Gresham, Ore. -- After dropping the series versus the Wenatchee AppleSox, the Gresham GreyWolves responded with a 10-4 series-opening win against the visiting Yakima Valley Pippins on Saturday night at Oslund Field in Gresham, Oregon.
Andrew Hansen started on the mound for the GreyWolves and kept Yakima Valley off the scoreboard in the first inning, the first time an opponent hasn't scored in the first inning off Gresham pitching in four games.
Hansen was good all game long, keeping Pippins' batters off balance through his seven innings of work. He gave up two runs on five hits while striking out three and walking just one. Hansen (2-2) earned the win for his efforts after lasting just four innings in his last start versus Wenatchee. Walks were a big focus for Gresham on Saturday after walking 25 batters over the course of three games against the AppleSox.
The offense supported Hansen's efforts with a seven-run fifth inning after Yakima Valley tied the score at a run apiece on a solo home run by Lucas Denney. The seven runs, though, were all unearned thanks to three errors on Yakima Valley defense in the frame. In all, the Pippins committed five errors in the game, a new Yakima Valley-season high.
The seven-run fifth inning has highlighted by a Jason Drees RBI double (he finished 3-5 with two RBI and a run scored in his second start as a GreyWolf) and a two-run, two-out single by Ryan Novis, who finished 1-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
All seven runs in the fifth were charged to Pippins starter Cullen Kafka, but all were unearned. In total, Kafka threw five innings, allowing eight runs (one earned) on eight hits. Kafka (0-2) took the loss while walking two and striking out three.
The GreyWolves would add two more in the seventh inning on hits by Tony Gudino (who, after going 4-4 on Thursday, went 2-3 on Saturday) and Alec de Watteville, who batted in the lead-off spot for the first time this season and responded by going 2-4 with a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.
Left-handed pitcher Chris Brown made with 2017 GreyWolves debut on Saturday night in relief of Hansen. Brown pitched a perfect eighth inning before surrendering two runs in the ninth inning. In all, he threw two innings while allowing two runs on four hits. He struck out one and walked none in his first appearance of the season.
The win snaps a streak of four-straight series-opening losses for the GreyWolves, dating back to June 11 against Bellingham. Gresham has now also won three of five games and are back to four games below .500 at 9-13. The season series between the Pippins and the GreyWolves is now even at two wins each.
Game two is scheduled for Sunday with first pitch at 5:05 p.m. Daniel Caruso takes the ball for the GreyWolves and A.J. Landis will start for the Pippins. The game will be broadcast on mixlr.com/greywolves.