The Grant Union baseball team opened their season with a nonleague game against Burns Tuesday at Malone Field.
The Prospectors held their ground through the fourth inning, but Burns made strides in the fifth, leading the Hilanders to a 12-8 win.
Zack Deiter was starting pitcher for the Prospectors, and he held off the Hilanders in the first, Grant Union leading 3-0. Ty McDaniel scored Wade Reimers and Roen Langum off a single in the inning.
Grant Union and Burns each scored one in the second and third innings, the Prospectors holding a 5-2 lead.
Prospector Billy Copenhaver took over the mound in the fourth, and held Burns to one point, Grant Union also gaining one in the bottom of the inning.
In the fifth, Burns scored one, Grant Union getting an out on the play, then Copenhaver struck out a Hilander.
Then Burns tuned up their offense, scoring one before Hilander Bryce Goss hit a grand slam, giving the visitors an 11-6 lead.
Grant Union worked to close the gap in the bottom of the fifth. Reimers doubled, advancing Deiter to third. Then Cameron Hallgarth brought his teammates home when he hit the ball near the center fence, to make it 11-8, Burns leading.
With Prospector Warner Robertson at the mound, Grant Union held off Burns in the sixth, and third-baseman Copenhaver got the final out of the inning when the Hilanders attempted a steal.
The Hilanders scored the final run of the sixth when Goss hit a one-run homer.
In the bottom of the inning, with two outs, Grant Union was about to load the bases, poised for a comeback; however, Burns got the stop and the game ended.
Grant Union head coach Dusty Williams said, while the team has some things to work on, they competed well.
“The pitchers threw good — we knew pitching was going to be a struggle with the new pitch count,” Williams said, referring to a new OSAA rule.
Instead of determining how much pitching the players can do by innings, they now are allowed a maximum of 110 throws and are then required to have four days of rest.
Williams said they’ll have more pitchers working from the mound in Saturday’s doubleheader, when they host the Lakeview Honkers at 12 p.m.
Prospector catcher Ty McDaniel was behind the plate Tuesday for the entire game.
“Ty did a wonderful job,” Williams said. “I was happy with the way we hit. We only had three or four strikeouts, and put the ball in play. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”