Port Angeles, Wash. -- The Gresham GreyWolves fell to the Port Angeles Lefties 6-1 on the Fourth of July on Tuesday in Port Angeles, Washington.
The GreyWolves, after being swept at home by the Corvallis Knights to open the second half of the season, needed a win. The same could be said for Port Angeles, who finished last in the North Division in the West Coast League and lost the first two games of the second half.
Port Angeles is in its first year of existence after taking the place of the Kitsap BlueJackets and Gresham is in its second year of existence after taking the place of the Klamath Falls Gems. Tuesday marked the first game the two franchises had ever played against each other.
It was the GreyWolves who struck first when Alec de Watteville sent a home run over the left field fence in the third inning to give the GreyWolves an early 1-0 lead.
For a moment, it seemed like that swing of the bat might be the difference in the game. Through four innings, Gresham starter Zak Baayoun, who had yet to allow an earned run in nine innings coming in to Tuesday's game, had kept the Lefties off the board on just one hit -- to the first batter he faced.
In the fifth inning, though, things took a turn. Back-to-back hits to open the inning set the stage for a six-run frame. Looking to limit the damage to just two runs, Baayoun needed to retire Port Angeles' Sean Roby. With the bases loaded and two outs, Roby sent a grand slam over the fence in center field to give the Lefties a 6-1 lead.
The score would stay that way. Port Angeles scored six runs on six hits in the inning. The Lefties scored zero runs on four hits in the seven other innings they came to the plate.
Port Angeles' starter Nick Bonnicksen was dominant against the GreyWolves on Tuesday. He allowed two hits (both were extra-base hits) in seven innings of work while striking out seven and walking none. He earned his third win of the season against one loss.
Ross Puskarich doubled to lead off the ninth inning (his second double of the game) but Gresham could not rally off the Port Angeles bullpen and fell 6-1. Gresham tallied just three hits all game, which is tied for a season-low for the GreyWolves.
Gresham has now lost five-straight games, bridging the first and second halves of the season. Overall, the GreyWolves are 10-21 and 0-4 in the second half of the season. The Corvallis Knights improved to 2-0 in the second half with a win on Tuesday so the GreyWolves are now a full four games back in the South Division.
Gresham looks to even up the series on Wednesday in Port Angeles. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. with the pregame show starting at 6:20 on mixlr.com/greywolves.