GRESHAM — George Mendazona hit his first home run in more than 13 months, Cal Waterman doubled and homered, and the Bend Elks started their late-season push for a West Coast League playoff spot with a 9-2 win over the Gresham GreyWolves on Saturday evening.
The Elks are a half-game out of a playoff spot after idle first-half champion Corvallis moved into first place when Cowlitz lost. The Elks trail Yakima Valley by a half-game in the overall standings and are percentage points ahead of Cowlitz.
Mendazona, a Ridgeview High product, hit a tiebreaking two-run shot in the fifth inning. It was his first competitive home run since he hit one for the Elks on June 10, 2016, a streak of 73 games — 62 with the Elks and 11 this past spring with Oregon State — without a home run.
Waterman, a Summit High graduate, hit his third homer of the season in the second inning to give Bend a 1-0 lead. His double was part of a six-run eighth inning that put the game out of reach.
Grant Larson (3-2) struck out 11 in seven innings, the first double-digit strikeout performance by an Elks pitcher this season.
The Elks face the GreyWolves again Sunday in the second game of the three-game series. First pitch is set for 5:05 p.m.
— Bulletin staff report