KELOWNA, B.C. - A lack of available pitchers caught up to the Walla Walla Sweets on Sunday evening, as the Kelowna Falcons salvaged the final game of a three-game set against the Sweets by a score of 15-1.
The tone of the game was set early as the Falcons pounced on Sweets' starter Mike Richard for three runs in the bottom of the first. Due to two defensive errors (one by Richard himself), none of the first-inning runs were earned.
"I take responsibility for this game," Richard said after the game. "As the starter, I'm supposed to set the tone and tonight I didn't do that.
Richard fell behind against many of the batters he faced, as opposed to his Falcons counterpart, Brandon Creel. Creel consistently drilled the first pitch for a strike against the Sweets and ended up going seven innings, giving up one run on six hits while striking out seven and walking only two.
Creel's only jam of the night came in the second inning, when the Sweets loaded the bases with nobody out. After a Kevin Williams RBI-ground-out to second put runners on the corners with one out, Creel got Kevin Kuntz to line out to shortstop. Williams was doubled up on the play at first to end the inning.
Kelowna expanded their lead with one run in the third and two in the sixth. Down 6-1 in the bottom of the eighth and seemingly out of pitchers, manager J.C. Biagi brought in Matt Har, a position player. A steady barrage of hits led to a nine-run eighth inning for the Falcons and the 15-1 final score.
"We're obviously disappointed with the outcome tonight, but given the pitching situation I'm proud of Mike and Brian (Biagi) for gutting it out as long as they could these last two nights," Biagi said. "We're looking forward to having a full staff again on Tuesday night."
Pitchers Zach Clanton, Chris Kerns and Brian Biagi were unavailable from usage while Kody Young and Ryan Richardson did not have the necessary paperwork to make the trip over the boarder to Canada.
The Sweets return to action on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. when they host the Portland Ports at Borleske Stadium.
Walla Walla 010 000 000 - 1 7 0
Kelowna 301 002 09x - 15 15 0
Richard, Hart (8) and Stanfield. Creel, Angus (8) and Blake.
HR - none.
Hits - WW: Poplawski, Stanfield, Dupart, Yanizick 2, Matthews, Kuntz; Kelowna: Cuthbertson 2, Wolfe, Scott, Bolinger, Blake 2, Sawyer 2, Chism 2, Allbritton 2, Wagner, Hawk.