Gresham, Ore. -- After starting the second half of the season on Friday, the Gresham GreyWolves fell to the visiting Corvallis Knights by a score of 3-2 on Saturday, July 1 at Oslund Field in Gresham, Oregon.
The Knights moved out in front early behind a solo home run off the bat of Matt Kelly in the first inning but Gresham would respond with two of their own in the bottom of the inning. Two doubles and a single netted Gresham two and the GreyWolves took their first lead of the series.
The score would stay 2-1 with Gresham in front until the top of the sixth inning when Corvallis pushed two across to take a 3-2 lead. Both runs scored off GreyWolves starter Alex Roth, who suffered a tough-luck loss (0-1) after throwing 5 1/3 solid innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. Roth tied a Gresham season-high for most strikeouts in a single game but could not escape the sixth inning.
In relief of Roth, Gresham reliever Chris Brown threw 3 2/3 scoreless frames while allowing four hits. He struck out one and did not walk any Knights.
Cole Spear did not pitch the sixth inning either, but not because he struggled. He was pulled after five solid innings, in which he allowed two runs on four hits while striking out five, walking two, and earing his second win on the season (2-1).
Two Corvallis bullpen arms threw the final four innings and did not allow a single run while only giving up two hits. Chase Kaplan pitched both the eighth and ninth innings to pick up a six-out save, his third save of the season.
On the offensive side, Gresham was paced by Ryan Novis, who singled twice, drew a walk, and scored a run. Four other GreyWolves had hits to combine for Gresham's six total hits.
With the win, Corvallis improves to 16-10 on the season and officially clinches the South Division first half championship. No matter what happens in the second half of the season, Corvallis will be one of four West Coast League teams that play in the postseason.
The win drops the GreyWolves to 10-19 on the season (10-17 in the first half and 0-2 in the second half). No other team in the South has finished the first half yet, so Gresham is alone in last place at 0-2 in the second half standings, a game behind all other teams that have yet to play a second-half game.
The GreyWolves will try to salvage game three of the series against the Knights on Sunday at 5:05 p.m. from Oslund Field. The game will be broadcast on mixlr.com/greywolves.