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Gophers prep for biggest test of season

Created: 06/10/2014 6:34 PM KAALtv.com

"This is the year," Chatfield senior Zach Eggers said.

"Our goal is to go up there and win a state championship," Chatfield senior Nate Skare said.

It's been seven years since the Chatfield baseball team made it to the state tournament. But coming into this year, head coach Brain Baum knew if there was any team that could get back there, it would be this group of guys.

"We've had high aspirations for this group, a lot of them have been together for a long time," said head coach Brian Baum.

After an almost perfect season, the Gophers received a wakeup call, losing to Lewiston-Altura in the first round of sections and facing elimination.

"Now you have to play well and be focused, if you don't summer starts early," said Baum.

But the Gophers decided that wasn't the fate they wanted, and turned up their game when it mattered most.
    
"We knew the way we were playing wasn't going to get up to where we wanted, so we had to start playing better and buckle down and focus," said Skare.

In their previous five appearances at the state tournament, Chatfield has won just one game and never in the first round. That presents yet another challenge for this group.

"We play really well under pressure," said Eggers.

"I think we're set up perfectly for it, we've got the pitching for it. We're where we want to be and I think we can make a good run," said Jake Neis.
    
"It's still a baseball game, the bases are still 90-feet, the mound is still the same. We just need to take it one play at a time, one game at a time," said Skare.