The Ottawa American Legion baseball team never got into the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Wichita Aces played at Ottawa University’s Alumni Field.
The Aces topped Ottawa 6-0 behind a two-hitter. Ottawa played the second game with a different mentality.
Ottawa roped the ball out of the park and all over the field in a 12-2 win in four innings.
“We did not come with the same mentality that we did in the second game,” Hayden Yancey, who had two home runs and four RBIs in the nightcap, said. “We were flat the whole game. It really helped that coach [Shawn} Herrmann got onto us. We needed something to get us a little mad to get us going.”
Herrmann had a long meeting between games and it lit a fire.
“We did not make any kind of adjustments,” Herrmann said. “He threw well enough to beat us. We were swinging at pitches out of the zone. We did not play very good baseball. We had missed plays in outfield. We had too many hit batters. Baseball Gods know when you play it right or don’t play it right.”
Yancey said Ottawa needs to play with a chip on its shoulder.
Herrmann wants his team to play smart and with passion.
“We had no pressure on them in the first game,” he said. “The second game we had guys on base. We were the aggressors.
“Everything has a purpose. First pitch strike. The leadoff guy getting on. We made plays. Everything has a point. This is how we play baseball.”
Ottawa was amped to hit in the nightcap after being held to Turner Roth’s bunt single and Yancey’s single in the opener.
Yancey smashed the first of his two home runs in the bottom of the first inning.
“It felt good off the bat,” Yancey said. “I was swinging for a base hit.”
Ottawa had three hits in an eight-run second inning. Yancey smashed a two-run home run. Dakota Schmoe ripped a three-run triple. Turner Roth had a three-run double.
Schmoe had a solo home run in the three-run third inning.
The offense backed Nathan Roth’s mound performance. He gave up five hits with three coming in the fourth inning.
“It starts with the pitcher,” Yancey said.
Ottawa received a shot in the arm in the opener from Evan Moore, who gave up two runs in five innings of relief.
“He will be a good pitcher for us,” Herrmann said.
Ottawa (10-5, 2-2) plays 6 p.m. today at home against Garnett (7-12, 6-4), which is struggling after dropping four games this past weekend in the Burlington Tournament.