The Remsen St. Mary’s Hawks and the West Sioux Falcons battled in the 1A championship match, but five runs in the fourth for the Hawks put them on top for good as they secured the title with an 8-5 win. It is the fourth state championship for St. Mary’s, adding to titles won in 1983-84-85.
West Sioux held a 4-2 advantage after three, but St. Mary’s was ready to pounce. An error on the shortstop put the first batter on for the Hawks. Brady Portz followed with a single and both runners later scored on two more errors in the inning. The Hawks proceeded to load the bases for R.J. Staab who punched a single that got by the right fielder to plate three more.
The Falcons fought back in the bottom of the frame, loading the bases with no outs to force a pitching change. Connor Clark took over and whiffed two before walking in a run to make it a two-run ball game.
Another comeback attempt by West Sioux in the fifth was cut short when Clark sat down the final two batters of the inning on strikes to leave two runners stranded.
Brady Harpeanau opened the next frame with a double to left field. Marcus Konopasek, in as a pinch-runner, moved to third on a wild pitch before Clark drilled a single to bring in the run and give St. Mary’s some insurance.
Clark held West Sioux scoreless for the next two innings to help St. Mary’s claim the trophy.
Staab helped his team with a 3-for-4 game with three RBI and a run scored. Clark also contributed two hits, a run and an RBI.
The unranked and fourth-seeded Hawks finish at 33-5. West Sioux — ranked third and seeded second — ends at 27-3.
The two War Eagle Conference members met twice during the regular season. West Sioux won both, including the season opener for both teams.
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