A lot was expected of the 2013 Ottawa High School baseball team. The Cyclones returned several talented players from last year’s third-place team in the 4A state tourney.
Ottawa was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 the whole season by the coaches.
The postseason is either exhilarating or disappointing. Ottawa fell into that disappointing category.
The Cyclones picked the wrong time to play a bad game. Fort Scott took advantage and held off Ottawa, 8-5, Thursday in the 4A regional in Garnett.
Fort Scott jumped to a 7-0 lead, but Ottawa rallied within 7-5 after six innings.
“The first four innings we were flat,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said. “They were making plays and we were not making plays. We got too far down in the hole before we started making plays.
“We had an off day. They had an on day. That is baseball. That is hard to swallow. Whoever gets on that roll. We were not on that roll today.”
“They are too good of a team to give that many chances to,” Herrmann said.
Fort Scott scored twice in the first inning on one hit. The Tigers scored four in the second and one in the third.
Ottawa started to find some rhythm with the bats in the fourth inning. Kaden Shaffer ripped a triple and scored on Greyson LaPlant’s sacrifice fly.
Ottawa scored in the fifth inning on Tate Jung’s sacrifice to close within 7-2.
The Cyclones scored three in the sixth and left a runner stranded at third. LaPlant started the rally with a triple. He scored on Isaac Carter’s RBI single.
Jordan Markley had an RBI single to draw Ottawa within 7-4. Bryce Elder drove home a run to make it 7-5.
“We got too far down,” Herrmann said. “These kids are not going to quit. Get one here and there. We have done that the whole season.
“We fell short.”
Ottawa made one last gasp in the seventh inning as the Cyclones had runners at second and third, but could not score them. A Fort Scott outfielder made a nice diving catch of a LaPlant drive to rob the senior of extra bases.
Shaffer took over in the second inning from starter Nathan Roth.
“He battled,” Herrmann said. “He did not have his great stuff or curveball. He kept making big pitches for us.”
The coach said this group of players — especially the seniors — was enjoyable to coach.
“There is a lot of talent, experience and baseball knowledge,” he said. “They listened well. Worked hard. [The seniors] will be missed. They will be successful kids no matter what they do.”