Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles provided some fireworks in the form of back-to-back home runs by Ron Brown and Dalton Harum to pull within one run in the bottom of the seventh, but the Lefties couldn’t complete the Fourth of July comeback, falling 5-4 to Kelowna Wednesday night.
Kelowna pitchers James Brooks, Isaac Olson and Cal Hehnke combined for 11 strikeouts while Grant Suponchick led the Falcons’ offense with a home run and the eventual game-winning RBI, a sacrifice in the top of the seventh.
Kelowna took a 2-0 lead in their initial at-bats, scoring on an RBI single by Austen Butler and a sacrifice fly from Lefties’ nemesis Trent Tinglestad.
In five games against Port Angeles this summer, Tinglestad, a Marysville product who will play at Lousiana-Monroe, went 8 for 16 with a double, two home runs, nine RBIs and four runs. The lefty-hitting outfielder also reached on a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Tinglestad leads the West Coast League with a .355 batting average and .438 on-base percentage.
Lefties catcher Ronnie Rust opened the bottom of the third with a single and eventually scored from second base on Justin VanDeBrake’s double to the gap in right/center field.
VanDeBrake attempted to turn the double into a triple and was thrown out at third base
A leadoff walk in the top of the fourth led to a Kelowna run and a 3-1 Falcons’ lead.
Port Angeles answered in their half of the inning, with Brown taking a leadoff walk, Harum following with a single and Brown hustling home to score from second on Trey Morgan’s RBI single.
Grant Suponchick’s solo homer in the sixth and sacrifice fly RBI in the eighth put Kelowna up 5-2.
Brown and Harum closed the gap to 5-4 with back-to-back solo home runs to left field to chase Olson.
Hehnke came on in relief and picked up the five-out save, striking out four Lefties to close out the contest.
Baxter Halligan (1-3) was the tough-luck losing pitcher for Port Angeles. Halligan scattered seven hits and three walks across seven innings, allowing four earned runs with four strikeouts.
Port Angeles (14-16) had Thursday off and open a three-game home stand today against the Yakima Valley Pippins (10-16) at 6:35 p.m.
The first two spots in the 2018 West Coast League playoffs have been secured by the Bellingham Bells and Portland Pickles. The Bells have clinched the first-half North title while the Pickles locked up the first-half title in the South.
Bellingham will look to make a return trip to the WCL championship series in 2018. The Bells were WCL champs in 2014 and made it back to the championship in 2016, where they ultimately fell to the Corvallis Knights.
Bellingham’s pitching staff has been especially stellar in 2018. UCLA freshman-to-be Nick Nastrini’s 0.39 ERA is the lowest in the WCL. In addition Pacific Lutheran University sophomore-to-be Justin Armbruester has the most strikeouts in the league this summer, with 40 in just 26 innings of work.
Portland has enjoyed instant success since joining the WCL this season. The Pickles have been particularly strong on offense. Cal State Northridge senior-to-be Joey Cooper leads the WCL with six home runs and current WCL Moss Adams Player of the Week Zander Clarke has the most RBIs in the circuit so far this summer. The UC San Diego senior-to-be has 24 RBIs in just 14 games.
Kelowna 5, Port Angeles 4
Falcons 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 — 5 9 1
Lefties 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 0— 4 8 1
WP: Brooks LP: Halligan SV: Hehnke
Falcons — Brooks 6IP, 2ER, 5H, 3BB, 6K; Olson 1.1IP, 2ER, 2H, K; Hehnke 1.2IP, H, 4K.
Lefties — Halligan 7IP, 4ER, 3BB, 4K; Minter IP, ER, H, 2BB; Frey IP, H, 2K.
Falcons — Tinglestad 2-4, 2B, R, RBI; Fish 2-2, 2BB, RBI; Suponchick 1-2, BB, 2R, HR, 2RBI; Butler 1-5, R, RBI; Pruitt 1-4, 2B.
Lefties — Brown 1-2, 2R, BB, HR, RBI; Morgan 1-3, BB, SB, RBI; Harum 2-3, R, RBI; Rust 1-3, R; VanDeBrake 1-5, 2B, RBI; Dicochea 1-3.
Compiled from team reports. Email scores to [email protected] or phone 360-417-3525.