GRESHAM — The Bend Elks lost the lead, then they lost ground in the West Coast League playoff race.
Gresham tied the game in the seventh inning and took the lead in the eighth on a passed ball charged to Bend catcher Jordan Freese, and the Elks lost 7-6 to the GreyWolves to fall 1½ games behind Cowlitz and Corvallis in the South Division.
The Elks trailed 5-1 before staging a rally of their own. Zach Clayton hit a three-run home run, his first of the season, in the sixth inning, and Derek Chapman hit a two-run shot in the seventh inning to give the Elks a 6-5 lead. Chapman has a team-leading six home runs.
But Chase Thometz, who entered the game with a 6.75 ERA, struggled to work with Freese. The reliever opened the seventh allowing a single to Jackson Thoreson, who moved to third on a passed ball and scored on a Jake Palmer single.
In the eighth, Thometz opened by hitting Michael Peabody with a pitch, and an error by shortstop Jaylon McLaughlin put runners on first and second. After a fly out, Peabody stole third and scored on a passed ball for what proved to be the winning run.
Bend’s George Mendazona went 2-for-4 with an RBI to increase his hitting streak to nine games.
The Elks play a nonleague game Tuesday at Vince Genna Stadium, then start a regular season-ending home series against Cowlitz on Friday.