GOING TO THE GAME
The state tournament is scheduled for Principal Park through the 2020 season. Future tentative dates are:
2013 — July 26-27, 29-August 3
2014 — July 25-26, 28-August 2
2015 — July 24-25, 27-August 1
Blue Devils’ starter J.D. Nielsen tossed the fourth no-hitter in state finals history and the first in 20 years, as Martensdale-St. Marys defeated Mason City Newman Catholic 1-0 for its third straight 1A state championship at Principal Park on Saturday.
Trent Dooley scored the game’s first run on a groundout to second off the bat of Zeb Noel giving the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
The Blue Devils did not tally a hit until shortstop Robert Walker lined a single to left in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Nielsen pitched 4.1 perfect innings before plunking Gabe Dunn, marking the Kinghts’ first base runner in the top of the fifth. Dunn later advanced to third, and would be tagged out at the plate trying to score on Joey Verstegen’s sacrifice bunt. Nielsen charged off the mound to field the bunt and tossed underhand to catcher Dakota Wenzel, who applied the tag preventing the run.
Newman Catholic threatened in their final attempt. Alex Weber walked to leadoff the inning and later advanced to third, but Nielsen struck out Joe Burgmeier for the final out of the game.
Nielsen (8-3) struck out eight and walked one in dealing seven no-hit innings. He joins Jack Mustapha (’65), Greg Brecht (’83) and Jason Flach (’92) as the only pitchers to accomplish the feat in a state final game.
Phillip Lapointe (8-2) allowed one run on two hits in six innings of work to suffer the loss.
Tonight’s state finals double-header will feature Decorah against Dallas Center-Grimes for the 3A title in the first game and Ankeny against Fort Dodge for the 4A title in the finale.
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