Over the past decade, few summer teams have found more success than the Central DeWitt baseball team.
The Sabers have averaged 26 victories since 2009 and have earned both of the program’s two state trips.
One item that was missing from that résumé was a WaMaC title.
Monday, the Sabers — ranked third in Class 3A — used identical 6-3 victories over Clear Creek-Amana to up their WaMaC mark to 22-1. With the next closest team, Marion, having four conference losses, Central clinched the league title.
A day later, the Sabers put a bow on their monster conference season by taking both games of a WaMaC East doubleheader with Beckman Catholic.
Central’s final conference mark of 24-1 is the league’s best since Solon went 29-1 in 2011.
The Sabers never trailed in either of their 6-3 victories over the Clippers.
Central scored twice in the first inning of the opener without recording a hit: Devin Hurdle was hit by a pitch and scored on a passed ball, while Alex McAleer reached on an error and later scored on another one.
Clear Creek-Amana got a run back in the fourth, but Central broke things open with four runs in the sixth.
Garrett Finley opened the inning with a double and Tucker Kinney walked before Jake Swanson knocked them both in with his own two-bagger.
Nolan Haack slugged his own double – the third of the inning – to plate Swanson and Henry Bloom made it 6-1 with his single (all five of Central’s hits came in the inning).
The Clippers threatened late, loading the bases with one out in the seventh. Central got a second out, but Clear Creek-Amana countered with a single and then a bases-loaded walk to get within three.
A strikeout with the bases still loaded, though, gave the Sabers a 6-3 victory.
Finley earned the victory, spreading out nine hits and allowing just three runs (two earned), while striking out a pair. Lucas Bixby took over with the bases loaded in the seventh and earned the save.
Central struck quickly in the nightcap, too, scoring three runs in the first inning.
The Sabers loaded the bases on a double, an error, and a single before Kinney drove in both Hurdle and McAleer with a single.
Two batters later, Swanson belted a double to right to score Kinney and it was 3-0.
Another run in the second — Bloom scored on a groundout by Drew Eden — pushed the margin to four, but the Clippers turned two singles and two errors into a three-run fourth to get back within one.
The Sabers answered immediately, using doubles by Haack and Eden, and a single by Hurdle to score twice in the bottom of the inning.
Fresh off his save, Bixby went the distance in the win, spreading out six hits and allowing just the three runs — none earned — while striking out three.
The Sabers had nine hits with Hurdle collecting two and seven other players coming up with one (Eden, Haack, Hurdle, and Swanson all hit doubles).
A day later, the Sabers picked up a suspended doubleheader with the Blazers (ranked eighth in Class 2A) and lit up the scoreboard.
Up 2-0 in the opener when the games were originally called off in June, the Sabers steadily added to their lead on Tuesday, scoring eight runs over the final three frames in a 10-0 rout.
That proved to be just an appetizer to the nightcap as the two teams combined for 29 hits and 28 runs.
There were four different points where either the Sabers or Blazers scored at least five runs in a half-inning.
Central came up with the last such push, rallying from a 12-10 deficit with six runs in the sixth inning for a 16-12 victory.
Beckman set the tone, scoring five runs right away in the first inning.
Central answered with two runs in the second, but the Blazers matched them with two runs in the fourth.
The Sabers, though, erased their five-run deficit in the fifth.
Central brought 12 players to the plate in the frame and collected seven hits. The result was eight runs that made it 10-7.
The lead did not even survive the end of the inning as Beckman’s first five batters all reached safely and scored to jump back in front 12-10.
The Sabers, though, had another big inning in them, pounding out seven more hits and scoring six runs to create the final 16-12 margin.
Central had 18 hits, with Swanson leading the way with four (the senior also drove in a team-high four runs). Hurdle and McAleer both had three hits, while Finley, Kinney and Bloom all had two.
Hurdle, Finley and Bloom drove in three runs, with Hurdle also scoring three times (McAleer, Kinney, Ethan Pierce, Swanson and Bloom all had two runs).
Six different Central pitchers saw action in the game and combined for nine strikeouts. Swanson earned the victory in relief, while Hurdle pitched the seventh for the save.
Already holding a lead in the opener, the Sabers turned to the long ball to add to it.
McAleer doubled Central’s 2-0 lead with a two-run home run — his first of the summer — in the fifth, while Kinney opened the sixth with his second homer of the season.
The Sabers ended up scoring four times in the sixth as Eden drove in Swanson and Boomer Johnson (the former walked, the latter doubled) with a single before Hurdle drove in Bloom with his own hit.
That made it 8-0 Sabers and Central (30-1 overall) tacked on two final runs in the seventh — Haack drove in Bixby with a sacrifice fly, while Bloom plated Tyler Herington with a single — to finish off the victory.
McAleer took over for Bixby, who had made the start in June, and allowed just two hits over five innings of relief work, while striking out four.
Hurdle, McAleer, Kinney and Bloom all had two hits with McAleer driving in a team-high three runs and scoring twice. Hurdle also had two runs, while Eden drove in a pair.