OTTUMWA – Neither rain nor sleet nor snow. Nor postponements nor change of locations nor incredible catches nor late-season challenges.
When it comes to reliablity, the postal service has nothing on the Iowa Western baseball program. The fourth-ranked (DI) Reivers clinched their 11th consecutive regular season Region XI championship as Iowa Western shutout Indian Hills twice 4-0 and 2-0 Monday.
“The pride of that is that baseball is a game of consistancy, and to be that number one team in the region going into postseason play 11 consecutive years is a true mark of consistancy for our program,” Reivers head coach Marc Rardin said. “I take pride in the fact that our kids show up, day in and day out, and play with that same level every day every season.”
Rardin has led Iowa Western to plenty of success on plenty of diamond over the years, highlighted by celebrating national championship victories at Sam Suplizio Field in Grand Junction, Colorado to cap each of the last two seasons. On Monday, the Reivers clinched another title on a diamond the team had never been on before as a week of rain, and even snow, forced school officials to finally decide Monday to hold the first two games of the final regular-season regional series between the teams at Ottumwa’s Legion Memorial Field with Pat Daugherty Field still too soggy for action.
“We had a couple doubleheaders on the road last week and we didn’t have the tarp on last week, so we’ve had to deal with the weather throughout all of last week trying to keep it dry,” Indian Hills head coach Cam Walker said. “We were hoping it would straighten up enough to play on it, but after looking over it (Monday) there was just no way we could have gotten out there with the condition it was in.”