Dan Criter has suffered some tough losses over his long career as Chilton head baseball coach. But the one he had last week likely tops them all.
Coming into its final at bat, the Tigers trailed Menasha St. Mary Catholic, 3-0, in their WIAA Division 3 regional championship game. Chilton then had what they thought would be a fairytale finish.


Zach Boehnlein’s dramatic three-run home run sent Chilton fan into a frenzy as the Tigers grabbed a 4-3 lead.
All for naught.
Will Kapral then got the first two SMC batters out and Chilton was just one out away from their first sectional appearance since 2001 when things got away from them.
Drew Zimmer was glanced by a Kapral pitch to be awarded first base and Kapral gave way to reliever Jake Criter. Moments later, winning pitcher Chris Seveska singled up the middle to score the tying and winning runs as St. Mary Catholic stunned the Tigers with their comeback in a 5-4 win to advance to the sectional held earlier this week at Crandon.
“Zach has been clutch for us all year and he comes through for us again with the homer,” said coach Criter.
“But there’s no die in St. Mary. That’s why they are a great program. That last post game talk I gave may have been the hardest one I ever had to make.”

Defense shines
The Tiger defense had been an Achilles heel, especially late this season, but Criter acknowledged that they came up big in both regional games.
“They really came around for us at the right time,” he says.
“We switched some things around that worked.”
Chilton had their lead off batter on base in every inning but the fifth. It took until the seventh inning for them to finally cash in.
Ryan Broeckel led off with a single and Lukas Halbach followed with another hit to chase SMC starting pitcher TJ Skrzypczak from the game. Seveska entered and got Alek Lemke to ground into a double play leaving Chilton just one out away from elimination.
However, Cole Woelfel drew a walk and Joey Boehnlein reached on a Zephyr error to score Broeckel with the first run. Zach Boehnlein then crushed a Seveska fast ball over the right field fence for a 4-3 Tiger lead until St. Mary had their heroics.
Chilton finishes 15-7 and loses seniors Zach Boehnlein, Woelfel, Nathan Kaplon, Jake Criter, Sean Meyer and Jacob Gehl.