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2019 STATE TOURNAMENT: A QUICK LOOK BACK - large image

2019 STATE TOURNAMENT: A QUICK LOOK BACK

If you love good pitching, you loved the 2019 Iowa high school state baseball tournament. The 28 games of the tournament provided plenty of it — there were nine shutouts — and some great individual performances.

Van Meter sophomore Zach Pleggenkuhle struck out 17 in the Bulldogs’ Class 1A semifinal win over West Sioux. The 17 strikeouts are tied for the third-most in state tournament history. Tom Mullen of Davenport Central (22; 1976), Eric Wordekemper of Storm Lake St. Mary’s (18; 2002) and Cal Eldred of Urbana (17; 1986) top the list.

Marion senior Rick Atkins struck out 16 in the Indians’ 3A first-round win over Bishop Heelan. 

And for the tournament, Bryson Bastian of 3A Xavier (22) and Jake Hilmer of 2A North Linn (19) led the way in total strikeouts. There were no no-hitters this year, and Hilmer had the tournament’s only one-hitter, that coming in the Lynx’ semifinal win over Des Moines Christian. There were four two-hitters thrown.

Xavier led the tournament with a team 1.00 earned-run average. North Linn and Urbandale were next at 1.33.

The pitching wasn’t perfect. Three games had five hit batters, and the 4A Dowling-Johnston game had all five HBP in one inning.

There was good hitting, too. Hunter Dekkers of 2A West Sioux rapped an inside-the-park homer. Jayson Willers of 3A Assumption and Josh Fitzgerald of 1A Newman Catholic hit traditional home runs as well. The home run total at Principal Park now stands at 57.

Fitzgerald led the tournament with seven hits and 15 total bases. A pair of 4A hitters — Cal Watson of Urbandale and Andrew Nord of Johnston — had six each.  Fitzgerald, Nord and Pleggenkuhle had two triples each.

Newman led the tournament with a team .421 batting average. 

Brook Heinen of 4A Urbandale led baserunners, going 6-for-6 in stolen base attempts. Urbandale and 2A Central Lee had single-game highs of 10, and the J-Hawks had a tournament-high 14 (in 15 attempts). Newman was 13-of-13.

There were some long games — eight topped the two-hour mark. Four of those came in 4A, with game times of 2:06, 2:25, 2:28 and 2:31. (The shortest game of the tournament was 78 minutes; Central DeWitt vs. Centerville.)

But the state tournament is about team championships, and there were familiar names among the winners.

Newman won its third straight 1A title — and eighth overall. The Knights made their 12th straight state tournament appearance, winning at least one game in each of those trips. Newman added to titles won in 1998, 2002, 2009, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2018. The Knights’ eight titles are tied for third-best all-time. Newman has made the state tournament 14 of the 15 years it has been held at Principal Park, missing only 2007. The Knights’ 36 state tournament victories are second all-time only to Assumption with 38.

Van Meter won the 2A title, adding to the 1A title it won in 2003. The Bulldogs have made the state tournament seven times, including five of the last seven years.

Xavier won the 3A title, adding to the title it won in 2006. The Saints made their seventh state tournament appearance, which included a run from 2005-2008.

Urbandale won its second straight 4A championship. Last year, as a two seed, the J-Hawks beat the 6-7-8 seeds to win. This year, as a six seed, the J-Hawks beat the 3-2-1 seeds in order to win. Urbandale made its 14th state tournament appearance. It previously won titles in 2000, 2007 and 2018.

Newman and Xavier were both #1 seeds.Van Meter was a #2 seed. Urbandale became the fifth #6 seed to win a state title at Principal Park


MOST SUMMER STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
11 — Assumption
9 — Kee
8 — Norway
8 — Newman Catholic
6 — Beckman Catholic
6 — Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson
6 — Valley
5 — Dowling Catholic
5 — Marshalltown
5 — Spalding Catholic

MOST SUMMER STATE TOURNAMENT TRIPS
23 — Newman Catholic
19 — Kee
19 — Dowling Catholic
19 — Bishop Heelan Catholic
18 — Beckman Catholic
18 — Harlan
17 — Assumption
17 — Johnston
16 — Cedar Rapids Kennedy
15 — Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson
15 — Bancroft St. John’s
15 — Martensdale-St. Mary’s

MOST STATE TOURNAMENT VICTORIES
38 — Assumption (38-6)
36 — Newman Catholic (36-15)
32 — Kee (32-10)
30 — Beckman Catholic (30-12)
23 — Harlan (23-15)
21 — Johnston (21-13) 
20 — Valley (20-7)
20 — Spalding Catholic (20-8)
20 — Dowling Catholic (20-15)
19 — Norway (19-7)

TOURNAMENT SEEDS = STATE CHAMPS
#1 seed = 33 titles
#2 seed = 8 titles
#3 seed = 4 titles
#4 seed = 6 titles
#5 seed = 4 titles
#6 seed = 5 titles
#7 seed = 0 titles
#8 seed = 0 titles
2005-2019 At Principal Park

2019 CHAMPIONS / SEEDS / RECORD
4A — #6 — Urbandale (31-14)
3A — #1 — Xavier (41-2)
2A — #2 — Van Meter (34-3)
1A — #1 — Newman Catholic (38-3)

ATTENDANCE TOTALS AT PRINCIPAL PARK
2005 — 33,699
2006 — 28,035
2007 — 26,177
2008 — 33,155
2009 — 33,601
2010 — 30,488
2011 — 31,614
2012 — 29,555
2013 — 35,095
2014 — 34,428
2015 — 26,311
2016 — 29,153
2017 — 25,709
2018 — 27,533
2019 — 28,797
Total — 453,350

 

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