Pella baseball

Pella's Quinn Rhamy (right) jumps into the arms of Keegan Hansen (left) after getting the final out against Newton

PELLA — A perfect night for baseball saw two Little Hawkeye Conference foes battle it out against one another in the substate semifinals on Monday as Pella was able to take down Newton 9-2 behind strong hitting and pitching.

Much like their quarterfinal game against Knoxville, Pella got off to a slow start giving up a pair of Cardinal runs in the top of the first inning.

Newton got a lead-off double from Brody Bauer and a single to follow to get things going against Dutch starter Keegan Hansen. The Cardinals would then net runs on a Hansen balk and an RBI single to left by Eli Stewart would make it 2-0.

From there until the seventh, Hansen and the Pella defense was lights out as he would retire the next 17 batters he faced.

The Dutch bats were threatening early as they stranded a pair of runners in the first and were in business again in the second. Freshman Anderson Schirm would come through with an RBI single to left to score one run but Pella would strand the bases loaded to end the threat.

Both teams would go down in order in the third but Pella got some offensive momentum going again in the fourth trailing 2-1.

The first five Dutch batters would reach safely with Jack Howard singling the tying run to center before Quinn Rhamy got plunked by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the go-ahead run. Jason Knox would then cap off the scoring in the fourth with an RBI sac fly to center to make it 4-2 in favor of Pella.

The bats stayed hot for the Dutch in the fifth as they would blow things open with five more runs crossing the plate. The first three runs came on a Newton error, a fielder’s choice and a wild pitch as the Dutch took advantage of the untimely Cardinal miscues. Hansen would then help his own cause with an RBI single up the middle before Pella would steal another run with a first and third double steal with Jason Knox stealing home on the throw down to second to put his team up 9-2.

Hansen then continued his dominance on the mound by striking out the side in the sixth to quickly move things along to the seventh where Newton would snap their hitless streak with the first two batters getting on before the Dutch would get the last three outs including a diving tag by Rhamy at home to get the final out to seal the win.

It was Hansen’s big night as he ended with the complete game win after allowing two runs on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts while going 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI. Schirm also had two hits and an RBI while Rhamy finished with two RBIs and Knox and Howard also both drove in one run.

Pella (22-14) is now a win away from their first state tournament appearance since 2016 as they will have to hit the road to battle No. 3 Grinnell (34-4) in the substate finals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers won all three regular season meetings although all three games were decided by three runs or less.

Colin Peters can be reached at 641-672-2581, by email at cpeters@oskyherald.com or on Twitter @ColinPetersOH.

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