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Bonduel baseball falls in first state tourney appearance but plans to come back 'stronger than ever'

Bonduel baseball falls in first state tourney appearance but plans to come back 'stronger than ever'
Posted at 7:03 PM, Jun 11, 2024

GRAND CHUTE (NBC 26) — The Bonduel baseball team came into Tuesday as the most accomplished club in school history, making their first ever trip to the WIAA state tournament.

It was hard fought battle, but unfortunately the No. 3 Bears saw their season come to a close with a 2-1 defeat at hands of No. 2 Kenosha St. Joseph.

"They mean everything," head coach Don Gruenewald said of his Bears team. "A lot them came in the year after COVID, so we had 15 guys out for baseball, we were starting — 3 of these guys. We have been progressively getting better every year and I can't say enough about the seniors especially. They mean a lot to me."

The Lancers rattled off two runs in the first with an RBI double by Peter Visconti, who was then driven in on a Dominic Santarelli groundout to second base.

The Bears scored their only run in the third with back-to-back doubles by Easton Reinke and Noah Weier. They had plenty of chances to score more, including bases-loaded opportunities in the first and the fourth innings.

"We were squaring a lot of balls up, it just seemed like if we hit it hard, we hit it at right at somebody," Gruenewald said. "We'd get a couple of guys on and then we couldn't come up with that big hit. All year long they've been able to come up with that even in the tournament. Just couldn't come up with a hit when we needed it."

Bears pitcher Cade Johnson worked around some jams and ended up pitching a great game, ending with 6 innings pitched and only one earned run.

"We reached that goal that we wanted, at state for the first time in school history," said Johnson. "Great group of seniors that I've been playing with since 10 years. I hate to see them go, but next year we're coming back stronger than ever."