BECKER -- Wabasha-Kellogg’s Liam Blaschko brought all his essential equipment to the Class 1A state golf tournament, which was held here Tuesday and Wednesday at Pebble Creek Golf Course. Liam brought his clubs, his shoes, his balls and tees … and his baseball gear, too.
This is a very big week for the senior, who is playing in two state tournaments. After wrapping up the golf tournament Wednesday, he headed to Jordan to meet his baseball teammates. The Falcons will face Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A tournament on Thursday at the Mini Met in Jordan.
If they win Thursday they will play in the state semifinals Friday in Jordan for the chance to play in the state championship game Monday at Target Field. If they lose Thursday, they will play in the consolation bracket Friday in Chaska.
All in all, Liam (pictured) is experiencing a real rarity.
“I’m feeling pretty good about it,” he said of his two rounds at state golf. He shot an 84 Tuesday and an 83 Wednesday, finishing in a tie for 23rd in the 88-player field.
Liam is the Falcons’ top pitcher with an 8-2 record and 98 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings. He also plays catcher and his batting average of .313 ranks No. 4 on the team behind Cooper Holtorf (.442), Jackson Gosse (.377) and Chase Holtorf (.333).
“He’s really taken it in a relaxed fashion,” Falcons golf coach Donny Killeen said of Liam’s golf season. “He said baseball’s a little more stressful for him. When he’s pitching there are eight other guys out there. Here, he said, ‘It’s me. If I mess up it’s my own fault.’ ”
Liam’s brother Fletcher played at the state golf tournament three times, placing sixth as a senior in 2013. The last time Wabasha-Kellogg qualified for the state baseball tournament was when Liam was in eighth grade.
Liam left home Monday for the state golf tournament. The Falcons’ baseball team departed for Jordan on Wednesday morning and Liam met them later in the day. After finishing on the golf course each day, he played catch with his father Chris and Killeen.
“There is stress in baseball,” he said. “In golf you just go out and have fun.”
Liam’s playing partners Wednesday were Springfield freshman Mason Kretsch, Heritage Christian junior Ian Johnson and Minneota freshman Nolan Boerboom. None of them knew Liam would be playing in another state tournament a day later; he didn’t mention it.
Wabasha-Kellogg allows athletes to play two sports simultaneously, but they must designate their top sport. Liam chose baseball, which meant he was on hand for baseball practices and games while working on his golf game when he found time.
As his sister Rowan put it, seeing her little brother at the state golf tournament was “the icing on the cake.”
In the midst of a very busy spring, Liam also performed in the school musical, “The Music Man.”
He has simple advice for others who might be considering a similar path: “Don’t be afraid to fill your schedule.”