DES MOINES, Iowa–
A bases-loaded suicide squeeze with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Alburnett a 4-3 walk-off win over Remsen St. Mary’s in a Class 1A semifinal-round game Thursday afternoon at Principal Park. The Pirates — making only their second state tournament appearance ever — will meet perennial power Newman Catholic in the state championship game Saturday.
It was a terrific game as the two teams battled to a 3-3 tie through six innings.
St. Mary’s threatened in the top of the seventh, but an 8-4 double play on a great catch by Austin Huber ended the inning.
Alburnett loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh with no outs. After a walk to Huber, St. Mary’s starter Blaine Harpenau exited the game at 110 pitches. A single by Reed Stallman and infield single by Keaton Parker loaded the bases. After a strikeout, Shane Neighbor laid down a bunt with Huber racing home with the winning run.
Both teams had early chances to score — St. Mary’s in the third and Alburnett in the third and fourth — before the Hawks broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth.
A hit batter and sacrifice bunt led to back-to-back RBI singles by Spencer Schorg and Harpenau for a 2-0 lead. An errant pickoff attempt at first was followed by an RBI single by Skyler Waldschmitt to make it 3-0.
The Pirates came right back in the bottom of the fifth on singles by Kale Rose and Huber, followed by a bases-clearing triple to the right-field wall by Stallman. Parker belted an RBI single to tie the score at 3-3.
Alburnett (34-5) pounded out 10 hits in the win.
The sixth-seeded Hawks ended at 27-8.