It was tough for the Ottawa Legion baseball team to finish its season with a loss, head coach Shawn Herrmann said.
The team fell 6-4 Friday against Wellsville in the Zone 2 tournament at Harvey M. Drake Field. It was the second time in four days Ottawa lost to Wellsville, the first coming in Tuesday’s tournament action, 4-3.
“The whole tournament our kids were ready to play,” Herrmann said. “The kids were definitely focused. That was the reason it was tough to lose the way we did.”
Ottawa controlled the game through the first six innings and headed into the seventh with a 4-0 lead, Herrmann said. Evan Moore, who pitched into the seventh inning, was a big part of Ottawa’s defense through six innings, he said.
“Evan was in complete control of the whole game,” Herrmann said. “The play of our defense and Evan’s pitching was really the key. Wellsville is a pretty good hitting team, and they didn’t get any on us.”
Much unlike their 10-2 win over Silver Lake the day before, Ottawa did not close out the game Friday. Wellville scored six unanswered runs in the final inning to advance to Saturday’s championship game against Rock Creek. (Wellsville ultimately had to forfeit that game because it didn’t have enough players, Herrmann said.)
“We had a couple of errors behind us in the seventh, and they ended up scoring six runs,” Herrmann said.
Looking back on Ottawa’s (25-12) season, Herrmann said his team underachieved this summer.
“It is the same thing I told the players,” Herrmann said. “When we wanted to be a great team, we were. There were one or two games where we beat ourselves. When we struggled, it was us making mistakes.”
Herrmann, who also coaches the Ottawa High School baseball team, looks to return next season with many of the faces from this year’s young Legion team. Ten of the team’s players are 16 years old or younger, the coach said.
“We should have a good group of returners,” Herrmann said. “It definitely helps coaching both teams because I know what they need to work on. I have high expectations, but we definitely have some work to do in every aspect of baseball.”
Herrmann said the high school team’s first practice will be at the end of February. The first game for OHS baseball is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., April 3 at Spring Hill.