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Newman Catholic vs Lake Mills 06-12-2019 (4).jpg

Newman Catholic's Merritt McCardle hits during a game against Lake Mills. 

More than three weeks into the season, baseball teams in North Iowa are beginning to show their identity.

Nearly every area team has played at least 10 games, allowing their ace pitchers to start at least a few games and giving their key sluggers enough at-bats to get into a groove.

Some of these teams are looking to repeat championship success, some are trying to reach that level, and others are simply trying to improve from recent lackluster seasons.

Here’s a statistical look at the top-performing teams this season, as well as highlights from the five teams with the best records in the early portion of the 2019 season.

All statistics, which were obtained through Quikstatsiowa.com, are accurate through Tuesday’s games.

Newman Catholic has the most wins of any area team, racking up 11 in its first 13 contests. The Knights have already lost one more game than last season, but they’ve looked impressive nonetheless. Newman Catholic won its first seven games, and it has scored double-digit runs in nine of 13. Senior Evan Paulus is having an impressive start, batting close to .540 with 19 RBIs.

Osage went 10-14 a season ago, but the Green Devils find themselves at 7-2 merely 22 days into their season. They’ve allowed opponents to score more than five runs just twice during their hot start.

West Fork rattled off nine consecutive victories after losing its season-opener, outscoring opponents 68-5 during the Warhawks’ five most recent victories. Lukas Wogen’s .439 batting average and 2.92 ERA both lead the team.

Saint Ansgar ace Collin Kramer has posted ridiculous numbers, throwing a no-hitter and boasting an ERA of .1.48 with 53 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings. Fellow pitcher Mark Williams has an ERA of 0.25 in 28 1/3 innings pitched. The Saints have won 11 of their first 15 games.

Lake Mills has seen an incredible start from its entire pitching staff, particularly their starters. Three pitchers have thrown at least 22 innings this season. Collectively, they’ve allowed seven earned runs in 72 innings. Mason Fritz has the fewest walks (eight), Cael Boehmer has the lowest ERA (0.31) and Casey Hanson has the best opposing batting average (.133) and most strikeouts (42).

Top 10 teams by record:

1. Newman Catholic (11-2)

2. Osage (7-2)

3. West Fork (9-3)

4. Saint Ansgar (11-4)

5. Lake Mills (10-4)

6. Mason City (7-4)

7. North Butler (6-4)

T9. Forest City (7-5)

T9. Rockford (7-5)

10. Clear Lake (5-5)

Top 10 teams by batting average:

1. Lake Mills (.342)

2. North Butler (.321)

3. Newman Catholic (.317)

4. Hampton-Dumont (.315)

5. Mason City (.311)

6. Charles City (.302)

7. Osage (.296)

8. Central Springs (.289)

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9. Garner-Hayfield-Ventura (.283)

10. Rockford (.282)

Top 10 teams by earned run average:

1. Saint Ansgar (2.15)

2. Osage (2.21)

3. North Butler (2.41)

4. Lake Mills (2.61)

5. West Fork (2.80)

6. Newman Catholic (2.85)

7. Mason City (2.88)

8. Clear Lake (3.60)

9. Algona (3.97)

10. Bishop Garrigan (4.22)

Top 10 teams by fielding percentage (number of errors):

1. Rockford - .946 (13)

2. Charles City - .940 (23)

3. Saint Ansgar - .937 (16)

4. Bishop Garrigan - .927 (11)

T6. West Fork - .926 (23)

T6. Mason City - .926 (21)

 7. Lake Mills - .925 (29)

 8. Algona - .919 (22)

 9. Forest City - 916 (27)

 10. Riceville - .911 (24)

Other stats

• Newman Catholic is third in the state with 12 home runs. Johnston (20) and

Calamus-Wheatland (15) are first and second, respectively.

• The Knights are also tied for the most walks in the state with 107, despite playing in three fewer games than Kingsley-Pierson, which also has 107.

• Newman Catholic (.519) - Tied for 6th in the state in on-base percentage

• Saint Ansgar leads all area teams with 64 steals. The next-highest North Iowa team, Northwood-Kensett, has 45.

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Reach Sports Reporter Luke A. Garza at 641-421-0540 or follow him on Twitter @LukeAGarza

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