DES MOINES, Iowa. (KCRG) - The Newman Catholic Knights defeated the Alburnett Pirates 11-1 in six innings on Saturday to win the 1A state baseball championship. The state title is the Knights' third straight and sixth in 11 years.
“Newman is Newman, at the end of the day." said head coach Ryan Stensland.
"The margin of error is so small with those guys and I don’t know how many walks we gave up today and we gave up some free bases and then we just didn’t execute ourselves on the bases and that’s probably the difference in the game.”
The Knights were first to put up runs on the scoreboard in the second inning, posting two runs on rbi-singles by Jack McGuire and Kyle Armour.
The Pirates answered with one in the top of the third, thanks to a single from Kale Rose that brought home Austin Stallman.
After Newman Catholic regained a two-run lead, the Pirates' best chance came in the fourth with bases loaded and one out. Austin Stallman was on first base and with the pitch tried to steal second even though the bases were loaded. Newman Catholic forced a short run-down that ended with Keaton Parker being thrown out at home. Sam Fulk then lined out to end the inning.
“If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year, after losing our number two pitcher, we were going to be at state and the state championship game I probably would've told you youre crazy." said senior Keaton Parker.
"It was a heck of a season with these guys, the underclassman stepped up this year, really played as a team and I'm really happy for the team and I'm just happy that we made it here.”
The Knights took the momentum and ran with it, scoring two in the fourth, and then four in the fifth. With the bases loaded in the sixth, Merritt McCardle was hit by a pitch which gave the Knights a ten run lead and ended the game.
The Pirates finish their season with a record of 34-6.
"We're so proud of our kids." Stensland said. "One game doesn't define a season and hopefully it will give us motivation to get back here again."