It took nine innings, but Newman’s chances for a four-peat in the state tournament are alive and well.
Newman Catholic defeated previously undefeated Remsen St. Mary’s 2-0 in extra innings, punching its ticket to the 1A championship game.
The Knights claimed the game’s first run in the top of the ninth. Nash Holmgaard drilled a single into center field, scoring teammate Max Burt. A wild pitch would plate Sam Kratz for run No. 2.
Newman finished off St. Mary’s in the bottom of the inning with three strikeouts from pitcher Doug Taylor, who came in for relief.
The low-scoring game came at the hands of an excellent pitchers’ duel. Newman’s Sam Kratz gave up four hits, struck out 12 and shut out the Hawks in his 7.1 innings on the mound.
St. Mary’s Blaine Harpenau had an even better outing, tossing 15 strikeouts and allowing just three hits in his 7.1 innings. Newman’s two runs in the ninth came while Skyler Waldschmitt was in for relief.
Offensively, Newman’s five hits came from Jacob Nelson, Tim Castle, Burt, Kratz, and Holmgaard.
St. Mary’s offense came primarily from Skyler Waldschmitt, who finished 2-for-3.
Newman will face Don Bosco in the 1A state championship on Saturday. The fifth-seeded Dons advanced earlier Thursday with a 9-1 win over Kingsley-Pierson.
The Knights (19-5) are a six seed in this tournament — the lowest in 15 trips to Principal Park.
The Hawks were the second seed and ended at 20-1 after their first loss of the season.