Ex-coach Keesling returns Friday

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GREENFIELD — Out with the defending Class 4A baseball runner-ups, in with a difficult reunion.

Greenfield-Central blanked Roncalli 5-0 at Molinder Field Tuesday night, with starter Seth Adams and reliever Mitch Gibson combining on a four-hit shutout.

The Rebels (0-1) came within one win of their first state championship a year ago, defeating New Palestine 8-3 at the Plainfield Semistate before falling 1-0 in the State Finals to Lake Central.

As for the Cougars (3-1), they turn their attention to a Friday night doubleheader versus visiting Pendleton Heights. The Arabians’ new manager is Travis Keesling, who spent five years heading G-C before departing for his alma mater in August.

“I’m sure coach Keesling is going to be over there and he’s going to want to win the baseball game, but he’s going to be proud to see what he helped build over here. But, it’s going to be a weird day,” said first-year Greenfield-Central coach Brian Murphy with a laugh. “It really is. It’s going to be weird.”

Tuesday’s home opener was an outlier compared with the Cougars’ first three games in which they scored 23 runs and surrendered 21.

Adams, a sophomore right-hander who logged the third-most innings (26) on the team as a freshman, set the tone early, working the outside corner with his repertoire of a fastball, a changeup and a slider.

Roncalli went down in order in the first and third innings, but moved runners to second and third with one out in the second. Adams promptly struck out Christian Beard and Chris Fey looking, the latter on a full count.

With one out in the fourth, Adams hit Dan Harris with a pitch and yielded a single to Pauly Milto to put runners on first and second. He struck out Nick Koontz swinging for the second out, but Christian Beard lined a 0-2 pitch up the middle for a single, sending Harris rounding third and heading home.

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