CAMANCHE – The Indians returned two punches from the Central DeWitt baseball team. But the third one left them on the ropes.
After both a three-run fourth inning and a one-run fifth were answered by Camanche, the Sabers methodically rattled off nine runs in the sixth inning to break a 5-5 tie en route to a 14-6 victory Friday night at Gus Witt Field.
The turn of events was baffling. The Indians went from being tied with an undefeated Class 3A team in the penultimate inning to being one hit away from the wrong end of a 10-run rule – all in the span of three outs.
Central DeWitt's Nolan Haack led off the pivotal inning with a double before Jake Swanson and Drew Eden both were hit by a pitch. Henry Bloom provided a two-run single then a blurry span of two errors, a walk, another hit batter and RBI singles from Garrett Finley and Eden turned the game on its side.
With the win, Central DeWitt extends its perfect start to the season to 22 games. Camanche drops to 14-9 with a small asterisk representing five highly competitive innings against a team expected to make a deep postseason charge in the class above the Indians.
With the score knotted 1-1 in the fourth inning, the Sabers scored three times against Camanche starter Mike Delzell. Haack blooped a two-run single and Eden doubled to tack on another.
But the Indians came roaring back with three runs of their own, as Delzell took out a bit of pitching frustration with the bat, connecting for a two-run double after Ethan Buckley slapped an RBI groundout.
Delzell pitched 3 2/3 impressive innings, allowing four runs on only four hits, as three walks proved to be the difference.
Finley, Bixby and Haack each had two hits and Haack and Bloom both had three RBIs.
Brayden Lodge hit a deep double in the fifth inning to again tie the score off DeWitt's Luke Anderson, the third of four pitchers to see the mound for the Sabers Friday night.
Camanche will return to action with a trip to Wapello Monday while Central DeWitt travels to Maquoketa.