Martensdale-St. Mary’s will be looking for a fourth consecutive state championship when the state baseball tournament opens on Friday night at Prncipal Park in Des Moines. The eighth ranked Blue Devils will take on second rated Twin Cedars in the class 1A quarterfinals. Martensdale-St. Mary’s earned another trip to state after getting by Underwood 11-5 in Tuesday night’s sub-state final, a game in which they trailed 4-0 in the third inning.
“We’ve been in that situation before, that’s kind of why we have the schedule the way we do, play a bunch of 3A teams and 2A teams to kind of get us ready for this spot,” coach John Fitzpatrick says. He says they didn’t panic and just kept cutting away at the lead.
Fitzpatrick who says they have talked about getting back to the state tournament — but not about winning a fourth straight title. “once you get there anything can happen and we proved that the last couple of years,” he says.
Fitzpatrick says the Blue Devils have battled through some adversity this season after starting the year with just one returning starter.
He says they had to rebuild and then their starting catcher had a broken collar bone, which they also had to overcome.
Fitzpatrick says Principal Park is where every team hopes to end its season. “It’s always an honor to coach there, they treat us so well when we get at that point. Just to get there and know you are one of the eight best teams in the state is a very nice honor,” Fitzpatrick says. “Just because we are Martensdale St. Mary’s and have won three straight doesn’t mean that we are just going to get a walk through. We still have to earn our and it’s definitely and honor to do so.”
The other 1A semifinal on Friday night matches top ranked Mason City Newman against Woodbury Central. The other two 1A first round games are Saturday night. Third ranked Van Meter plays Remsen St. Mary’s and fourth rated Don Bosco takes on Van Buren of Keosauqua.