|Tanner Kiest letting it rip|
While that may sound close, it really was not. Kelowna starter Preston Gray went seven and two thirds before leaving the game in the hands of his shaky relief staff. Gray was cruising until the eighth, very much enjoying an 8-1 lead which eventually slipped to 8-3. Enter Austin Rice who did get the final out of the eighth, but ended up surrendering three consecutive hits in the ninth (after an HBP) and four total runs in just one third of an inning. After going two for four and scoring two runs at the plate, local (well...Duncan!) lad Darren Kolk came in to get the final three outs, the last one coming with the potential tying run - Alex real - standing on second.
For Victoria, newly acquired (and LA Dodger draft pick) Tanner Kiest had a bit of a rough start but settled down to pitch a pretty nice six and two thirds innings, giving up four hits, four walks and striking out three. Unfortunately for him, his stat line looks a bit worse than that as Cameron Cuneo spilled a little gasoline on the fire, serving up two hits and a walk without recording an out in what turned out to be a five run seventh inning. At the dish, Alex Real was a solid two for five, while David Schuknecht, Brandon Smith and Timmy Richards were all two for four, the latter atoning for hitting into an earlier double play by coming through with a very clutch hit in the ninth.
OK, so I guess it did end up being close, but the HarbourCats played just well enough to lose. The Falcons did everything they could to try and give it away but still managed to stumble out of RAP with a win, hopefully their last one of the series. And I'm telling you, I never saw so many flares land in for hits tonight. It looked like my old buddy Spike slicing his classic loopers into right field at the slo-pitch diamond.
The key points though are this - hitting was dead until it didn't really matter, and the 'Cats committed another three errors. There were a few bobbles as well and it could have been a lot worse as Alex Real fought the sun all night at first but did not drop one of the solar balls fired his way. The GOOD news is that they got some nice clutch hitting at the end of the game. Not enough to win, but enough to give me that most dangerous of things for the sports fan..."hope".
I'm thinking Dennis Rogers needs to go all Bull Durham on the boys, so these lolly-gaggers get it in gear before it is too late. The losing streak stands at four games now but I fully expect it to be broken tomorrow with the versatile Robby Nesovic on the hill.
Come on Victoria, the lads need us to fire them up, so get on out to RAP and let's turn this ship around.