State baseball: Martensdale-St. Marys pitcher tosses no-hitter in 1-A final

State baseball: Martensdale-St. Marys pitcher tosses no-hitter in 1-A final

Video

State baseball: Martensdale-St. Marys pitcher tosses no-hitter in 1-A final

By


JD Nielsen woke up Saturday and began preparing for his final high school game like it was any other day.
It ended up being extraordinary.
The Martensdale-St. Marys senior became the fourth pitcher in state history to throw a no-hitter in the championship game of the summer state baseball tournament as the No.3 Blue Devils beat top-ranked Mason City Newman 1-0 in the Class1-A final at Principal Park.
The championship was the third straight for the Blue Devils.
“It’s awesome,” Nielsen said. “It’s a great way to end your senior year and my career as a Martensdale-St.Marys student. I couldn’t ask for a better feeling than that.”
Nielsen, who struck out eight, walked just one and hit one.
“I tried not to let my nerves get to me or the crowd get to me,” Nielsen said.
Nielsen joined elite company with the no-hitter, becoming the first to accomplish the feat in a title game since Davenport Assumption pitcher Jason Flach’s gem in 1992 against Decorah.
“He’s always got something special going,” Blue Devils shortstop Robert Walker said.
Nielsen retired the first 13 hitters he faced before hitting Newman second baseman Gabe Dunn with a pitch with one out in the fifth inning.
Dunn moved to third and tried to score when Joey Verstegen dropped a safety squeeze bunt down that stopped between Nielsen and Martensdale-St.Marys catcher Dakota Wenzel.
Nielsen, who waited a moment before running toward the bunted ball, picked it up quickly and tossed it to Wenzel, who tagged out Dunn for the second out of the inning.
“I thought I was safe but that’s the umpire’s call,” Dunn said.
Nielsen said he thought the tag was applied before Dunn could reach home.
“It was a really close play and I think the umpire made the right call,” Nielsen said. “That could have changed the game drastically.”
But things continued to go according to plan for the Blue Devils, who had taken a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout in the first inning by Zeb Noel.
That was all Nielsen needed. The lefty, who improved to 8-3, issued a leadoff walk to Newman left fielder Alex Weber to start the seventh.
Weber was left stranded on third when Nielsen struck out Joe Burgmeier to end the game and put the finishing touches on the Blue Devils’ three-peat.
“We’ve been on top the last two years,” Walker said. “Our careers wouldn’t have ended right if we didn’t finish No.1.”
The Blue Devils saw their streak of 88 consecutive wins snapped May22 against Des Moines East. It was just one short of a national record.
Nielsen was the starting pitcher that night and took the loss.
“This is sweet redemption for him to go out as a senior and pitch the way he did,” Martensdale-St.Marys coach Justin Dehmer said.
Newman (35-5) pitcher Phillip Lapointe was nearly as good, taking a no-hitter of his own into the fourth inning. The right-hander allowed just one run on two hits and took the loss.
“He really deserved to win that game,” Dunn said. “He put us in the best position possible.”
Nielsen said he was more worried about completing the game and not the no-hitter.
“Obviously it’s a great feat,” Nielsen said. “But, I just wanted to make sure my team got the W.”
The Blue Devils (40-5) became the fifth school in state history to win a softball and baseball title in the same season.
West Delaware was the last to accomplish the feat, in 2007.
“That was our focus at the beginning of the season,” Nielsen said of the third straight title.
Newman 000 000 0–0 0 0
MSM 100 000 x– 1 2 1
W-Nielsen. L-Lapointe.
Other no-hitters in summer state championship games
Jack Mustapha, Boone, 1965 vs. Burlington
Greg Brecht, Norway (5 innings), 1983 vs Treynor
Jason Flach, Davenport Assumption, 1992, vs Decorah

More USA TODAY High School Sports
Home
https://usatodayhss.com/2012/state-baseball-martensdale-st-marys-pitcher-tosses-no-hitter-in-1-a-final
State baseball: Martensdale-St. Marys pitcher tosses no-hitter in 1-A final
I found this story on USA TODAY High School Sports and wanted to share it with you: %link% For more high school stories, stats and videos, visit http://usatodayhss.com.