Stoughton’s Owen Chase had an inner voice telling him to stay calm with the game-winning run on third base in the bottom of the seventh inning.
He found himself in position to win the game after Watertown elected to walk two hitters with one out to load the bases. Chase ripped a walk-off RBI single to left field Friday, June 21, to score Derek Karlen and give the Stoughton Senior Legion baseball team a 4-3 win over Watertown at Norse Park. The Goslings opted to intentionally walk Ryan Ellingson and Ethan Yahn to set up a force out at any base.
“It was a crazy situation,” Chase said. “I have never seen that happen before. I smoked it my last time up, so I was like I have to do it again because it’s the same pitcher. I just tried to stay calm and put the ball over their heads because they were playing in.”
Stoughton improves to 3-1 with the win.
“We just have to keep focused on ourselves, keep winning games and it will be a good summer,” Chase said.
Karlen coaxed a walk off Watertown pitcher Ryan Hogquist to lead off the seventh and stole second to move into scoring position. Brady Estervig had a sacrifice bunt to move Karlen to third prior to a pair of intentional walks loaded the bases.
Ryan Curry started and pitched six innings for Stoughton. He gave up three runs on eight hits. Curry struck out eight and walked two.
Coach Ben Gerber said the team is playing better situational baseball this summer.
“Baseball is a team game and people are stepping into new roles,” Gerber said. “Brady (Estervig) didn’t play a heck of a whole lot in the spring. He’s becoming one of our key players in the season.”
Gerber is confident with Curry on the mound.
“Curry is our ace and there is no doubt about it,” he said. “He knows how to get the job done. We need guys to throw strikes and he’s the one who is consistent right now.”
Chase said Curry pitched a great game.
“I felt like I needed to make it up to him and the rest of our teammates for keeping it close,” Chase said.
It was a scoreless game for the first three innings before Stoughton broke through with a three-run fourth.
Yahn led off with a single in the fourth to set up the scoring opportunity. Hogquist then walked Hayden Schigur and Jake Nelson lined a single to right to load the bases. Riley Carpenter drove in a run with a groundout to second base. Curry reached on an error and a run scored to give Stoughton a 2-0 lead. He then got into a run down on the bases long enough for Nelson to score before the final out to give Stoughton a 3-0 lead.
Watertown rallied with three runs in the sixth. The big blows came on RBI doubles by Hogquist and Evan Sellnow. Watertown scored the game-tying run on an error.
Stoughton had eight hits. Nelson went 2-for-3 with a double.