GRANDVIEW - Regardless of the outcome of a protest made in Wednesday's game against Connell, the Grandview High School baseball team was the better club.
The Greyhounds followed up Tuesday's win over Ki-Be with a 13-12 victory over the Eagles. The game was a continuance from Saturday's contest at Dust Devils Stadium between the two teams. The Eagles edged past the Greyhounds in the opener of last Saturday's game, but the nightcap was called in the top of the third inning because of rain. Connell led 8-3 at the time the game was postponed.
The two teams picked right up yesterday on Grandview's home field.
The protest from Connell stems from an incident that occurred in the sixth inning when Grandview Coach Mike Chester brought in his son, Tony, to pitch in relief of Kevin Concienne. The issue stems from the fact Chester had pitched the opener of Saturday's game against the Eagles. And since the game was still being treated as a doubleheader, Chester wasn't eligible to pitch. Chester was only in for one out, which was a pop-up, before the mistake was realized.
"That pretty much gave them the opportunity to protest," said Chester. "I knew I had screwed up."
Grandview High School Athletic Director Zane Wells said this morning (Thursday) that he was still trying to iron out the details of the issue, but for right now the game still stands as a win for the Greyhounds.
The pitching episode aside, the Greyhounds strung together a noteworthy effort to get the win.
Before the game was called on Saturday, Connell had scored seven runs in the top of the second to take the 8-3 lead. The Greyhounds had an answer when the game picked up yesterday. Grandview responded with four runs in the bottom of the third, which included a three-run home run from Rigo Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, though, wasn't done yet.
The Eagles tacked on a pair of runs in the fourth and one more in the fifth to take an 11-7 lead. Grandview answered with two runs in the fifth and a three-run spot in the sixth, which came off another three-run home run from Rodriguez.
Connell tied the game in the top of the seventh, scoring a run off J.R. Camacho. The Greyhound catcher was a bit erratic, said Chester, throwing for the first time this year. Camacho gave up a couple of walks that hurt him in the seventh, but got the job done when he had to do so. With two outs and runners aboard, Camacho fanned Connell's big gun, Tony Lee, to end the inning.
The Greyhounds rallied for the win in the bottom of the seventh when Ruben Cardenas singled to score Chester for the game-winning run.
Grandview had its best hitting performance of the year, knocking out 14 hits. Rodriguez finished the day 4-for-4 and Chester went 3-for-4. Marty Guillen finished 2-for-4.
"We came out and swung the bat a little bit," said Chester.
Regardless of what happens with the protest, Chester hopes his team realizes it deserved to win yesterday.
"I am hoping the momentum keeps going," said Chester. "I want them to stay focused."
Pending the outcome of the protest, the Greyhounds moved to 5-9 in the league standings (5-9 overall). Grandview travels to East Valley this Saturday.