An early start time didn’t bother Chatfield on July 7 against Dakota Ridge. The Chargers pounded out 13 runs on 17 hits in a 13-3 summer-league win over the Eagles at Dakota Ridge High School. The game was shortened to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Chatfield scored two or more runs in four of the five innings. Chargers pitcher Patrick Barder allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings. He was even better at the plate going 3-for-3 with a home run.
“I just wanted to come out and battle my way through. I wanted to keep my team in a position to win the ball game,” Barder said.
Chatfield wasted no time getting going. In the first inning with runners on first and third, Chargers’ right fielder Nick Low hit a three-run home run to give Chatfield the early lead.
Chatfield built an 8-2 lead in the third inning before Eagles’ third baseman Bryce Carson gave Dakota Ridge life by hitting a solo home run to cut the Chatfield lead to five.
Dakota Ridge appeared to be on the verge of a comeback in the fourth inning. With one out and Josh Lucas on first, Jack Kotarba lined a double to left field and Lucas was waived home. Chatfield left fielder Collin Walker got the ball to shortstop Nick Chamberlain who made a perfect relay throw to the plate to get Lucas for the second out. Barder got Bailey Collins to ground out to end the inning.
Then Barder took matters into his own hands by leading off the fifth inning with a home run. Chatfield added four more runs in the fifth and then picked up three defensive outs to end the game.
“Home runs are always special no matter what level you’re at,” Barder said. “It was down the middle and it was my favorite pitch.”
Dakota Ridge has been outscored 29-12 in its last two meetings with Chatfield and has had a hard time finding consistency after having graduated multiple key players from a team that advanced to the state tournament in the spring.
‘We lost a very talented senior group,” Dakota Ridge coach Jeff Legault said. “This group maybe isn’t as talented but they have the desire. They need to figure out how to compete at this level. We take one step forward and then two steps backward with a day like this. We’re still working on getting a consistent lineup together.”