Van Buren baseball falls in championship gameNewman wins fourth state title
The Van Buren Warriors couldn’t finish their run to the State Championship Game with a victory.
The boys from Keosauqua lost to Newman Catholic 6-2 in the 1A Championship Game Saturday in Des Moines.
The Warriors’ appearance in the state tournament marked the first time this has happened in school history. The same can’t be said for Newman. The Knights have made the state tournament 11 of the last 13 years and have reached the 1A title game three of the last five seasons. Also this season’s top ranked team, this marks its fourth state title in school history. Newman finished second place last year. It’s pretty safe to say that the Knights are a perennial power.
Each team scored in the second inning, however Newman’s four run third inning wound up making the difference. Van Buren issued two walks, committed an error and gave up two, two-run singles off the bats of Kane Louscher and Pete Lapointe. Lapointe had four RBIs to lead the Knights.
Newman never looked back after its four run outburst.
The Warrios outhit their opponents but could never put together a rally. Garrett Saunders, Robert Barker and Noah Witten each had two hits. Barker also started the game on the mound. He pitched three innings and gave up five runs, however only one of those runs were earned. Robby Laughlin relieved Barker and for the most part shut the door on the Knights. Laughlin pitched the final four innings and only gave up one run.
The future looks bright for Van Buren. There is not one senior on their entire roster. Only five players on the squad are juniors and will be seniors next season. The majority of their best players are underclassmen, which means they might have a few more state tournament playoff appearances up their collective sleeve.
The Warriors ended the season with a 26-6 record.