Baseball team picks up two wins in three close games
Tuesday, April 29, 2014 4:19 AM
Coming off of their first loss of the season, the Chatfield baseball team was back in action with a trio of games this past week. The Gophers got back on track with wins against Winona Cotter and Plainview-Elgin-Millville on Monday and Tuesday before finishing the week with a hard fought, one-run loss to St. Charles on Friday.
After getting the out at second base, Chatfield’s Jake Neis looks for the double play against St. Charles.
Chatfield 8, Winona Cotter 2 (F/10)
Though the final score isn't indicative of a pitcher's duel, that's what this game was for the first nine innings. Gopher starting pitcher Tommy Jech shut down the Ramblers offense during his seven innings of work, allowing only one run while striking out four. The run he did allow tied up the game in the bottom of the seventh after the Gophers took a 1-0 lead in the sixth.
With the game tied at one at the end of seven, the two teams moved into extra innings. Drew Hurley, who got the win, came on in relief of Jech in the eighth and pitched three innings while giving up a run on three hits. That run, scored in the bottom of the 10th, proved to be inconsequential to the final score, as the Gopher offensive exploded for seven runs in the top half of the 10th.
The seven-run 10th inning began with left fielder Dan Narveson beating out a seemingly routine ground ball. "Those little things are what win games," said coach Brian Baum of Narveson's hustle. Narveson and the next six Gophers to come to the plate all reached base and eventually game around to score. The offensive outburst was highlighted by a two-run single off the bat of senior Nate Skare, who went four-for-five, including a double, and drove in three runs in all.
Chatfield 5, PEM 3
The Gophers got their second road win in as many days with a victory over the P-E-M Bulldogs on Tuesday. Strong defense and solid pitching again led them to victory. Senior Jake Neis started the game on the mound for the Gophers, but was removed due to arm soreness after pitching two scoreless innings in which he also struck out a batter.
Ethan Woltz took the mound in relief of Neis and pitched the next four innings. The junior pitcher allowed three runs, two earned, while giving up four hits and striking out two. Hurley came on in the seventh inning to close out the game.
Though Neis's injury rendered him unable to pitch, his bat seemed to be unaffected. The starting pitcher turned shortstop doubled and scored in each of his first two at bats and had an RBI single in his seventh inning at bat.
Shortstop/second baseman Zach Eggers drove in what proved to be the game winning run on a single in the seventh. He would later come around to score on Neis's single. First baseman Noah Grant was the only Gopher other than Neis with multiple hits, recording a single in each of the fourth and sixth innings.
St. Charles 6, Chatfield 5
In last week's finale the Gophers again found themselves in an extra inning game. This time, however, they were unable to come away with the victory as their four errors and six walks issued ultimately made the difference.
Aaron Paulson started the game for Chatfield and pitched four solid innings, allowing two unearned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four. The combination of Hurley, Jech, and Riley Ahern pitched the remaining four innings with each giving up at least one run.
The Gopher offense got off to a quick start, scoring three runs in the first inning, two of which were driven in on a single by Woltz, who was playing center field on Friday. Woltz would also score a run in the third inning to push the lead to 4-0 after reaching on a fielder's choice.
After scoring another run in the fourth, however, the Gopher lineup went cold, failing to score a run for the balance of the game. Their final run came when Neis scored his second run of the game on a single by Jech.
The Gophers were scheduled to begin this week with two away games, the first in Stewartville on Monday and the second in Lewiston on Tuesday, although the forecast put those games in jeopardy. They will then finish the week with home games against Dover-Eyota on Thursday and Caledonia/Spring Grove on Friday.