Yakima, Wash. -- The Gresham GreyWolves suffered a tough 5-3 loss to the Yakima Valley Pippins on Wednesday night in Yakima, Washington.
The GreyWolves led by a score of 3-0 through seven full innings after single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. On the other side, Gresham starter Robert Reaser threw scoreless frame after scoreless frame. He went seven innings allowing no runs on four hits while striking out seven Pippins and walking three.
Drew Curtis gave Gresham the lead in the fourth with a towering home run down the left field line, his third home run in the GreyWolves' last four games. Gresham would add a run in the fifth on an RBI single by Aaron Simpson and another in the sixth on an RBI single by Conner Bock.
Pippins starter A.J. Landis threw seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five. His efforts warranted a no-decision.
Then the eighth inning happened. With Reaser's pitch count in triple digits, head coach Justin Barchus turned to the bullpen. Dakota Weindel relieved Reaser and gave up two straight singles to open up the eighth inning. Then he induced a slow ground ball to short where Alec de Watteville fired to second base for the force out, but the runner was called safe, loading the bases with zero outs in the inning.
Weindel induced a double play in the next at-bat, which scored a run. The double play would have ended the inning if the force out was called at second base but second base umpire Chris Kelly ruled that second baseman Cole Weaver's foot came off the base, allowing the run to slide in safely.
Brad Danzeisen then relieved Weindel after the double play, but four straight base runners reached allowing the tying, go-ahead, and insurance runs to score. The Pippins scored a total of five runs in the inning on five hits. Danzeisen (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning.
Liam Herlihy (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning and earned the win while closer Connor White worked a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts to pick up his second save of the season.
The loss is the GreyWolves' fifth straight, dating back to the final game of Gresham's series vs. Kelowna. The GreyWolves were swept at home by the Bellingham Bells earlier in the week. Gresham is now sitting at 5-8 on the season, is fourth in the South Division and 4.5 games behind the division-leading Corvallis Knights.
The win is Yakima Valley's second straight and moves the Pippins back to .500 at 5-5 on the season, good enough for fourth in the North Division, but just one game behind the Bellingham Bells.
Game 2 of the three-game series is on Friday at 7:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on mixlr.com/greywolves.