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Starting pitcher Drew Verstegen pitched a complete game for Mason City Newman Catholic and also provided three RBIs at the dish to lead the Knights to victory over Nishnabotna, 9-1, Saturday afternoon in a Class 1A first-round game at Principal Park.

Verstegen (8-1) allowed just three hits and one run over his seven innings of work. He walked four and struck out eight Blue Devils.

The Knights wasted no time in getting to Blue Devils starter Kaleb Kahue (5-2). Kahue issued walks to the first two batters of the game and compounded his troubles by throwing two wild pitches to advance the runners to second and third. Newman Catholic first baseman Isaac Gribben then drove in his teammates with a two-run single to put the Knights up 2-0.

Newman Catholic provided some more run support for Verstegen in the second inning. Blake Louscher led off the frame with a triple and scored on a wild pitch from Kahue as the pitcher continued to have control issues. Mike Bohl reached on a free pass from Kahue and scored on yet another wild pitch. After Andrew Burgmeier walked and Hunter King was hit by a pitch, Verstegen belted a two-run double to chase Kahue from the mound and put the Knights up 6-0.

Kahue lasted an inning and two-thirds, giving up six runs on three hits while walking five and throwing four wild pitches.

Gribben led the Knights’ offense and ended his day at the plate 3-for-4 with three singles and three RBIs.

Newman Catholic improves to 35-2 on the season and goes on to face Remsen St. Mary’s in the first class 1A semifinal on Thursday at noon.


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