Little Falls Baseball Peaks in Postseason to Earn State Berth
If you ask any coach, they’ll tell you all they want is their team to peak at the right time and play their best baseball at the end of the year. That’s just what the Little Falls baseball team did, pulling off three straight upsets as the third-seed in the Section 8AAA tournament to advance to state.
“Things finally started clicking at the end of the year and it’s the perfect time for that to happen,” says head coach Chad Kaddatz.
Midway through the season, the Flyers were 8 and 8 unsure what path they were on for this season. They knew they were close to something special, 5 of those losses were by 1 run, and they credit the tight bond of their team to help them pull it all together.
“We communicate well, we know what people want done,” says senior catcher Mason Dempsey. “It’s just one big happy family that manages to figure things out.”
They started getting the tough runs across, playing perfect small ball throughout the postseason.
“It all starts with that leadoff hitter. Once he gets on we bunt him over and we hit him in,” says pitcher Travis Wenzel. “It’s manufacturing, we practice that all the time. Once the leadoff guy gets one, he steals, it’s basically a double, and we hit him in.”
They didn’t need to hit many in, with great pitching from the entire staff, including Travis Wenzel, who pitched complete game gems in two of their three playoff wins.
“He has a winning mentality. He comes at you and he’s going to beat you,” says Dempsey.
“He’s a tough kid. All through travel ball and youth baseball he’s been in a lot of big situations. Nothing rattles him. He’s exactly what you need for a game like this,” says Kaddatz.
It’s a great farewell to the 11 seniors on the roster, who used last year’s loss in the section championship game as motivation this time around.
“We were right there last year and to come up a little short kind of stung. Everyone remembers it and so we just had a goal this year to get to state and do whatever we could,” says senior Caleb Strack.
The Flyers will take on third-seeded St. Thomas Academy tomorrow at Siebert Field.