Baseball: Chatfield wins 1A championship

Ryan Wolfe is just a sophomore on a veteran-laden Wabasha-Kellogg baseball team. But he is a veteran in his own right and blends in very well with the older players.

06-03 Ethan Woltz.jpg
Ethan Woltz streaks for home, scoring a run for Chatfield in its Section 1A championship-round game with Wabasha-Kellogg on Tuesday at Mayo Field.

Chatfield is the Section One, Class A baseball champion. And the Gophers had to win the section title the hard way, coming through the elimination bracket.

Chatfield needed to beat Wabasha-Kellogg twice on Tuesday at Mayo Field and the Gophers did just that. They pulled out a pair of narrow wins, 3-2 and 4-3 in nine innings.

"Wow, those were great high school games," Chatfield coach Brian Baum said.

"It was amazing," Chatfield senior Nate Skare said. "Everyone on the team contributed. It was a team win."

The Gophers had plenty of heroes to go around. They received excellent pitching from Skare in the first game and Jake Neis in the second game, holding the hard-hitting Falcons to five hits each game.


Chatfield (21-3) also was facing a pair of unbeaten pitchers in W-K's Austin Baab and Ryan Wolfe. Both entered the day with ERAs under 2.00. But Chatfield's pitchers proved to be a bit better and the Gophers also had some timely hits.

"Wabasha's a great ballclub, they're resilient," Baum said. "It's a great team win and we battled."

Skare pitched the opener for Chatfield. Due to an arm injury he didn't pitch until May and came into Tuesday's game 1-0 with two saves in just 11 innings.

"That was huge," Skare said of his complete-game effort. "Guys were playing great defense and making all the plays."

Noah Grant set the tone early for Chatfield with a two-run single in the bottom of the first inning for a quick 2-0 lead.

W-K responded with two runs in the second on RBIs by Austin Passe and Brandon Huth.

The scored remained tied until Chatfield scored in the sixth on a double by Neis, bunt-single by Skare and a sacrifice fly by Ethan Woltz.

Skare then worked a 1-2-3 seventh to force the second and deciding game.


"We needed that from Nate, to go the full seven innings," Neis said.

Neis shrugged off a leg injury to pitch all nine innings in the second game.

"I'm used to that and pitching complete games," he said.

Second-game heroics

The second game featured plenty of late-game heroics by both sides. Drew Hurley hit a two-out, run-scoring single in the top of the sixth to put Chatfield up 2-1. Baab then doubled and scored on on a two-out error in the bottom of the sixth for W-K to tie the game.

Both teams scored once in the eighth, the first extra inning. Noah Grant had an RBI single in the top of the eighth for Chatfield. The Gophers were one pitch away from winning when Ben Glomski hit an RBI single on an 0-2 pitch in the bottom of the eighth to extend the game for W-K.

"It was two games the way it should be in the championship game," W-K coach Pat Moham said.

Chatfield won the game with a run in the top of the ninth. Tommy Jech and Ben Pierce, the No. 8 and 9 hitters, singled to start the inning. Zach Eggers walked and Neis followed with a sac fly to center to plate the run.


"I was just trying to get something up in the air," Neis said. He then retired the Falcons in the ninth to secure Chatfield's first state berth since 2006.

"Chatfield, they played very well," Moham said. "They played well down the stretch."

"Everyone with the football team, we're used to this," Skare said. "We just knew we had to stay calm."

The Gophers won the Class AA football state title last fall and nearly all of the baseball players were members of that championship run. Now they will look to do the same in baseball. The Gophers play in the state quarterfinals next Thursday in Chaska.

W-K, the defending section champion, closes the season 20-4.

Section 1A title game

Chatfield 3, W-K 2

First game




Wabasha-Kellogg:Ryan Wolfe 1-for-3; Ben Glomski 1-for-3; Bryce Breuer 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B; Michael Guidinger 1 R; Austin Passe 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 2B; Brandon Huth 1-for-3, 1 RBI. WP: Austin Baab 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.

Chatfield:Jake Neis 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B; Nate Skare 1-for-3; Ethan Woltz 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI; Tommy Jech 1-for-2, 1 2B. WP: Nate Skare 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K.

Chatfield 4, W-K 3, 9 inn.



Chatfield:Jake Neis 1-for-4, 2 RBIs; Nate Skare 1-for-5, 1 R; Ethan Woltz 3-for-4, 1 R; Noah Grant 1-for-4, 1 RBI; Drew Hurley 1-for-3, 1 RBI; Tommy Jech 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B; Ben Pierce 2-for-3. WP: Jake Neis 9 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K.


Wabasha-Kellogg:Jack Purvis 1 R; Austin Baab 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B; Ben Glomski 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 2B; Austin Passe 1-for-3; Michael Guidinger 1 RBI. LP: Ryan Wolfe 9 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.

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