Gems hit the road looking to extend WCL streak

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Riding a four-game West Coast League winning streak and winners of their last six games overall, the Klamath Falls Gems head out on the road at the Kitsap BlueJackets Friday night (6:05 p.m. – 960 the Sports Legend).

After a slow start, the Gems enter the weekend only five games out of a playoff spot in the WCL west division. Division leader Corvallis is five games ahead of Bend, but the teams are a combined 7-13 in their last 10 games each. Klamath Falls is 5-5 in that same stretch.

Meanwhile, Kitsap sports the league’s second-worst record (9-24) and is 3-7 in the last 10 games.

It is the first meeting between Kitsap and Klamath Falls and shows off two of the WCL’s leaders in home runs.

Kitsap’s Jerad Casper and Klamath Falls’ Austin Byler have hit five homers each. Casper went deep Thursday in a 8-7 loss to Cowlitz and is in the top 10 in RBI (17). Byler’s last WCL home run was against Cowlitz on June 28. Kitsap’s Rhys Hoskins is among the league leaders with three.

BlueJackets pitcher Colin Feldtman is among the league’s best with three wins, but threw on Independence Day, so he may not go against Klamath Falls in the series. However, both Gems pitchers ranking in the top three in strikeouts should face Kitsap.

Bryan Clough and Nathan Bunch each have thrown 32 Ks, with Clough earning his first win in his last outing. Clough threw seven strikeouts in seven innings to beat Kelowna 7-2 on June 30. He also ranks in the top 10 in ERA (1.73).

Nathan Bunch threw the next day to a no decision in 4 2/3 innings. He had five strikeouts in the Gems’ 7-6 win over Kelowna.

West Coast League Scores – Thursday

Cowlitz 8, Kitsap 7
Wenatchee 5, Walla Walla 2
Bellingham 6, Corvallis 5

Friday Games

Corvallis (18-10) at Kelowna (14-10) – 5:05 p.m.
Wenatchee (20-5) at Bend (11-13) – 6:35 p.m.
Klamath Falls (6-18) at Kitsap (9-24) – 6:35 p.m.
Cowlitz (11-14) at Bellingham (18-9) – 7:05 p.m.