Max Gantt made the most of his first starting pitching assignment in an Ely American Legion baseball uniform.
The Ely catcher shed his chest protector and shin pads while going from behind the plate to the mound, and the senior-to-be allowed only four hits and pitched Post 248 to a 4-2, eight-inning victory over Virginia on Monday night.
Gantt allowed just one earned run and walked only two batters while gaining his first Legion pitching victory, and Post 248 used some "small ball" to help its pitcher out in the top of the eighth.
After hitting into three double plays in the first seven innings, Ely took the lead in the eighth while attempting to bunt in five consecutive at bats.
Louie Gerzin and Sean Fisher had bunt singles, while Riley Bernsdorf scored on a squeeze bunt attempt that was mishandled by the Virginia catcher. Bradley Roy laid down a successful squeeze bunt on the next pitch, and Ely had an insurance run.
After issuing a one-out walk, Gantt got Dan Pellinen to line into a double play and Ely (11-6) won for the fourth time in five games and improved to 8-2 in its last 10 contests.
Post 248 finished with 13 hits, with both Fisher and Cody Bialik collecting three apiece. Trevor Bernsdorf and Roy had two hits each.
Trevor Bernsdorf singled in a run in the top of the first to get Ely on the board, and Virginia countered in the third on a run-scoring hit by Jeremy Katz.
The teams traded runs in the fifth, with Bialik's single plating Roy and Virginia getting the equalizer with the help of an Ely error.
Ely misfired on a scoring chance in the seventh then used its bunting game to take the lead in the eighth.
A split doubleheader is up next on Tuesday. Ely plays at Chisholm at 5 p.m., then heads west to Nashwauk to tangle with Taconite. Both are Eighth District Division II league contests.