Legion maintains control

Justin Burg scores on a passed ball while batter Seth Twite looks on.  ~ Jon Speltz

Justin Burg scores on a passed ball while batter Seth Twite looks on.
~ Jon Speltz

By Joel Lidstrom

Caledonia Argus

 

The Caledonia Legion baseball team remained undefeated and came away with a solid 10-4 win in their July 1 matchup against Lewiston.

Caledonia wasted no time in scoring. Leading off with a walk, Josh Lampert used his speed on the base paths to manufacture the game’s first run. After a successful steal of second, Lampert advanced to third on a ground ball to the right side and scored on an error by the second baseman. This was to be the motif for the remainder of the game, as Caledonia scored 10 runs on just seven hits, taking advantage of eight walks, three errors and a run-scoring passed ball.

Ryan Frank provided another fine start on the mound for Caledonia, dominating with his curveball in the early innings. But while Frank easily escaped a tight spot in the third — he faced the number two hitter with men on second and third but got an inning-ending fly-out to Travis Frank in left — he struggled to survive the fourth. Lewiston used a lead-off double, three straight singles and two passed balls to knot the score at three apiece; and with John Heim, Lewiston’s starter, finally having settled into a good rhythm, it appeared that this might be a tough finish.

Enter Lampert in the top of the fifth, again leading off with a walk, again stealing second, this time moving to third on a passed ball, and scoring on an error that put Tanner Langen safely on first.

This seemed to be just what Caledonia needed to kindle their bats. T.J. Schultz, Ryan Frank, Seth Twite and Joe Petit all hit safely as Caledonia appeared to secure the win for Frank with a seven-run explosion.

Knowing no lead is insurmountable in baseball, coach Langen sought to shut the door on Lewiston by bringing in Kai Lidstrom, his submarine southpaw. In the bottom of the fifth, Lidstrom struck out the numbers one and two hitters. But after giving up a weak single to Arron Hohensee, an error in left allowed Heim, the cleanup hitter, to safely reach. Ryan Gnadt then rapped a single, bringing in what appeared to be two runs and provided the Lewiston team with a desperately-needed rally. But that hope crashed when Heim tested Seth Twite’s arm. The Caledonia center-fielder rifled a strike to catcher Joe Petit, cutting down Heim attempting to score and ending Lewiston’s hope for a comeback.

Lidstrom took down the Lewiston batters in order in the sixth, and rookie Tanner Gran came in to seal the victory in the seventh, getting a pair of fly-outs to Travis Frank in left, and a triumphant strikeout to end the game.

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