Rebels headed back to Section 1A title game

Published 9:42 pm Saturday, May 30, 2009

ROCHESTER — Southland rallied to beat Chatfield 8-4 after an 8-1 win over Wabsaha/Kellogg to get back to the Section 1A baseball title game Saturday at Mayo Field.

After Mitch Nagele drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, the Rebels (15-7 overall) got back-to-back RBI doubles from Matt Schroeder and Alan May to take a 5-4 lead and Southland added three more runs in the frame to provides some insurance.

“I knew we needed to get something going, so I jumped on the first pitch fast ball and drilled it. I’ve been seeing the ball better than I ever have,” said Schroeder, who finished 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and three RBIs.

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Southland will seek it’s second straight Section 1AAA title when it plays the winner of Chatfield and Wabasha/Kellogg Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Mayo Field. If Southland were to lose that game, it would get another chance Wednesday night to close out the title.

“Everybody said this was a rebuilding year. But we showed them that it’s not,” Schroeder said. “A different person’s stepped up each game and our pitching’s been phenomenal. Now we’re one win away from state.”

After May and Schroeder’s big knocks, the Rebels scored on a fielder’s choice, an error and an RBI single by Mitch Heimer.

Alan May, who got the win on the mound, had surrendered a 3-2 Southland lead in the fifth, when Chatfield’s Phil Bray ripped a two-run, two-out double off the right field wall to put the Gophers up 4-3.

“There’s always another play, so you can’t let a bad play affect the next one,” May said.

Southland head coach Scott Retterath was pleased with how his team rallied with their backs to the wall.

“It could have been real easy for these kids to fold after giving up those runs with two outs, but we had some timely base hits and took advantage of their errors,” he said. “That was just one heck of a baseball game.”

Schroeder led off the game with a homer over the center field fence, his first ever long bomb.

“My brother’s been giving me crap because he hit one in his career and I still hadn’t gotten one,” Schroeder said. “I had an in-the-park homer last year but that doesn’t count.”

After struggling to score runs all season, the Southland hitters are on a roll. Against W/K, they scored six times in the top of the seventh to break open a 2-1 game. Mitch Nagele singled in a run in the fifth to give Southland that lead.

“We usually come out and pitch well and play good defense, and now we’re hitting the ball well,” Alan May said. “We’re a very dangerous team.”

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

C 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 4 9 5

S 1 0 1 0 1 5 X 8 9 4

Southland pitching: Alan May (W), 7 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 4 R, 2 ER, 5 K

Southland hitting: Matt Schroeder, 3-for-4, HR, double, 2 RBIs, 3 R, SB; Chris May, 1-for-3, double, RBI, 2 SB, 2 R; Alan May, 1-for-3, double, R, SB, BB; Adam Keifer, 1-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Josh Bamrick, 1-for-4; Mitch Heimer, 1-for-4, RBI; Tyler Kressin, 0-for-2, BB; Clint Bergene, 1-for-4, double; Mitch Nagele, 0-for-2, BB

Chatfield pitching: Bryan Neis (L), 5 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 8 R, 5 ER, 8 K

Chatfield hitting: Neis, 1-for-3, HR, RBI; Ryan Stevens, 0-for-4; Phil Bray, 3-for-3, 3 doubles, 2 RBIs; Eric Hilgren, 0-for-4; Tyler Chase, 2-for-4; Nathan Vogen, 1-for-4; Michael Bell, 0-for-3; Aric Swancutt, 0-for-4; Justin Buss, 2-for-3, double, RBI

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E

S 0 0 0 1 1 0 6 8 8 2

WK 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 2

Southland pitching: Chris May (W), 7 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 8 K, HBP

Southland hitting: Schroeder, 0-for-3, R, BB; Alan May, 0-for-3, R; Chris May, 1-for-4, 2 R; Keifer, 1-for-4, 2 RBIs, R; Bamrick, 2-for-4, 2 RBIs; Heimer, 0-for-3, R; Kressin, 1-for-3, R; Bergene, 1-for-3, R; Nagele, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs