Sleepy Eye moves on

Staff photo by Jeremy Behnke Sleepy Eye’s Joey Walter delivers one of his three hits in Saturday’s Class C state amateur baseball game in New Prague. Walter had two RBIs in the game and Sleepy Eye advanced with a 3-0 win over Fergus Falls.

NEW PRAGUE — Ever since he’s been reunited with his former teammates in Sleepy Eye, Sean Mathiowetz has been basically untouchable.

Mathiowetz played for the Sleepy Eye amateur baseball team to start his amateur career but he played for Stark the last two years. Following the Region 2C playoffs, he was drafted by the Indians after Stark was eliminated and he’s been impressive.

On Saturday, Mathiowetz picked up his second win for the Indians in six days as he went all nine innings in a 3-0 win over Fergus Falls in the Class C State Tournament. Sleepy Eye will now play either Hutchinson or Lastrup at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday in Shakopee.

In his win last Sunday in relief, Mathiowetz went 6 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a run. On Saturday, he went nine innings, allowed two hits and walked two. He struck out six and kept throwing strikes.

“For me, I’ve always been a pitcher that likes to attack the zone and they got me some runs in the third,” Mathiowetz said. “From there, it was just attack, don’t give them any free base runners and my defense played well behind me. They hit the ball pretty hard but our defense stuck in there and made the plays.”

Joey Walter went 3 for 4 with a two-run single in the third inning that gave the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Mathiowetz was locked in though and he didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning. Fergus Falls stranded eight runners in the game. The two-run lead early seemed to be a pretty big advantage, however.

“I wouldn’t say [we were] comfortable, but with the way Sean was throwing, I mean what can you say about him,” Walter said. “He threw a heck of a game. You give a guy like Sean two or three runs, it’s almost like five or six runs in most instances.”

Alan Woitas provided an insurance run later when an RBI single that scored Andrew Woitas in the sixth inning. Then, with runners on first and second and two outs, Chad Armbruster’s hard hit ball to the warning track in left looked like it was going to drop and score both runners, but Fergus Falls left fielder Jack Heideman made a diving catch for the final out.

Andrew Woitas was 3 for 4 on the day.

For the Indians, the successful postseason run continues after the team emerged from the Region 2C playoffs as one of the lower seeds. They’re gunning for win No. 3 at state on Friday.

“This is awesome,” Walter said. “I’ve been playing amateur ball for more than 10 years now, so going on a run like this is more than I can ask for, it’s been playing with the guys this summer.”