EMPORIA — The 2013 American Legion baseball season for Ottawa has been a case of either hot or cold. Nothing in the middle.
Ottawa played pretty well through much of July, but slid back to its poorest performance in awhile in Wednesday’s 11-9 loss to Emporia in Emporia. It was a single nine-inning game.
“We came out a little flat,” outfielder Jordan Morton said of the regular-season finale. “We fought with them for a little bit.”
Herrmann is not a fan of the unpredictability of the team.
“We should be playing at a steady level,” he said. “We are not. We had no energy ... no drive. We were poor. What we did the other day, we did nothing like that. We did a few times hitting line drives.
“We definitely showed we can be like this or contend for the state championship. It depends on what level of baseball they want to bring.”
Both teams were not on top of their game. Emporia had six errors, while Ottawa committed three. Ottawa pitchers surrendered 10 hits, five walks and hit two batters.
Herrmann said it was too many free passes and it came back to bite Ottawa.
“They got a big hit [to score runs] when Alex [Stepp] came out because of walks,” Herrmann said.
Emporia scored four runs — all with two outs — in the sixth inning to take an 11-8 lead.
“We could not catch back up,” Morton said. “It was too short of a time span to get them back.”
Ottawa scored four runs in the third inning to scramble back from a 5-1 hole to tie it at 5-5. Emporia scored two in the bottom half to take a 7-5 lead.
“We started well,” Herrmann said of the offense. “The first four innings we hit the ball well. After that, it was lazy fly balls.”
Morton said, “We hit the ball well. We needed some hits in some timely places we did not get.”
Ottawa had three errors, but a lot of mental errors.
“It was all routine plays,” Herrmann said. “We definitely hurt ourselves.”
Dakota Schmoe found his hitting stroke. He went 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
Herrmann said it was good to see Schmoe get back into a groove.
Ottawa (23-10) received the third seed in next week’s Zone 2 Tournament in Ottawa. Post 60 opens against No. 2 Wellsville 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. The other first round game has Rock Creek playing Oskaloosa at 6 p.m.
“Hopefully, we can get it back up for Zone when we need it the most,” Morton said. “We have to get focused. We have to play baseball.”