116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Sawyer Nauman produced a monster senior season for Western Dubuque.
He led Class 3A in multiple offensive categories. His efforts garnered all-state honors from the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association and Iowa Print Sports Writer Association.
Nauman has continued his memorable summer as a member of the Dubuque County team that has qualified for the American Legion Baseball World Series from Thursday to Tuesday in Shelby, N.C.
Dubuque County opens pool play at noon against Beverly, Mass.
“To be able to play baseball this time of year, since I’m not playing in college, I’m milking it as long as I can for these last few memories.
“Win or lose, I’m here so it’s a great place to end the season. It would be awesome with that last game being a win.”
Nauman wreaked havoc on opposing pitchers, leading Class 3A with a .548 batting average, 57 RBIs, .686 on-base percentage and 1.140 slugging percentage. His 12 home runs, 19 doubles and 106 total bases ranked second in the class.
The four-sport athlete was uncertain what led to the offensive onslaught. He played football in the fall. Nauman placed fourth at the state wrestling tournament in February, breaking a thumb injury prevented him from swinging a bat for a long period. He also competed in track and field, so he didn’t do much in the offseason.
“Honestly, your guess is as good as mine,” Nauman said with a laugh. “My best guess would be that I walked into it knowing there is no pressure. You’re not playing in college. Just go and play.
“There were times I walked to the plate and was thinking like a whiffle ball game in the backyard. Take the bat and hit the ball. It’s how the game was meant to be played. It was meant to be fun.”
Nauman could play college baseball. Programs displayed interest. The phone calls increased this season. People offered advice and encouraged him to consider playing at the next level. Peers pressured him to reconsider, but he was determined to stick with his original plan.
Nauman will attend Hawkeye Community College to study police science. He wants to become a police officer.
“I’ve been set on that for the last four years,” Nauman said. “The school has a great program and their own academy. I’m really looking forward to it.
“It was a hard decision to make. I’m happy I made the decision. It’s not like my baseball career is over. I can still play for fun in the pro league.”
Nauman is joined on the team by his brother, Tucker. Cascade’s Ted Weber and Eli Green and Dyersville Beckman’s Nick Offerman, Owen Huehnergarth and Logan Burchard are also on the team. University of Iowa recruit and Dubuque Wahlert ace Aaron Savary helps lead the team that includes other Wahlert, Dubuque Hempstead and Dubuque Senior players.
Most of the team have played with and against each other their entire lives. Nauman has enjoyed getting to spend time with and get to know the players.
“Everybody had a great year, so now we get to bring it all together,” Nauman said. “It feels good to root for them instead of against them because we’re competing against them all year.”
Dubuque County went 1-2 at the 2018 World Series. The team won the state title in the spring. Dubuque County captured the Region title, going 5-0 in Hastings, Neb.
Nauman went 1-for-3 in the 3-1 championship game victory over Cabot, Ark. He capped an 8-for-16 overall performance with two RBIs and a double.
The current Dubuque County team is the second Iowa team to reach the World Series since 1986. Midland (Mich.) and Idaho Falls are also in the same pool.
The trip took the better part of two days. Nauman described it as long and tiring but everything was worth it to compete in the national championship.
“Now that we’re here it’s awesome,” Nauman said. “It feels like we’re actually playing in the World Series. We walked in (Tuesday) night and got all kinds of gear and goodies. It’s been really cool.”