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Legion: Bonduel hangs on late for thrilling win over Shawano

Four Grizzlies pitchers combine for shutout
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Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Parker Bohm, left, slides safely into home as Shawano’s Zach Erdmann applies the tag during the fourth inning of the team’s annual Fourth of July contest in Bonduel.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Fans and coaches look on as Shawano’s Nick Grignon flies out to deep center field for the final out of a Fourth of July Legion contest in Bonduel.

Leader Photo by Morgan Rode Shawano’s Zach Erdmann delivers a pitch during a Fourth of July Legion contest at Bonduel.

A deep flyball by Shawano’s Nick Grignon nearly left the park for a grand slam home run. Instead, Bonduel center fielder Jordan Boldt made the catch up against the fence to preserve the team’s 1-0 Legion home win over Shawano in a Fourth of July thriller.

“When he first hit it, I was like, oh no. It just kept going and going. I knew Jordan was going to give it his best shot out there and luckily it went 349 (feet), not 350,” said Bonduel coach Jason Boldt.

“A little bit, but I wasn’t sure,” said Shawano coach Kobey Pues on if he thought the ball would leave the park. “I was watching (Jordan) Boldt and he was reading it and I just wasn’t sure. I was kind of hoping the wind would pick up a little bit.”

Clinging to a 1-0 lead, Bonduel brought on Aaron Margelofsky to try and shut the door in the seventh. But Shawano’s Elliott Lowney drew a walk before Kaleb Lowney was hit by a pitch.

Bonduel then turned the ball over to Parker Bohm.

Shawano’s Wylee Springborn tried to sacrifice bunt the Lowneys up a base, but Elliott was forced out at third. Bonduel tried to throw to first for a double play, but Springborn beat the throw and Kaleb Lowney ended up moving to third on the throw across the diamond.

A wild pitch moved Springborn to second base before Parker Pues reached on an infield single that did not advance either runner.

Bohm induced a foul popup for the second out, setting up the matchup with Grignon, the Patriots No. 3 hitter.

“I was a little nervous,” said Bohm of Grignon’s deep flyout. “Honestly, I didn’t think he got all of it but then I noticed Jordan kept going back. But then he was up against the fence and made the catch. It was a great catch by Jordan and hats off to him.”

The early innings of the annual rivalry game saw Bonduel’s Noah Beilfuss and Shawano’s Zach Erdmann locked in a pitcher’s duel. Beilfuss worked the first three innings before giving way to Isaac Boldt in the fourth.

Beilfuss struck out five batters in his three innings of work before Isaac Boldt struck out six in three innings.

Bonduel tallied the game’s lone run in the bottom of the fourth.

Beilfuss walked with one out before being replaced by Bohm on a fielder’s choice. Bohm then stole second before advancing to third on a wild pitch. Isaac Boldt drew a walk and stole second to put a pair of runners on for the hosts.

A clutch hit wasn’t needed though, as a wild pitch allowed both runners to move up. Bohm just beat the throw to the plate.

“In our pregame meeting, I’m always telling our guys to be aggressive on the bases. We’ve got a lot of fast guys on our team that always look to move up that extra base and that is always huge because you never know if that one run or that one passed ball might be the difference in the game,” said coach Boldt.

It was the lone blemish on a strong start for Erdmann, who asked coach Pues if he could pitch the game. Erdmann came through for his team, working all six innings and striking out six along the way.

While the first Legion win just eluded Shawano, the team believes it’s moving in the right direction and can build off the tight loss to Bonduel.

“This game should boost us. I think we have a good ball club, I think we can pull out wins. We just have to come together and play as a team and have the right mindset going into each game,” said Erdmann.

Bonduel’s next scheduled game is set for Sunday, when it hosts Oconto Falls. Shawano is off until Wednesday, when its slated to host Kimberly.