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Miscues cost 'Hounds a shot at topping state-ranked Ephrata

EPHRATA - Grandview's baseball team traveled to state-ranked and CWAC North top seed Ephrata in District tourney play Tuesday and made it a game, despite sustaining a 6-0 loss.

"The biggest thing I wanted to do was compete and not get blown out," said Greyhound Coach Mike Chester. "I'm proud of the way the boys battled against a pitcher (Ephrata's Mike Ratigan) who's going to WSU next year."

Grandview matched Ephrata's six hits, but errors and mental lapses proved the Greyhounds' undoing.

Ephrata struck for two runs in the second inning without a hit. With runners on second and third, courtesy of a walk and an error, Ephrata's Derrick Webb brought in both runs with an infield out.

"The grounder hit the plate and bounced up high in the middle of the field with both the runners going," Chester explained.

Ratigan made it a 3-0 game in the third by helping his own cause with a solo home run.

It remained 3-0 heading into the top of the fifth, when Grandview put together its best scoring opportunity. A single and a rare Ephrata error gave Grandview runners at second and third with one out.

As Greyhound pinch runner Josh Bertsch took his lead off of third, Ratigan uncorked a wild pitch and Bertsch was thrown out attempting to score.

"Josh made a good play, he just didn't get the jump he wanted," Chester said. "The ball bounced off the backstop right back to the catcher and he (Bertsch) didn't have a chance."

Reliever Tony Chester took the mound in the fourth for Grandview for starter Kevin Concienne, and Ephrata greeted him with a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth to put the game away.

"The kids played well enough to beat lesser competition," said Chester. "But with a team of Ephrata's caliber you can't make any mental mistakes."

Grandview returns to District tourney play this Friday when they travel to play Cashmere, the CWAC North's third seed.

If the Greyhounds win that loser-out contest, they will advance to play on Saturday for a shot at the Regional tourney.

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