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Greyhound bats shut down again

GRANDVIEW - The Grandview baseball team was shut out for the third consecutive game in a 2-0 loss at home yesterday to Kiona-Benton.

"We're being fooled on pitches we shouldn't be fooled on," said Coach Mike Chester. "Maybe we're thinking too much at the plate."

The CWAC South contest again featured solid pitching from the Grandview mound corps, as starter Rigo Rodriguez (2-3) threw six-plus innings of two-hit, shutout baseball at the visiting Bears.

Ki-Be pushed across the only runs of the game in the top of the seventh, nicking Rodriguez for two runs on three hits. Reliever Kevin Concienne came in to record the final out, but the damage was done.

The Greyhounds, who were held to three hits, had their best chance to score in the fifth inning.

Andrew Tucker reached first base on a fielder's choice in the fifth, then stole second base. A walk one out later put runners on first and second with two outs for lead-off hitter Tony Chester, who ended the threat with a groundout.

Coach Mike Chester said he has consulted with a coaching friend about the Greyhound batting slump, who encouraged him to be patient with the team.

"He told me that you go through these things; just keep on doing what we're doing and not deviate or screw up their swings," Chester said.

Grandview will focus on putting the ball in play and work on hit and run plays during practice today, Chester noted.

Chester has already tweaked the Greyhound batting order, and plans to bring JV player Josh Bertsch up to varsity. "He's been hitting the ball for the JV team, so we'll give him a shot in the outfield and put him in the batting order," Chester said.

Even though they've suffered three consecutive shutout losses, the Greyhounds (4-6, 5-7) are very much in the CWAC South playoff race.

"We're still in the hunt for a playoff spot," observed Chester, who noted his team is one-half game out of the fifth and final playoff berth, currently held by Othello at 4-5 in league play.

Grandview will make up the first of two rain canceled games with Othello tomorrow, Thursday, at home.

"Cross your fingers for good luck," Chester laughed. "I'll take all the help I can get."

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