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Making their tournament-leading 22nd appearance, the Newman Catholic Knights used seven runs in the first inning and a complete game by Evan Paulus to crown themselves as the 2018 1A state champions, besting Lisbon 9-5 Saturday in the title game at Principal Park.

The seven-run outburst began with back-to-back singles by Ian Holmgaard and Paulus, as Andrew Morse singled in his first of two RBIs on the day.  Three hit-by-pitch RBIs would bring the score to 3-0, before Josh Fitzgerald notched a two-RBI single for a 6-0 lead. The Knights would score their last run capitalizing on one of two Lisbon errors to leave the score at 7-0 until the third inning.

Lisbon turned around in the third to tag Paulus for five runs, beginning with a Ryne Mohrfeld single followed by a RBI double from Wes Benyshek. A Bryce Werderman single and a two-run double off the bat of Tyson Williams would be the last three runs the Lions could collect off the righty.

Newman extended its lead in the fourth, as Morse roped an RBI single to cap off a 2-for-4 day at the plate, as both Lisbon starter Brett Givens and Paulus went the distance. Givens pitched six innings with seven earned runs on eight hits only to be beat by his counterpart in the bottom of the sixth.

After retiring the side in the fifth and posting a 1-2-3 inning in the sixth, Paulus blasted a solo home run to straight-away center in the sixth for a 9-5 Newman lead, sealing a 2-for-4 day at the plate, and seven innings of six-hit baseball with five earned runs to notch the seventh state championship title for the Knights.

It was the first loss of the season for Lisbon (36-1). Newman finished at 40-1.


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