GRESHAM, Ore. – Looking to get back on track after dropping three consecutive ballgames, the Gresham GreyWolves got a boost from one of their freshest faces in their series finale with the Yakima Valley Pippins.
David Wallum – a right-handed pitcher from Linn-Benton CC – did not join the team until about 30 hours before Saturday’s first pitch, but the freshman came up big in his first start for Gresham. Wallum (1-0) threw six innings of scoreless baseball against visiting Yakima Valley (6-1), propelling his new team to a 5-0 shutout victory.
“He was always a dude for us,” says Jack Bauer, Wallum’s LBCC and summer league teammate. “I really loved catching for him at Linn Benton. We’re expecting a lot out of him this summer, so that was exciting to see.”
Wallum was surgical in his work throughout the early innings on Saturday, oftentimes allowing a baserunner or two but never letting those runners come near scoring. His offense was then able to give him some breathing room in the bottom of the third, using a 2-RBI double off the bat of Will Matthiessen to give the GreyWolves (3-3) a 2-0 lead.
“Mentally, you’ve just got to know that you are going to beat the guy (at the plate),” Wallum said after the win. “I just have to throw the ball and let the defense do the work.”
The righty would go on to work three more innings staked to a two run advantage, throwing up three more zeros on the scoreboard before handing the ball over to reliever Carter Buuck (Linfield). He left the game having scattered six hits in six innings of work.
Buuck worked a scoreless seventh for Gresham, and his offense was able to put some insurance on the board in the bottom half of the frame.
Center fielder Ryan Smith made the score 3-0 with a one-out RBI single, and it was Ryan Rodriguez who broke the game open by beating out an infield single and forcing a bad throw by the Pippin second baseman. The base hit scored one run, while Smith also came around to the plate thanks to the error.
With a 5-0 cushion, Buuck was able to calmly collect the final six outs of the game. The phenomenal performance from the pitching staff improved the club’s record to .500 on the young season, while also handing Yakima Valley its first loss of West Coast League play in the process.
“Seeing everybody do their job and get outs is great,” says Wallum. “You always love to have trust in all of your pitchers.”
It’s now time to hit the road, where a three-game set with the Victoria HarbourCats awaits the GreyWolves. That series in British Columbia will get started on Tuesday night, serving as the first road game in the franchise’s short history.
“I think we’ll be geared up and ready to go,” head coach Justin Barchus said on Saturday. “It’s a tough atmosphere up in Victoria with as many fans as they get, but I think the guys will have fun and feed off that energy.”
Photo credit: Erik Schultz
The GreyWolves are on Twitter (@GreshamGWolves) and Instagram (greshamgwolves). Fans can also find us on Facebook here. To purchase tickets, apparel or hats for the inaugural season of GreyWolves play, visit www.greshamgreywolves.com or call (503) 390-2225.