TOPPENISH - After getting rained out last Saturday, Grandview's baseball team played at Toppenish yesterday in a CWAC South contest.
This time it was raining miscues in a 9-6 Greyhound victory.
"It wasn't pretty," said Grandview Coach Mike Chester. "I guess you could say we out-uglied them or they out-uglied us."
How ugly was it?
A total of 11 errors were committed and both teams struggled to find the umpire's strike zone as they combined to issue 17 walks. A combined seven free passes were issued in the first inning, alone.
The Greyhounds opened the contest with a three-run first, keyed by Tony Chester's two-run single.
Toppenish issued four walks and committed two errors in the opening stanza. All three of Grandview's runs were unearned.
But the Greyhounds returned the favor in the bottom of the first, surrendering four unearned runs.
Grandview starter Jeremy Stegeman struggled with control troubles, hitting the first batter and walking the second.
But it looked like he would be able to pitch himself out of trouble as a fielder's choice and a pick-off play gave Stegeman two quick outs.
But an infield error opened the floodgates, putting runners on first and second and setting the stage for four unearned runs.
After Stegeman walked a batter and hit two others, Coach Mike Chester had to go to his bullpen in the first inning.
The difference for Grandview seemed to be the bullpen, as Kevin Concienne and Rigo Rodriguez combined to hold Toppenish to two runs in six and one-third innings of relief.
Rodriguez, who threw four innings of relief, closed out the contest with three shutout frames to improve to 1-1 on the season.
Grandview took the lead for good with an unearned run in the fifth inning to make it 7-6.
"Our kids have to learn to take it to somebody that they're supposed to take it to," Chester said of the closer than expected win over Toppenish. "The positive is that we won, but it's not acceptable the way we won." In addition to the walks and errors, Chester said Grandview had the bases loaded on two occasions but could only muster a total of one run.
"We have an uncanny ability to play to our competition," he observed in comparing the "ugly" win over Toppenish with the solid play his team had just two days earlier in a victory over Othello.
Yesterday's victory over Toppenish came at a cost, as ace reliever Rigo Rodriguez had to pitch four innings, requiring a 48-hour break from throwing. As a result, he will not be available to take the mound during this Saturday's home twin bill against always-tough Othello.
"This will probably come back to bite us," he said of Rodriquez throwing so many innings at Toppenish.
Grandview (3-3, 4-4) will make up one of two rain-canceled games with Naches at home next Wednesday, April 12.
GV 302 111 1 9-6-5
TO 401 100 0 6-7-6