The Central DeWitt baseball team had proven multiple times this summer that it knows how to win.
The Sabers have won close games — they are 6-0 in one-run contests — and blowouts — six wins by 10 runs or more — as part of a 25-0 start.
Friday, the Sabers faced a new situation: bouncing back from a setback.
And Central proved that it could do that, too, rebounding from its first loss of the season to down visiting Mount Vernon, 7-2, in the nightcap of the two teams’ doubleheader.
The Sabers struck first in game two, as senior Jake Swanson blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.
The Mustangs came right back, scoring twice in the third to jump in front.
The lead did not last long. Devin Hurdle opened the bottom of the inning with a double and Alex McAleer was hit by a pitch. A passed ball moved both players into scoring position and Garrett Finley put the Sabers in front for good with a single to right, scoring both.
Swanson, meanwhile, belted a double to plate John McConohy, who was running for Finley, to make it 4-2.
After Mount Vernon went down in order in the fourth, Central picked up right where they left off.
Henry Bloom led off the bottom of the fourth with a single, while Ethan Pierce and Hurdle both walked to load the bases.
That brought up McAleer, who doubled to center to drive in two. Finley followed with a sacrifice fly to plate another, and the margin grew to five.
It would stay there, as thunderstorms moved into the area and brought an early end to the contest.
The Sabers had six hits with Swanson leading the way with two — one a home run, the other a double. Finley drove in three runs, while McAleer and Swanson had two RBIs, and Hurdle scored twice.
McAleer earned the victory on the mound, allowing four hits and the two runs, while striking out four. Lucas Bixby pitched nearly three innings in relief and allowed a single hit.
The Sabers found themselves on the wrong side of Murphy’s law in the opener, as everything that could go wrong, did go wrong in a 20-9 setback.
The Sabers’ normally stout defense committed seven errors and Mount Vernon scored in every inning it batted, taking advantage of 11 hits, seven walks, and four hit batsmen.
Central did pull within three of the Mustangs in the third inning. The first five Sabers batters reached safely in the inning with Finley and Bixby both socking RBI-doubles and Luke Anderson hammering a two-run home run to right-center.
The visitors, though, countered with five runs in the fourth inning to make it 14-6, and continued scoring to finish off the win.
Anderson followed up his home run in the third inning with another in the fourth — this one a three-run shot. That gave the junior two hits, five RBIs and two runs scored.
Finley and Swanson also had two hits for the Sabers (26-1 overall, 20-1 in WaMaC play), while Bixby scored twice and drove in two runs.