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Newman Catholic vs. Alburnett

August 3, 2019

The top-seeded Newman Catholic Knights, backed by a high-powered offense and stellar pitching, defeated the second-seeded Alburnett Pirates 11-1 in six innings to win the Class 1A state championship Saturday at Principal Park. This is the Knights’ third consecutive state championship.

It started in the second inning, where Newman struck first, stringing together three consecutive hits to score two runs. Kyle Armour drove in the first run with a single before George Schmitt hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the second.

Alburnett was ready to respond, however, with the first three batters of the inning reaching base via a walk and two hits. The third hit, off the bat of Kale Rose, drove in the lone run of the inning. After two runners were in scoring position, a pop out and a fly out ended the rally.

That was one of many missed opportunities for Alburnett early in this one. In the fourth, the Pirates had the bases loaded and one out before a baserunning gaffe stunted the rally.

A big part of the reason the Pirates struggled to score was because of the Knights’ starting pitcher, Doug Taylor. Taylor, an eighth-grader, fired 5.2 innings with only one run allowed on four hits.

The Knights’ Josh Fitzgerald was able to give his team two more runs in the fourth on a two-run home run. The blast was his 16th of the season — and the 57th in state tournament history at Principal Park.

Newman finishes the season at 38-3 with its eighth 1A state championship in program history.

Alburnett ends its season at 34-6. This was its first state championship game and its second state tournament appearance ever.