OSAWATOMIE — The Wellsville American Legion AA baseball team has been consistent all summer. Wellsville had just three losses coming into Sunday’s league tournament games.
Wellsville met up with two of the top programs in the state and the Kansas Amateur Baseball Association. Wellsville faced Ottawa in the semifinals and fell 13-6. In the third place game, Wellsville lost 13-5 to Iola, the defending state and KABA regular season champions.
“We played two pretty good teams,” Wellsville coach Chris Caruthers said. “We did not play our best by any means. We ran out of arms.”
Wellsville’s defense went astray. Wellsville committed seven errors against Ottawa and two versus Iola.
“In the field, we did not bring it,” Caruthers said. “You are not going to win many games giving up that many runs.
“We did OK hitting. It was not our day. We thought if we played our game, we would be right up there with the top teams. You have to bring it every game.”
Wellsville (15-5) jumped on top of Ottawa with three runs in the second inning. Shamus Kearney, who scored the winning run in Saturday’s 5-4 win over Osawatomie in eight innings, had a two-run single.
It went downhill from there.
Nolan Rush had a big day at the plate. He finished with three hits against Ottawa. He had a two-run double in the sixth inning.
He smashed a three-run home run against Iola to bring Wellsville within 6-4 in the third inning.
“You are always trying to build,” Caruthers said. “Keep working is what you got to do. We gave a lot up.
“It was a good tournament.”
Wellsville and Osawatomie battled from start to finish in Saturday’s first round. Osawatomie scored three runs in the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Wellsville rallied back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 4-4.
It stayed that way until the eighth when Hunter Burkhart’s single scored Kearney.
“We battled through it,” Caruthers said. “We made the plays when we needed them. We came up with a big hit at the end. We got out of there with a win. We needed it.”
The coach said playing those programs should help come next week’s Zone in Ottawa.
“We know what we should see when we get there,” Caruthers said. “We have to come ready to play if we are going to do work in Zone.
We have to get back to how we can play.”