Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ottawa offense buries SFT

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 7/3/2014

The Ottawa Legion AA offense has been inconsistent this season.         The Ottawa bats have come alive the past couple of weeks.

Ottawa found its hitting eye in Wednesday’s doubleheader sweep of Santa Fe Trail at Harvey M. Drake Field.

The Ottawa Legion AA offense has been inconsistent this season.         The Ottawa bats have come alive the past couple of weeks.

Ottawa found its hitting eye in Wednesday’s doubleheader sweep of Santa Fe Trail at Harvey M. Drake Field.

Ottawa won 10-2 and 12-1.

It was the final home games of the season. Ottawa honored the 2009 undefeated state championship squad before the doubleheader.

This year’s squad then went out and dominated Santa Fe Trail like the 2009 squad did to everybody.

“Our offense looked really good,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said. “We had many, many hard hits. All the way through the lineup. A lot of line drives.

“We put a lot of pressure on them. We ran the bases really well. You could tell we were there to hit. We had good approaches.”

Ottawa did fall behind in the top of the first inning, but it was short lived as Ottawa took the lead bottom of the first inning and cruised the rest of the night.

“I like to get out to a lead,” Herrmann said.

Ottawa has not always finished by scoring runs.

“We always have guys on base,” Herrmann said. “We wait towards the end of the game or inning.

“Sometimes we have to wait for the big hit to win the game. When you don’t get that hit, it is hard.”

That is what happened in Tuesday’s losses to Fort Scott.

“I was pretty happy with our performance against Fort Scott,” Herrmann said. “No ground balls were going through.”

Ottawa needed players who have not pitched much to give the squad a shot in the arm. They did.

Keegan Finch started the opener and went three innings. Tate Jung finished it.

“Keegan has good velocity,” Herrmann said. “He needs that bulldog mentality. Get in and challenge right away. Tate threw really well. Tate does a really good job. He is always willing to throw.”

Blaine Ray started the nightcap and went three innings. Dayne Jung closed the game.

“It was nice to get pitchers on the mound that have not pitched for awhile,” Herrmann said. “We have younger guys that did not pitch in high school. We were saving everybody else.”

Ottawa (15-6) plays four pool games Friday and Saturday in the Grand Slam Wood Bat Tournament in Salina. Ottawa played Garden City and Millard North, Nebraska, on Friday.

Today’s games are against Kansas Mudcats and Salina.

“We will be playing winning teams,” Herrmann said. “We have to bring our ‘A’ game. Toward the end of the year, we want the tougher games.”

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