GRANDVIEW - Spring is still a week away, but Grandview's baseball team opened the 2006 campaign this past Saturday by splitting a doubleheader with visiting Riverside Christian.
In a 13-5 first game loss, Grandview Coach Mike Chester went with his junior varsity players on the mound and in the field.
"We had some fielders who were on the bubble as far as making varsity," Chester said. "We needed to see them in action."
Riverside Christian posted a 9-0 lead through the top half of the fourth inning, as Greyhound JV hurlers Steve Madrigal and Joel Cardenas combined to issue eight walks and hit four batters.
Chester inserted his varsity pitchers into the game for the final three innings, and put some regulars into the field as Grandview outscored the Crusaders 5-4 the rest of the way in a losing cause.
Rigo Rodriguez homered in the opener to spark Grandview.
"That was a good game to see some kids, we learned a lot," Chester said. "I figured that was more of a practice game for us."
In the nightcap, Chester played his starters from the get-go in a 3-2 victory.
Jeremy Stegeman took the hill to start the second game. Tony Chester came on in relief in the third inning, before giving way to Rigo Rodriquez in the seventh.
Through six innings Stegeman and Chester combined to shut out Riverside Christian, as Grandview's offense provided a three-run cushion led by a Adrian Jasso homer.
In the seventh, Mike Chester put some of his reserve players in the field to give them late-game experience.
That opened the door for the Crusaders, who turned a couple of Grandview miscues into two runs before Rodriguez shut the door for the save.
Chester, who earned the win, had a strike to ball ratio of 29-9. Stegeman's was equally impressive at 25-5. Neither walked a batter.
"The second game was much better for us," said Mike Chester. "But we left some guys on base, six in scoring position."
Chester said he is pleased with Grandview's four-man pitching rotation, but noted, "It's a long season in the CWAC, so we need to keep those guys healthy."
Tomorrow's scheduled league opener against Othello was moved to April 4 due to the Greyhounds' recently completed run in the 2A State basketball tourney.
That gives Grandview (1-1) the rest of the week to gear up for the actual league opener this Saturday at Kiona-Benton.
"They're always a tough team," he said of the Bears. "We'll have to come out and be ready to play."
RC 0 2 3 4 1 0 3 13-6-3
GV 0 0 0 0 3 2 0 5-11-2
RC 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2-6-1
GV 0 2 0 0 0 1 x 3-5-2