In the last seven years, people in Remsen have been able to count on three things: death, taxes, and St. Mary’s baseball making it to state. The top-ranked Hawks beat West Harrison in Sioux City on Tuesday night by a final of 12-2 in five innings sending the Hawks to their seventh consecutive state tournament.
The Hawks wasted no time scoring runs to start the ball game. Remsen St. Mary’s put up four runs in the first inning to jump in front big early. Then the second inning came, and starting pitcher Isaiah Gerriets struggled to locate well and ended up allowing a pair of runs with one coming on an error in the field. Remsen St. Mary’s head coach Dean Harpenau says his offense more than made up for those brief struggles in the field.
Jaxon Bunkers picked up the slack with three strong innings to finish the game. He only allowed one hit to start his outing and retired the next nine hitters he faced to end the game. Bunkers says his biggest key was locating pitches well and being efficient.
Coach Harpenau says he turned to Bunkers in that situation due to his leadership aspect.
The Hawks continued to make up runs throughout the ball game scoring a run in the second, four in the third, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth to win it. The four runs in the third were vital to Remsen St. Mary’s being able to run-rule West Harrison. All four runs and run-producing hits came with two outs including a three-run triple from Carter Schorg. Schorg says his approach at the plate changed in that at-bat after what he had seen to start the game.
Coach Harpenau says his guys stayed the course throughout the game and were rewarded with another trip to state. He also acknowledges how difficult that is and how impressive it is that his team could do it again.
In the prior six trips to state, Remsen St. Mary’s has seen their season end in the state semifinals in four of them. Alex Schroeder, who ripped a two-run double in the first inning, says they’re sick and tired of getting one game short of the championship game.
For the Hawks to get to that goal, Schorg says it will take meticulous detail in the little things.
Coach Harpenau says he’s not worried about his team getting too comfortable having been to state seven years in a row. He says last year hurt the team, and they’ve been determined all season to not let it happen again.
Remsen St. Mary’s will play on Monday at the State Baseball Tournament in Carroll. KLEM Radio will provide live coverage of the Hawks all throughout the state baseball tournament.