Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Legion A attempts to shake off loss

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 6/13/2014

GARNETT — The message the Legion A coaches to the players after the first loss of the season was to forget it.

Ottawa Legion A did not play up to par in a 7-3 loss Wednesday to the Muddogs in Garnett. It was a five-inning game.

GARNETT — The message the Legion A coaches to the players after the first loss of the season was to forget it.

Ottawa Legion A did not play up to par in a 7-3 loss Wednesday to the Muddogs in Garnett. It was a five-inning game.

Ottawa had trouble in all areas — fielding, throwing, batting and pitching.

“There is a few things that we struggle with mentally,” Ottawa coach Jordan Markley said. “It is how we react to them. We have a lot of games coming up. We have to flush out that loss and take what we can and carry it over to this weekend.

“You always have to move on to the next one. One thing we need to work on is a short memory. Usually when you make one bad play, they pile up on each other. You always want the ball.”

Ottawa ran its unbeaten streak to nine games with a 7-0 win in the opener. Driestin Aho had eight strikeouts and left the bases loaded in the seventh inning.

“In the first game, Driestin did a good job of keeping his pitch count low,” Markley said.

The Ottawa defense was solid in the opener with just one error and made a couple of nice plays defensively. Ottawa struggled in the nightcap with four errors and several mental mistakes.

Ottawa was limited to four hits, all in the third inning off the Garnett fireballer.

“He intimidated us for some reason,” Markley said about Ottawa striking out nine times. “When you see a good pitcher, you have to adjust to it.”

Ottawa appeared to have him figured out as the Legion squad scored three runs on four hits in the third inning. Clayton Evans ripped a two-run home run.

“We saw a spark of life,” Markley said. “Camden [Bien] came up and did a good job of adjusting. He was way behind. He got a hit. Clayton comes up with a moon shot. [Drew] Bones has a big hit. We need to keep those big hits coming and build off them. We did not build off them.”

Ottawa did not put much pressure on the Garnett defense in the nightcap.

“We have to take advantage of whatever they do defensively,” Markley said. “Whether that’s hitting it more on a line or on the ground. You swing the bat and make contact. You never know what can happen. It is baseball. It is a crazy game.”

Ottawa’s bats have been slow starters, even in the win streak. Ottawa waited until the third inning of the opener to get going with three runs on two hits.

“We need to jump out earlier,” Markley said. “We have a tendency to sit back and wait until the third or fourth inning to start scoring runs.”

Trenton Ferguson had two doubles and three RBIs in the opener. Jayden Creach smashed an RBI double in the three-run sixth inning.

Ottawa (9-1) plays today and Sunday in the Paola Tournament.

“That loss will help us,” Markley said. “We have a ton of games. We need to take care of those games and go win a tournament this weekend.”

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