GreyWolves win finale in heated series
Victoria's protest falls on deaf ears, Josh Adams responds with a home run
WEST COAST LEAGUE BASEBALL
Thursday, July 14
The Gresham GreyWolves showed themselves to be a West Coast League playoff contender after taking a series from the league's hottest team last week, knocking off the Victoria Harbourcats 9-6 in Thursday's rubber match.
Gresham erased an early deficit by putting together a five-run spurt in the fourth inning. Curtis Perrin hit a one-hopper past first base to push the GreyWolves in front 4-3 a lead that they would never relinquish.
Things took a strange turn late in the game.
Victoria took the field for the bottom of the sixth and decided to make a pitching change.
The umpire said not so fast.
Once a player fires a warm-up pitch from the mound, he is required to face the first batter of the inning. Victoria coach Graig Merritt disagreed to the point of protesting the game, prompting the umpire to walk to the parking lot, find the rule in the book and return to the field to resume play 20 minutes later.
He is a coach who likes to kill a team's rhythm, and this just seemed like a way to delay the game, GreyWolves coach Justin Barchus said.
Victoria reliever Jack Wolger stayed on the mound and got Gresham's Jack Johnson to fly out to center field.
No pitching change for the Harbourcats.
Mark Cardinalli was next up. Fly ball to left field to out number two.
Still, no change on the mound.
Next up was Josh Adams, who watched a pair of balls miss the zone before launching a home-run blast over the right-field fence.
He trotted around the bases, and Victoria made a switch bringing Cameron Schneider out of the bullpen.
He was trying to prolong the game and it came back to bite him. I have one word karma, Adams said.
The homer put Gresham in command 9-5.
Tensions carried into post game when Merritt made a point to exchange words with Barchus near home plate.
They've won a lot of games and take on this bully mentality, but we preach to our guys not to let another team intimidate you, Barchus said. We just won a big series. They are upset and our guys are excited. That doesn't always mix for high fives after the game, but we got it broken up before it got out of hand.
The win allowed Gresham to hit the all-star break with a 7-2 record in the second half of the season, heading into this week's three-game set against first-half South champion Corvallis. The series opener is 7:05 p.m. Wednesday at Oslund Field.
Look for expanded coverage in our Tuesday, July 19, print edition.