Gophers end regular season with win
over state-ranked Rebels in baseball
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 11:28 AM
The Gopher baseball team concluded its regular season schedule last Thursday with a victory over the Southland Rebels. The win was the team's second consecutive over the Rebels, the first of which knocked Southland from the ranks of the unbeaten and caused them to tumble in the state rankings from second to fifth.
Chatfield’s Zach Eggers takes a cut at a Southland pitch. SAM CLEMENS/CHATFIELD NEWS
Both teams were held scoreless for the first four innings of the game despite each putting together a number of scoring opportunities. The notable scoring threat put together by the Gophers started with a one out double off the bat of Ben Pierce in the third followed by a walk by Zach Eggers. A ground out advanced both up a base only to have a second ground out strand them both in scoring position.
Chatfield finally broke the scoreless tie with a run in the fifth inning when Payton Lund, who was running for TJ Moeching, came around to score. Lund found himself on second after Moeching hit a double. He was then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Pierce and came around to score when Jake Neis reached on an error.
The Gophers added an insurance run, as Lund again came around to score while pinch running for Moeching. This time, Moeching reached on an error. His courtesy runner, Lund was advanced to second on a Pierce single then to third on a sacrifice bunt by Eggers. He then scored on a Neis ground out, putting the Gophers up 2-0.
That was more than enough for the Gopher pitching staff, which shut out a potent Rebel lineup. Nate Skare started the game for Chatfield and pitched the game's first four innings. During his time on the mound, Skare allowed three hits and issued two walks while striking out four. Drew Hurley came on to relieve him in the fifth and pitched two scoreless innings, giving up only one hit and striking out a batter. Tommy Jech entered the game in the seventh to close out the win. He allowed a hit and struck out a batter in his inning of work. All three pitchers showed a lot of resolve on the mound as Southland put runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings only to be denied each time.
The Gophers ended the regular season with a 13-2 record which will likely earn them the second seed in the east sub-section, though the official seeds for the tournament haven't been announced. In any case, the sub-section tournament will commence on Thursday with a home game against a to be determined opponent.