Morning Star Staff
Hunter Villanueva of the Kelowna Falcons has been named the West Coast League’s Most Valuable Player.
Villanueva, of Bakersfield, Calif., won the summer collegiate baseball league’s batting crown with a .378 average.
The Fresno Pacific Sunbird freshman also registered 62 hits which tied a Falcons’ team record, 12 doubles, seven home runs and 33 RBI.
The 6-foot-1 shortstop showed great range and a strong arm.
Justin Flores joins Villanueva on the First Team All-WCL.
Villanueva becomes the first Falcons player ever to win an MVP.
Brady Miller of the Falcons has been named the WCL’s Pitcher of the Year. Miller was 6-0. In seven starts he threw 37 innings striking out 23 and allowed just nine earned runs. His 2.19 ERA was among the WCL’s lowest for starting pitchers.
Miller becomes the third Falcons pitcher to win this award, following Dayne Quist (2010) and Cord Cockrill (2012).
Jayse Bannister claimed another honour for the pitching staff as he made the second all-star team.
The West Coast League also announced Billy Clontz is the Coach of the Year in just his second season. Clontz was able to more than double the Falcons win total from 2014.
Last season, the Falcons finished with a league worst 14-39 record. This season Clontz and company had 34 wins, setting a new team record.
Clontz becomes the first Falcons manager ever to win the league’s Coach of the Year award.
The Falcons front office was also honoured by the WCL as General Manager Mark Nonis was named the Co-Executive of the Year, sharing the award with Casey Powell of the Bend Elks.
Nonis helped Clontz build this year’s record breaking team, as well forged new partnerships off the field with community leaders.
The Falcons charity ballgames in 2015 helped raised thousands of dollars for local charities including the Fire Fighters Burn Fund and the United Way.
Kyle Anderson of Vernon was the team’s play-by-play internet voice.