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Legacy Christian emerges from Class 1A top-10 battle, extends winning streak

By Maddie DeBilzan, SportsEngine, 05/05/17, 6:45AM CDT


The Lions' 3-2 victory over the Eagles pushed Legacy Christian's winning streak to 12 games.

Legacy Christian starting pitcher Josh Peterson hurls a pitch during play against Heritage Christian at Arnold Klaers Baseball Field in Loretto Friday. The Lions held on to beat the Eagles 3-2. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine

Heritage Christian's Seth Halvorsen took the mound May 5 to face Legacy Christian in a section matchup. Photo by Korey McDermott, SportsEngine

Fielders didn’t get much action tonight.

Legacy Christian Academy (12-1) pitcher Josh Peterson casually dealt three strikeouts in a row at the bottom of the first inning against Heritage Christian Academy (7-5) as if he were doling out extra Halloween candy at the end of the night.

The dugout erupted as if the Lions knew the game depended on Peterson’s right arm. They weren’t wrong.

Legacy Christian, ranked No. 2 in the Class 1A state coaches’ poll, made a fourth-inning comeback to defeat No. 14 Heritage Christian 3-2 at Arnold Klaers Baseball Field Friday night. It was a fierce battle between pitchers.

Senior Seth Halvorsen pitched three strikes in a row to start the game for the Eagles. The momentum grew at the top of the third inning, when he walked off the pitcher’s mound before the umpire could pump his fist with a resounding “out” sign.

Peterson and Halvorsen have pitched against each other four times in the last two years. Tonight, Peterson barely curbed Halvorsen in strikeouts, with 10 to Halvorsen’s eight. They each accepted fifth-inning walks from each other. But after Halvorsen hit a single in the bottom of the sixth, Peterson caught him trying to steal third base.

Eagles coach John Ledeboer wasn’t surprised with the low-scoring game. He knew it would be a showdown between the two pitchers.

“We expected it to be a dog fight, and that’s what it was,” Ledeboer said.

Peterson dealt with the pressure just the same as he’d dealt with trick-or-treaters: he just does.

“We’re used to pitching against each other,” he said.

Lions coach Adam Hill enjoyed seeing Peterson in game-mode against his rival pitcher. For those who watched the game, his succinct words didn’t need elaboration.

“Those guys, they’re competitors,” Hill said. “I just try to tap into that. Even when [Peterson] gets a little bit wild, he calms down pretty quickly when I go out to the mound.

Eight players made it to base for the Lions, and Jarvey Hill hit the only double of the game.

Halvorsen and freshman JJ Guggenberger each made it on base twice for the Eagles.

First Report

Legacy Christian Academy, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A in the state coaches’ poll, came back to win 3-2 against No. 14 Heritage Christian Academy at Arnold Klaers Baseball Field Friday night in a competitive battle between pitchers.

The score was dry until the bottom of the third inning, when senior Timmy Thurston scored on a wild pitch to put Heritage up by one. Then at the top of the fourth, senior Josh Niessen’s single sent senior Nils Anderson home, tying the game 1-1.

The Lions (12-1) were on top for the remainder of the game, scoring on a wild pitch and a walk with the bases loaded in the top of the sixth. They gave up one more run when Eagles junior batter Wyatt Juelich-Lysne hit freshman JJ Guggenberger home at the bottom of the sixth.  

Fielders got little action as Heritage pitcher Seth Halvorsen threw eight strikeouts and Legacy senior pitcher Josh Peterson dealt 10. Eight players made it to base for the Lions, and junior Jarvey Hill was the only batter to hit a double.

Guggenberger and Halvorsen each made it on base twice for the Eagles (7-5).

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