Central DeWitt boys set wins mark-Alex McAllen

Central DeWitt junior Alex McAleer closes in on a hit during the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with Dubuque Senior. McAleer went 3-for-4 at the plate in the nightcap of the twin bill, finishing a home run shy of a cycle, and drove in four runs in the Sabers’ 14-4 victory. It was the 33rd win of the summer for the Sabers, setting a new program record.

Its first attempt at a program record did not go to plan.

But in the second game of Tuesday’s doubleheader with Dubuque Senior, the Central DeWitt baseball team got right back to what it has done best this summer.

Winning.

With their offense pounding out 13 hits and scoring in all four innings they batted, the Sabers rolled by the Rams, 14-4, to avenge Senior’s own big 11-1 victory in the opener.

It was the 33rd victory of the season for the Sabers, the most in one season in school history, breaking the previous mark of 32 set twice — first in 2013 and then again in 2016.

Central struck quickly jumping out to a 3-0 lead after an inning.

Alex McAleer got things rolling with a single and stole second, which allowed him to score on Garret Finley’s own single.

Tucker Kinney was hit by a pitch before Jake Swanson cleared the bases with a two-run double to make it 3-0.

Senior came right back with three runs in the second inning, but the tie did not last long as the Sabers struck again in the bottom of the frame.

McAleer came up with the biggest hit, slamming a triple to left field to plate Henry Bloom and Devin Hurdle.

Finley followed with a sacrifice fly to bring in McAleer and the lead had grown to three again.

The Sabers were not done. They scored four runs — all with two outs — in the third inning with Lucas Bixby, Boomer Johnson and McAleer all slugging doubles, and then put things away with four more runs in the fourth.

The first five Central batters in the frame all collected hits — highlighted by back-to-back doubles by Nolan Haack and Bixby — and Bixby pushed the lead to 10 when he scored on a wild pitch.

That turned out to be the final margin as the Rams went down in order in the fifth, invoking the mercy rule.

McAleer had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a single, a double and a triple, while driving in four runs and scoring twice himself.

Swanson, Bixby and Johnson added two hits apiece. Finley, Swanson and Haack all drove in two runs, while Hurdle, Kinney, Bixby and Bloom joined McAleer by scoring twice.

Finley earned the victory on the mound, spreading out eight hits and allowing just three earned runs, while striking out a pair. McAleer handled the fifth inning and needed just eight pitches to retire the Rams.

Senior jumped out to an early lead in the opener, plating three runs in the top of the first.

Central answered with its own run in the bottom of the inning.

McAleer hit a one-out single, stole second and then took third as well when the throw got away. Finley followed with an RBI-groundout and the Sabers were on the board.

It was still a 3-1 game when the Rams used six hits — including a home run — and two walks to spur an eight-run eruption in the third inning.

The Sabers produced base runners in each of their next three innings — loading the bases in the fourth — but could not add to their first-inning run.

McAleer, Kinney, Bixby and Bloom had Central’s hits with McAleer adding a run and Finley an RBI.

The doubleheader with Dubuque Senior wrapped up the regular season for Central, as Wednesday’s scheduled finale with Davenport Central was rained out.

The Sabers, however, faced another future MAC foe when they hosted Davenport North Monday.

Down early, Central scored four runs late with the final one in the sixth inning breaking a 3-3 tie for a 4-3 victory.

The Wildcats scored twice in the opening inning and held that 2-0 advantage until the fourth inning when the Sabers rallied back.

It took just two batters in the fourth for the hosts to draw even, as Finley singled up the middle and Kinney followed with a home run to left field.

An inning later, the Sabers jumped in front as Hurdle singled, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Finley.

This time it was North’s time to respond, and the Wildcats did, opening the sixth inning with a home run that knotted things up at three.

The Sabers’ answer, though, proved to be just as good, as senior Drew Eden slugged a two-out home run in the bottom of the sixth to put Central in front again.

The Wildcats advanced the tying run all the way to third in the seventh, but Bixby extinguished the threat with a strikeout to finish off the victory.

Bixby earned the victory in relief, striking out four in his two innings of work. Swanson made the start and allowed just four hits in five innings on the mound with two strikeouts.

Finley went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in a run. Hurdle, Kinney, Swanson, Bixby, and Eden also had hits for the Sabers (33-3), with Kinney driving in two runs and Eden one with their home runs.