GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- The Grand Island baseball team found Tuesday’s outing against Class B No. 2-rated Lincoln Pius X to be an all-around struggle.
The Thunderbolts’ first four batters scored, and Rex Raetz limited the Islanders to two hits over five innings.
It all added up to a 6-0 shutout win for Pius at Ryder Park.
The Thunderbolts (9-1) scored all of their runs over the first two innings.
“Again we were unable to get off to a good start,” Grand Island coach Rick Kissack said. “Pius came in with a real mission. They had a rough day (Monday) and lost a close game (to Waverly). They came in and just were going to win the game.
“We did not get off to a good start, and it was going to be a tough day to score anyway. We got going a little better as the game went on, but two or three runs was probably going to be enough. When they got up six it was going to be tough.”
Islander starter Alex Allen needed 32 pitches to get through the first inning. Matt Foley and Cole Felber drove in runs, and the Thunderbolts also got runners across on a wild pitch and an error.
Tony McWilliams and Alex Schleppenbach each had an RBI groundout in the second inning.
Allen did settle down and only allowed one hit over the next four innings. His totals were four earned runs on five hits with one strikeout and three walks over six innings.
Raetz cruised through five innings. He didn’t give up a hit until Jaden Johnson and Logan Greenwalt led off the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles.
But Raetz got three straight outs — including two strikouts — to get out of the inning.
Only one of the four hits by the Islanders (5-8) was out of the infield.
“We were going to need some help,” Kissack said. “It was going to be hard for anybody to string four or five hits together in this weather. The wind was blowing in and the defense was shrinking.
“We helped them a little bit early, and their game is they play as good of small ball as anybody hit-and-running. We walked and hit and don’t get a bunt. We were playing into the elements, so it was going to be tough after that start.”
The weather-challenged spring will continue for the Islanders. Thursday’s game at Lincoln North Star has already been cancelled due to the upcoming storm.
Grand Island is scheduled to play in the Norfolk Tournament on Saturday.
Lincoln Pius X 9, Grand Island 0
Lincoln Pius X (9-1) ........ 420 000 0—6 6 0
Grand Island (5-8) .......... 000 000 0—0 4 3