Grantham Goes Yard Twice as Francis Howell Handles LWS

by Nathan Gerdts | Posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2016

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Josh Kotyshock winds and fires as part of his complete-game victory for Francis Howell

Josh Kotyshock winds and fires as part of his complete-game victory for Francis Howell

A big night at the plate for junior Kyle Grantham helped the Francis Howell Vikings knock off the Lee’s Summit West Titans 6-1 in a MSHSAA Class 5 Championships semifinal on June 2 at CarShield Field in O’Fallon, MO.

The Vikings jumped on the board first in the bottom of the first inning. Grantham got a pitch he could handle and turned on it to right center field for a solo home run of at least 325 feet.

Pitching took control for a little while, as Josh Kostyshock and Dusty Stroup each tossed a pair of scoreless frames. The Titans got a runner to third in the second and fourth innings but could not bring them home.

Francis Howell added to the lead in the bottom of the fourth. Luke Kahle was hit by a pitch and McGwire Dean singled sharply up the middle with one out.

Louis Wildschuetz went the other way for a double that drove in Kahle, and after Chase Beiter laid down a sacrifice bunt that brought home Dean, Joseph Land bunted for an infield single that scored Wildschuetz and stretched the lead to 4-0.

LWSHS did get on the board in the top of the fifth. Ben McClain doubled to deep left center with one out and later scored on a groundout by Stroup.

Ben McClain takes a mighty rip. He doubled in Lee's Summit West's MSHSAA Class 5 semifinal loss

Ben McClain takes a mighty rip. He doubled in Lee’s Summit West’s MSHSAA Class 5 semifinal loss

But FHHS came right back, as Grantham swatted another home run to right center in the bottom of the fifth, and when the bases were loaded with two outs in the sixth, Grantham was hit by a pitch to dive in another run.

Kotyshock earned his tenth win of the season in going the distance on the mound. The senior right-hander gave four hits and three walks while striking out nine.

Kroup allowed nine hits and walked two in 5 2/3 innings to suffer the loss. Tyler James got the final out of the sixth and hit a batter. The loss drops Lee’s Summit West to 23-11 on the season and sends the Titans to the third-place game to face Lindbergh.

Grantham becomes the 12 player in MSHSAA Baseball Championships history to homer twice in a game and the first since 2011. Kahle, Dean and Land each had two hits for Francis Howell, which improves to 28-11 on the year and moves on to face Jefferson City for a Class 5 state title. Click here for the story.

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