GRAND CHUTE — The emotions said it all in Blake Campshure’s voice.
Moments after he and his Oconto teammates dropped a 6-0 decision to Wisconsin Heights in the Division 3 state championship baseball game at Fox Cities Stadium, the left-handed pitcher talked about what his team accomplished the last two seasons.
A year ago, Oconto won the school’s first-ever state title and Thursday the Blue Devils were going for a repeat, but it never materialized. Oconto was limited to two hits and had to settle for silver.
“The competitor in me really wanted gold really bad,” Campshure said. “At same time, I’m here. Not too many people can say that.”
“Two golds would’ve been great,” Oconto coach Brian Sohrweide said. “Wisconsin Heights is a very good team. It’s not about winning or losing. If a team beats me … they clearly beat us. We had guys on base and didn’t come up with the clutch hits like we did in the past.”
Campshure made his first start of the season after tearing his ACL last football season. He played catcher on last year’s team but was summoned to take the mound in the team’s most important game of the season after Kyle Krueger was injured in Wednesday’s state semifinal and couldn’t pitch.
“I was really, really nervous,” said Campshure, who pitched a complete game, striking out three and allowing three earned runs. “I had a lot of confidence. I had a defense behind me, some boots, but it’s part of the game.”
“When Kyle went down, it was almost like Blake was supposed to pitch,” Sohrweide said. “I thought Blake pitched an outstanding game. We just didn’t give him any runs.”
Oconto trailed after Heights scored two in the first inning, but had chances to get things going. However, the Blue Devils (17-7) had three base runners picked off, which didn’t help the offense.
“Even though we were down the team was still up,” Campshure said. “We were still confident and swinging for the fences.”
While the loss didn’t feel good for the Blue Devils, what they did feel good about was a two-year run that netted a championship and runner-up finish.
“We have a little foundation for the underclassmen to keep winning,” Campshure said. “It’s been real fun playing here. I’m going to miss it a lot.”
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay