DEWITT — Rain has impeded pitching starts for Garrett Finley and Boomer Johnson this season.
Both struggled to get batters out in the early innings Tuesday night.
But after some mid-game adjustments, Finley and Johnson each nabbed their second win of the season.
Finley retired 12 of the final 20 batters he faced in Game 1 while Johnson pitched from the stretch in the final three frames of Game 2 to lead Class 3A third-ranked Central DeWitt to a 4-1, 6-1 sweep over West Delaware at the Central DeWitt Athletic Complex.
“Just got to shake it off a little bit,” said Johnson, who was making just his second start of the year on the mound. “We came in to do our job.”
Finley used 38 pitches to get through the first two innings. The senior right-hander, also in just his second start of the summer, made 48 pitches to finish off the complete game.
He stranded the bases loaded in the first with a pair of infield pop outs. In the second inning, Finley used a flyout to leave a runner in scoring position.
From the third through the sixth innings, Finley didn’t allow a hit or have a runner reach second base.
“I started to mix up my pitches a little bit more,” Finley said. “I realized I wasn’t locating very well, so I switched to my offspeed stuff, and that’s when I started to take control of the game. Slowed it down a little bit.”
He had one more magic act to get out of the seventh inning.
Three singles loaded the bases with one out for middle of the Hawks' order. Finley recorded a force out at home for the second out, and then got cleanup hitter Ben Ridenhour to ground out to end the contest.
“We’re very experienced in the infield and that senior leadership makes the difference,” Sabers head coach Shane Sikkema said. “It gives our pitchers a lot of confidence.”
Johnson loaded the bases twice in the third inning of the nightcap before inducing two pop ups to leave allowing just a run.
The sophomore southpaw pitched to the stretch in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings allowing just two hits.
“I was able to stay over as much as I could,” Johnson said. “I felt I could control the ball a little bit better. Whatever is working, I’ll keep doing. Working the outside corner, the two-seam (fastball) was really helping me out.”
The Sabers (13-0, 10-0 WaMaC) provided their pitchers with plenty of offense.
Finley and Lucas Bixby each had two hits and an RBI in the opener. In the nightcap, Finley had a pair of hits and RBIs while Luke Anderson poked a pair of singles.
Anderson and Jake Swanson each drove in a run as Central DeWitt scored in eight of the 14 innings and five straight in the second game.
“If we’re putting the ball in play, good things will happen,” Sikkema said. “Luckily, we’ve had a lot of people step in different situations.”
West Delaware (6-9, 3-9) is on a five-game skid after being swept in back-to-back doubleheaders. Five is also the number of opportunities it had with the bases loaded.
It managed only two runs.
“It’s disappointing that we didn’t capitalize when we had opportunities out there,” Hawks head coach Nate Lahr said. “We haven’t been consistent offensively.”
Sikkema believes this year’s version of the Sabers is more well-rounded then the teams he’s had in the past. They haven’t been to the state tournament since 2016
“We’re trying to get better every game,” Sikkema said. “We understand that these games in June and early July are preparing us for that situation.”