Remsen St. Maryís back to state baseball for fifth straight season

Thursday, July 30, 2020
Above, Blaine Harpenau throws a pitch for Remsen St. Maryís in their substate win over Newell-Fonda on Tuesday. Harpenau fell just short of a complete game after he was pulled at the 90 pitch mark, but he gave up just three hits and one walk while striking out nine batters in the win.
(Photo Courtesy of Craig Shultz, Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune)

LE MARS ó The No. 2 ranked Remsen St. Maryís baseball team is continuing to extend their dynasty as they secured a spot in the Class 1A state tournament for the fifth consecutive year on Tuesday, July 21 as they beat Newell-Fonda 2-0 in the substate game held at the Riverview Complex.

Last season the team broke a tie for longest streak of consecutive state appearances which was held by the 1983-85 teams which all won state titles. A state championship led off the most recent string of appearances in 2016, but the Hawks have failed to reach the championship game since.

RSM is one of five teams returning from last seasonís Class 1A state tournament field. They join defending state champion Mason City Newman Catholic (No. 6 seed), Don Bosco of Gilbertville (No. 5 seed), South Winneshiek (No. 4 seed), and Martensdale-St. Marys (No. 1 seed).

Spencer Schorg settles under the ball for a catch in RSMís substate win. Schorg scored one of the two runs for the Hawks in the game as he reached in the second inning on a hit-by-pitch.
(Photo Courtesy of Liz Fisch)

Newell-Fonda was looking for their third trip to the state tournament and their first since 2005, but were shut down by starter Blaine Harpenau and closer Skyler Waldschmitt.

The Mustangs were shut out for just the second time this season with the other being the teamís regular season finale in a 1-0 loss to Pocahontas Area, their Twin Lakes Conference foe who also lost in a substate final Tuesday, July 21 as they were defeated by Dike New-Hartford 12-0 in a 2A substate game.

Harpenau gave up a double to Hogan Henrich in the first inning with two outs, but got out of the inning with a pop up. Ryan Greenfield then doubled to lead off the second and made his way to third, but was left stranded there.

Harpenau gave up just one other hit the rest of the game, a two-out single in the sixth, as he went 6 1/3 innings before being pulled at 90 pitches to allow him to be available to pitch Saturday. Harpenau ended with nine strikeouts in the contest.

Waldschmitt came on for the final two outs and fanned both batters he faced to seal the win for the Hawks.

The RSM offense scored a run in the first and second innings, but left runners on base with several chances for more throughout the entirety of the contest.

Harpenau reached on a single in the first and his courtesy runner, Alex Schroeder, advanced to second on a ground out from Waldschmitt. Jaxon Bunkers drove in the first run on a single to left which scored Schroeder.

The inning continued as Xavier Galles was hit by a pitch and Jeremy Koenck walked, but the Mustangs escaped any further damage as Carter Schorg grounded out to first.

RSM pushed across their other run the following inning with a two-out rally. After the first two batters got out, the Hawks got back to the top of their order where Spencer Schorg got hit by a pitch, Harpenau walked and Waldschmitt singled to score the only other run of the game.

The Hawks left two runners on in the third and fourth innings before batting just three in their final two plate appearances.

Henrich took the loss with both runs charged to him. Tanner Gerke kept the Hawks quiet the final four innings and struck out five.

Newell-Fonda finishes the season with a 16-3 record as they had just one senior in their starting lineup Tuesday, July 21.

Remsen St. Maryís improves to 19-0 on the season as they are the only remaining unbeaten team in the state across all classes.

The Hawks picked up the No. 2 seed in the tournament and will play seventh-seeded Burlington Notre Dame (14-2) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, July 25 in the 1A state quarterfinal round.

The Nikes are making their eighth state tournament appearance, but first since 2002. Burlington Notre Dame defeated North Cedar 7-5 in a postponed substate final which was completed Wednesday, July 22.

Newell-Fonda0 0 0 0 0 0 00
RSM1 1 0 0 0 0 x2

RSM: Hits- 4; Walks 3; 2B- None; 3B- None; HR- None; RBI- S. Waldschmitt, Bunkers; Pitching: Blaine Harpenau (W)- 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 Ks; Skyler Waldschmitt- 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 Ks.