Wenatchee, Wash. -- The Gresham GreyWolves fell to the Wenatchee AppleSox by a score of 8-7 on Sunday evening in Wenatchee, Washington.
For the second-straight night, the AppleSox got out to a quick start. The home team scored three runs in the second inning and after Gresham responded with two in the third, Wenatchee added two more in both the third and fourth innings for a 7-2 lead. All seven of those runs were charged to GreyWolves starter Andrew Hansen, though the final two were unearned because of an error at second base by Cole Weaver. Hansen would finish the fourth inning before being pulled. He allowed seven runs (five earned) on eight hits while striking out eight and walking none.
Down by five runs, the Gresham offense got to work. Sparked by a Weaver single directly following his two-run error, the GreyWolves scored two runs in the fifth and added two more in the sixth, capped off another Weaver hit - this time a run-scoring double to right field. Gresham stranded two runners on base in the sixth (including Weaver, the tying run, at second base) and stranded 11 runners on base, a season-high for the GreyWolves.
In the fifth inning, Alec de Watteville sent a bases-loaded double off the wall in center field and it looked as if all three runners would score. Weaver scored from third, Ross Puskarich scored from second but from first, Tyler Parker was ruled out at the plate. Originally, home plate umpire Josh Marshall waved his arms in the "safe" motion as Parker crossed the plate, signaling that all three runs had scored safely. However, Marshall would later rule that Parker never touched home plate. After the safe call, though, Parker returned to the Gresham dugout thinking he was safe and the play was over. Marshall ruled that because he did not touch home plate and then returned to the dugout, Parker was out. The AppleSox never applied a tag to Parker even after he came across home plate. The call took a run off the board for the GreyWolves.
AppleSox starter Connor McCord threw five innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while striking out six and walking three. Reliever Michael Spellacy allowed the two runs in the sixth inning.
With the Wenatchee lead cut to just one after the sixth inning, AppleSox slugger and West Coast League runs batted in leader Evan Johnson, who had already hit an opposite-field, two-run home run earlier, sent a Brad Danzeisen fastball over the right-field fence to double Wenatchee's lead to two runs at 8-6.
Danzeisen threw the final four innings for Gresham and gave up just the one run on three hits. He struck out one and did not walk any AppleSox but the home run he allowed would prove to be the decisive run after Gresham scored a run in the ninth inning.
After Ryan Novis, who reached base four times on Sunday, walked to lead off the inning, Wenatchee reliever Hugh Smith recorded two-straight outs, which brought up Gresham catcher Mike Macove. Down to his final strike, Macove sent a triple into the right-center field gap that scored Novis to cut the deficit to just one and put himself, the tying run, just 90 feet away. Pinch hitter Jacob Sniffin struck out to end the game.
Smith recorded the final six outs for the AppleSox and allowed one run on two hits while striking out four runs. Smith earned his first save of the season.
The loss drops the GreyWolves' record to 6-11 on the season and ever since Gresham swept a doubleheader versus the Kelowna Falcons, the GreyWolves have lost eight of nine games.
After the loss on Saturday, Sunday's loss ensures Gresham will lose its third-consecutive series. The South Division-leading Corvallis Knights lost on Sunday, meaning the GreyWolves are still 4.5 games behind the division lead with 10 games remaining in the first half of the 2017 West Coast League season.
The GreyWolves wrap up its six-game road trip on Monday in Wenatchee looking to avoid a three-game sweep by salvaging a game versus the AppleSox. Gresham is currently 1-4 on the road trip. Monday's game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and will be broadcast live on mixlr.com/greywolves.