Reynolds, Bulldogs win season opener at CV

Grangeville's Tom Reynolds started the baseball season on the mound and gave the Bulldogs a boost with a home run leading off the second inning Tuesday night, March 10. Reynolds threw 43 pitches and exited with a 13-1 lead after an inning and two-thirds.

"Our pitching was pretty impressive today, and I thought we hit the ball well for our first game out," Bulldogs coach Lee Nadiger said. "Getting out here and throwing strikes was a big thing for us."

Grangeville batted around during both the first and second innings, but Clearwater Valley's pitchers worked clean innings in the third and fourth. Grangeville's Gannon Garman relieved Reynolds and kept CV's hitters mostly in check.

"I wish we could have played two more right after this one," Rams coach Josh Bradley told the Free Press afterward. "Our pitchers have thrown well in their bullpens, but it's a little different thing doing it in front of a crowd."

Several of CV's best plays were made defensively in center field by Tate Pfefferkorn, who did stats for the team last year. Behind the plate, CV suited up Aiden Martinez, whose previous spring sport had been pole vaulting with the Rams track and field team. The Rams were without several players Bradley had anticipated would be back for this season: two who moved out of the area, as well as some he expects to become eligible to play later this spring.

"At the end of last season, I was planning on losing two starters," he said. "Evan Jackson and Ty Dominguez, both seniors, both great players, and two we'd have to replace. Then my first baseman, Oscar Avendano, moved back with his dad in California and Bubba Summers' dad got a job down south, so he moved. So then, I'm like, four starters. Four to replace. Then Tyce Pfefferkorn, late in basketball season, messed up his other knee. So then, I'm like, five. Five starters to replace. So the team is looking a little different."

The Bulldogs' lineup featured several basketball players who hadn't been available for baseball practice prior to Monday, March 9, but they showed capability.

GHS lead-off batter Blake Schoo singled and scored Grangeville's first run of the season, advancing to third as CV loaded the bases with walks to Tori Ebert and Reynolds. Schoo scored on a wild pitch. The Bulldogs scored five more runs during the first inning, mostly by way of free passes: Garman was hit by a pitch, Jack Kennedy walked, Reece Wimer walked, Miles Lefebvre walked, and Schoo flared one over second base for an RBI.

Coming up for Clearwater Valley is a March 13 home game against Potlatch at 4 p.m. Next up for Grangeville is a visit to Kamiah, which had been originally scheduled as a double-header, but which will be one game at 11 a.m. March 14.

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