Chatfield baseball won three elimination playoff games the second week of the post-season, but came up one win short of the 1AA title game. Brian Baum’s group (5-seed, 16-6) first took on PEM (8-seed, 8-12) at Rochester’s Hudson Field. Like the first two meetings, Chatfield came out on top, and more decisively. The Gophs used an 8-run fourth inning to build a 12-2 edge. Thirteen Gophers batted in the frame, as Sulley Ferguson (2-run double) had the biggest hit. Chatfield posted a 15-7 victory. They won regular season games 10-6 and 2-0. Ferguson (2-4, two 2B, 3 RBI, R), Jack Dornack (2-4, 2 RBI), Carter Daniels (1-3, 2 RBI, R), and Kail Schott (1-5, 2B, 2 RBI) drove in multiple runs. Jackson Schild (3-4, HR, RBI) went yard and scored four times. Caden Boyum (1-3, 2B, RBI, 2 R), Luke Carrier (1-1, 2 R), and Jacob Erickson (1-4, 2 R) all scored twice. Drew O’Connor (5 1/3 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) gave up some hits and runs but collected the win. Boyum (1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K) pitched scoreless ball in relief. Chatfield (5-seed, 17-6) came back a night later and took on Dover-Eyota (2-seed, 18-4) at Mayo Field. The Eagles were fresh off a leading Cannon Falls 9-3 through five innings, only to fall 12-11. Chatfield took advantage of D-E’s letdown and atoned for two key TRC-West losses. The Eagles struck first with a two-run first, pulling four hits to left field. But Chatfield had a five-run second to take control, as a Schild two-run single was the biggest hit. A couple Eagle throwing errors helped. Up 6-3, Chatfield got two insurance runs in the seventh to lead 8-3, which held as the final. Pitchers Daniels (4 1/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Win) and Ferguson (2 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K) combined to allow a modest three runs. Schild (1-3, 2 RBI, R), Boyum (1-3, 2B, RBI, R), Dornack (2-3, RBI), O’Connor (1-2, 2B, RBI, R), and Carrier (1-4, RBI, R) led the charge offensively. D-E had four errors to Chatfield’s one. The Eagles won regular season meetings 9-7 and 3-2. The Gophers (5-seed, 18-6) then played Pine Island (7-seed, 14-7) the following Saturday at JM’s Alumni Field. Chatfield started the game with three straight singles and plated three in the bottom of the first, the only runs of the game. The Panthers left two or more stranded in three different innings. Gopher pitchers Daniels (4 IP, 3
H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, Win) and Ferguson (3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, Save) teamed up for the 3-0 shut-out victory. O’Connor (1-3, RBI, R), Carrier (1-3, R), Dornack (1-3, RBI), Boyum (1-3, RBI), and Nathan Allen (0-0, R) gave Chatfield its runs. The Gophers (5-seed, 19-6) then played Cannon Falls (3-seed, 18-5) back at Mayo Field. Chatfield led 2-1 when the Bombers had the game’s biggest inning. Jon Banks led off the fifth with a solo home run, starting a string of six straight Bombers to reach (three hits, two walks, hit batter). Jack Myers’ two-run double capped a four-run inning, as CF went ahead 5-2. Chatfield went down in order the last two innings, as they fell 5-2. Schild (2-3, RBI) and O’Connor (1-3, RBI) drove in runs. The later (4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) collected the pitching loss. Carrier (1-3, R, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R 1 BB, 4 K, No Decision) and Boyum (0-3, R) scored for the Gophers. Dornack was 2-for-3. Ari Wells (2-3, RBI, R), Meyers (1-4, 2B, 2 RBI), Banks (1-2, HR, RBI, R), and Jadan Winchell (1-3, RBI, R) led CF offensively. Meyers (6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K) picked up the win. The Gophers’ season ends at 19-7. The senior group of O’Connor, Carrier, Daniels, Schild, Ferguson, Ryan Nosbisch, Jacob Erickson, an injured Drew Schindler, and Cole Johnson has gone 39-10 (20-3, 19-7 ) the last two years. The third-place finish is their best since 2016’s 1AA runner-up.