In a 1A semifinal where pitching proved dominant in the early innings, Newman Catholic used a four-run second inning on just two hits to shut out Martensdale-St. Marys 6-0 Thursday and advance to the 1A state championship at Principal Park.
Newman starter Caden Kratz went the distance, retiring six of his nine strikeouts in a row, as he held MSTM to three hits, walking one while striking out 10 in the win. MSTM shortstop Trevor Dooley was able to notch two of the three Blue Devils’ hits, before base-running lapses stymied any run production, as two of MSTM’s three hits were soon erased caught stealing.
Newman was able to sprinkle its six hits throughout the game, but capitalized on a Jace Leininger RBI triple, a Jacob Schutt RBI single and two wild pitches to bring four around on just two hits in the second.
MSTM’s Aaron Allsup limited the damage until the sixth, when a fielding error allowed Josh Thilges to drive in one to cap off a 2-for-2 day at the plate, while George Schmit scored the final run on another wild pitch.
Blue Devils’ starter Brady Gavin received the loss, after tossing 1.1 innings while surrendering three earned runs on one hit. Kolton Fisk would relieve the righty and follow with 1.1 frames before handing the reigns over to Allsup. Gavin would later return to the mound to notch the last out of the sixth after playing first base.
Newman Catholic will play the winner of Lisbon and North Linn in the 1A state championship game 11 a.m., Saturday at Principal Park.