DES MOINES, Iowa -- With 12-straight state tournament appearances, experience was on the side of the Newman Knights during their matchup against Pekin.
Holding an 8-4 lead in the seventh inning, the Panthers rallied to score three, coming within a base-hit of tying the game. Senior Josh Fitzgerald gave up a three-run double to Pekin's Keenan Winn, but then struckout Tugg Hill to end the game.
Paulus finished the game with 11 strikeouts. After giving up runs in his previous state tournament appearances, the senior had a different mindset coming into the game.
"I think every start until this year I walked the very first guy I faced and it never ended well in the first inning, gave up two runs my sophomore year," Paulus said. "I knew this year I just needed to calm down and throw strikes and throw like I have all year and it was going to work for me."
With the win, the Knights play Don Bosco this Thursday.