Gresham, Ore. -- One night after losing an eight-run lead in the ninth inning, the Gresham GreyWolves topped the Victoria HarbourCats 8-6 on Sunday night at Oslund Field in Gresham, Oregon.
Victoria struck first against Gresham starter Chris Brown, who made his first start of the year on Sunday, with a run in the first inning after a leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly. The GreyWolves would build a lead against Victoria starter Blake Hannah, who also made his first start of the season on Sunday. In the third inning, Cameron Briggs was hit by a pitch, Jordan Barchus walked and Aaron Simpson moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Novis then tied to score with an RBI groundout and Jake Palmer followed that with a run-scoring, two-out single to give the GreyWolves a lead.
After Brown fired a scoreless top of the fourth, Gresham scored again. With two outs, second baseman Jake Cosgrove crushed a home run over the left-field fence to put Gresham in front 3-1.
The HarbourCats scored twice in the top of the sixth against Brown to tie the score with consecutive run-scoring infield singles. The game wasn't tied for long though, as the GreyWolves scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jackson Thoreson led off the inning with a single before Drew Curtis hit his fifth home run of the year, an opposite-field blast over the right-field fence. With two outs, Briggs tripled and Barchus singled to center to drive him in and push Gresham's lead to 6-3.
Brown then fired another scoreless inning in the seventh (it would be his last inning) and allowed his offense to continue to add on. With one out, Jake Palmer tripled and Thoreson singled him to give Gresham a four-run lead.
Brown threw seven innings in his first start, allowing three runs (all earned) on 10 hits while striking out five and walking none. In the eighth, Ryan Ward relieved him and allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He also hit a batter but struck out the Victoria slugger Hunter Vansau with the bases loaded to preserve Gresham's lead.
A leadoff walk led to an insurance run for Gresham in the bottom of the eighth and Christian Peters pitched a perfect ninth inning to pick up his first save of the season. With the win, the GreyWolves improve to 8-8 in the second half of the season and can move above .500 with a win in Monday, when the GreyWolves send Alex Roth to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on mixlr.com/greywolves.