WASHINGTON, Iowa — Trenton Wallace showed up for Monday’s Iowa Class 3A district championship baseball game with more than his best stuff.
The Davenport Assumption senior was accompanied by a crystal-clear memory and an offense that is seemingly finding its groove.
Both worked in Wallace’s favor as the Knights blew past Washington 12-0 in a five-inning no-hitter at Sojka Field.
“The past two years, this is the round that ended our season and we were determined not to let that happen again,’’ Wallace said. “As a team, we’re believing in each other. The way we were hitting up and down the lineup, if we keep that up only good things will happen.’’
The Iowa-bound lefthander did his part as well to send the Knights into Wednesday’s 7 p.m. substate game at Washington, where Assumption will face Fairfield for a berth in the state tournament. The Trojans (26-11) advanced with a 9-4 win over Keokuk.
Wallace dominated to move the Knights forward.
He struck out the first nine batters he faced on his way to a 13-strikeout performance while allowing only one baserunner.
Wallace, who has now struck out 47 batters in his last 25.2 innings of work, walked Bryan Craff with one out in the top of the fourth inning but quickly picked him off first base before stringing together four straight strikeouts to end the Demons’ 18-16 season.
“Trenton is pretty focused on the big picture,’’ Assumption coach Billy Argo said. “He did a great job of painting the strike zone right from the start. It was another good outing for him and we gave him plenty of help.’’
Argo liked the quality of at-bats he saw from the Knights (37-5).
“We didn’t chase any bad pitches. We were making the most of our at-bats and in that area, we seem to be hitting our stride right now,’’ Argo said. “At this time of year, 2-0 or 12-0, it doesn’t matter.’’
Assumption scored runs in every inning, including a pair without a hit when a Nolan Melchert sacrifice fly scored Ben Beutel and Wallace scored on an error after reaching on a walk.
Beutel tripled and Luke Fennelly singled a run home as the Knights doubled their lead in the second inning before sending 10 batters to the plate the third.
Justus Burke capped a five-run inning for Assumption by belting a three-run homer to left to extend the Knights’ lead to 9-0.
“There was a lot of good energy in the dugout once we got things going, everybody feeding off of each other,’’ Burke said. “We’re not taking anything for granted. We’re trying to make the most of every at-bat we get.’’
Burke left the park again in the fourth inning, following a two-run homer by Tavian Gillette with a solo blast with two outs as part of an 11-hit attack that included contributions from eight spots in the lineup.
“This is the way it is supposed to work. Guys were staying back, waiting for their pitch, having quality at-bats,’’ Burke said. “We’ve worked all season for these games and we’re determined to make the most of them.’’