GRAND CHUTE - The Oconto baseball team sure knows how to entertain a crowd.
A day after falling behind 3-0 to Osseo-Fairchild and winning a Division 3 state semifinal, 4-3, in eight innings
the Blue Devils were at it again Thursday at Fox Cities Stadium in the state title game against Westby.
Oconto was down 3-0 and playing a game of "hot potato," committing errors like they were going out of style.
Oconto did seemingly everything possible on defense to lose Thursday, committing a robust eight errors, but
the Blue Devils once again showed their will.
Oconto rallied again from three runs down, overcame its defense and captured the school's first state title with a head-scratching 4-3 win.
How do you win a state title with eight errors?
"Never quitting, never giving up," Oconto coach Brian Sohrweide said. "We got down three, we were down three (Wednesday). I told the kids when they came in we've been in this situation before. I suppose with the nerves and the champioinship game, errors are going to happen."
Maybe so, but eight? And three on one play?
Oconto was not playing like a state-title team through the first three innings, committing seven errors.
Fortunately, for the Blue Devils Westby wasn't taking full advantage and only led 3-0.
Oconto then put on its rally hats just like the day before. It scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth
inning — all unearned — with Blake Campshure supplying the go-ahead run.
"I hit the pitcher earlier in the game," Campshure said. "He gave me a fastball over the middle, so I did
what I usually do with it, put it in the outfield."
The Blue Devils then had to hold on and they did, but not without a little drama. With one out in the top of the
seventh inning, Oconto committed its eighth error of the game and surley some wondered, "Uh, oh."
But the Blue Devils responded on the next batter as they turned a double play to clinch the state title. With the
defense struggling so badly, it was the defense that shut the door.
"It seems fitting," Sohrweide. "Again more drama. We can't make three easy plays. I think the kids like to give me heart attacks."
Campshure said despite the defensive play and trailing 3-0, he never had doubts.
"Not at all," said the left-handed catcher. "It was ours for the taking and we took it. We've been doing it all year. It gets your heart going a little bit."
Every state title is special, no matter how many a program has, but this being the school's first in any sport
meant a lot to Oconto.
"I hope it means a ton (to the community)," Sohrweide said. "Sports has a tendency to bring communities together."
"It's awesome," Campshure said. "There's four every year in baseball. There are no words to explain it.
- Notes: The state record for errors in a state tournament game is 11. ... Tanner Pillsbury, Grant Frazer and Trent Mehlberg each had two hits for Oconto. ... The Blue Devils finished the season 16-4 and won their last seven games.
- Game ball: Campshure, who had two hits, including the game-winning hit.
- Numbers game: 1 State title for Oconto.
Click on link for complete boxscore: http://www.wiaawi.org/Portals/0/PDF/Results/Baseball_Spring/2013/d3game3.htm
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
"I think it's a big thing for our school.
Fond du Lac police have released more information about the weapons they found in the apartment of a man who was at the center of a five-hour standoff on Monday.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is announcing a public meeting has been scheduled to provide road closure and design information for the Velp Avenue interchange area.
FOX 11 Investigates takes a closer look at the property on the west side of Lambeau Field purchased by the Green Bay Packers.
More than $265,000 was donated to the Salvation Army of the Fox Cities as a result of last Friday's Thrivent Financial for Lutherans match day.
Two people are displaced after an apartment fire in Grand Chute.
A fire early Wednesday morning in downtown Ripon damaged three businesses and forced 26 people from their apartments.