Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ottawa carves up Spring Hill

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 4/30/2014

Pitching can cure a lot of ills. Ottawa High School has been sputtering offensively all season, so it needed another gem out of lefty Sam Carver.

The junior carved up Spring Hill Monday at Harvey M. Drake Field. The game was moved from Spring Hill to Ottawa because of Sunday’s rain.

Pitching can cure a lot of ills. Ottawa High School has been sputtering offensively all season, so it needed another gem out of lefty Sam Carver.

The junior carved up Spring Hill Monday at Harvey M. Drake Field. The game was moved from Spring Hill to Ottawa because of Sunday’s rain.

Carver tossed a three-hit shutout with three strikeouts.

“Sam was awesome,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said. “He was on. He was throwing curveballs for strikes. He gives us a chance every time to win. He can’t throw shutouts every time. We will take two walks in seven innings and pound the zone. He was anxious to pitch. He was ready to go.”

Carver’s confidence was there and he challenged the Broncos.

“I could basically throw anything for a strike,” Carver said. “I knew they would not hit me. I had that mindset that I was going to go right at them. The defense played well behind me. I did not have a whole lot of strikeouts. I had a lot of ground balls and fly balls. We have a lot of good guys and they all can make plays.”

Ottawa played errorless defense and catcher Dayne Jung threw out baserunner attempting to steal.

“Our defense was there and we are starting to hit the ball better than we were,” Carver said. “We have a lot of kids hitting the ball hard, but right at people. Eventually those will start getting into holes and then we will start scoring runs.”

Ottawa had a couple of opportunities to blow the game open. Ottawa loaded the bases with no outs in the first inning and did not score after a popup and double play.

Ottawa left runners at second and third in the fourth and seventh innings.

“Dayne hit two hard balls right at the shortstop,” Herrmann said. “Sooner or later the hard hit balls will find a hole. We left too many guys on base. We will break out of it.”

Ottawa plated two runs in the third with the help of a throwing error. Hayden Yancey scored on a ground out.

“We definitely have speed,” Herrmann said. “We can’t always use it. Speed can cure a lot of things.”

Carver had an RBI sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.

“Everyone wants that big hit,” Carver said. “Even if you don’t get that big hit, as long as you are contributing in some way, it’s a win. It is manufacturing runs.”

Ottawa has won two of its past four games after snapping a seven-game slide.

“I feel like we are going to make a run the last couple of weeks before regionals,” Carver said. “We will win some key ballgames.”

Herrmann said Ottawa is starting to play loose and with energy.

“The pressure is off a little bit,” Herrmann said. “The strength of our schedule put them down a little bit mentally. We can play with anybody.”

Ottawa (4-8) plays today at Eudora in a rescheduled doubleheader and Friday in a single game at Olathe Northwest.

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