evening at Elks Stadium.

After runs in the 4th and 5th innings, and a terrific outing from Garner Spolijaric, the Black Bears battled to bring 11 batters to the plate in the 6th, scoring six runs and adding two in the 8th frame to come away and salvage the three-game series with a victory.

Garner Spolijaric made his first start as a Falcon and was terrific out of the gate, fanning four batters in the his first two innings and keeping the Black Bears bats in check got the beginning of the ballgame before the Falcons would give him some run support in the 4th inning and take the lead.

With two outs, newcomer Marcus Guarin and Zach Lehman drew walks to begin the rally before Ezra Samperi brought Guarin home from second with a single back up the middle. The second RBI of the season for Samperi was good enough to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead and score first for the 5th time in 6 games.

Kelowna jumped ahead by a 2-0 score in the 5th inning after getting the first two men on base in the way of walks from James Shimashita and Brandon Hupe and eventual loaded the bases. Conagher Sands grounded into a double play to bring a run home and give the home side a 2-0 lead.

That's when the Black Bears struck and brought 11 men to the plate in the 6th inning to collect their first, and only, lead of the ballgame. A passed ball score the opening run before a two-run single off the bat of Seth Beckstead gave Cowlitz the lead. An RBI single from James Arakawa allowed Austin Bell to drive in a pair of runs with a bloop single to left field and cap off the big inning for the visiting Black Bears.

The Falcons would have an answer after that, however, and draw within a run with two outs again. Newcoming outfielder Johnny Carr lifted a three-run home run over the wall in left field for his first as a Falcon and the trio of runs brought Kelowna within a run at 6-5.

Cowlitz would go on to add two more runs in the 8th inning to extend their lead to 8-5 with a passed ball bringing one home before another RBI off the bat of Bell, a sacrifice fly this time around, gave Cowlitz an 8-5 advantage.

Kelowna scrapped again to try and cut into the lead as Brayden Merritt chopped a ball over the first basemen Shane Jamison into right field for his 3rd RBI of the season and cut the Cowlitz lead to 8-6 but that would be as close as the Falcons could come, leaving the bases loaded in the 9th inning.

The Falcons (5-10) continue their six-game home stand as they host the Portland Pickles (7-11) for a three-game series at Elks Stadium. The first game of the set goes on Tuesday night with a first pitch set at a 6:35 PM with tickets available at the Falcons website as well as at the gate ahead of the game.

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