Monday, September 01, 2014

Iola takes out Ottawa in tourney finals

By GREG MAST, Herald Sports Editor | 6/3/2013

The measuring stick was put right before the Ottawa Legion AA baseball team Sunday night in the championship game of the Ottawa Wood Bat Jim Allen Memorial Tournament.

Ottawa saw firsthand how a state championship team plays. Iola, the defending AA state champs, played consistent from start to finish in handing Ottawa a 9-1 loss in five innings.

The measuring stick was put right before the Ottawa Legion AA baseball team Sunday night in the championship game of the Ottawa Wood Bat Jim Allen Memorial Tournament.

Ottawa saw firsthand how a state championship team plays. Iola, the defending AA state champs, played consistent from start to finish in handing Ottawa a 9-1 loss in five innings.

“We had some miscues and they took advantage,” Ottawa Legion veteran Turner Roth said. “I am friends with a lot of those guys. There is no one in the state that I want beat more than them.

“You know you did something right when you do something good against them.”

Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann hopes the players take the loss to heart.

“This is a team we are going to see to get into the state tournament,” Herrmann said. “We have to play better baseball all around to beat a team like that.

“They are older and we are younger. We have to take our lumps, but we have to learn from our lumps. We can’t sulk about it. We all hate lose. What are you going to do about it.”

Ottawa was either hot or cold with the bats throughout the tournament. Ottawa faced aces, including facing Garnett’s Jack Rickabaugh twice.

“We had our power innings,” Roth said. “We had a lot of quiet innings. We know we will see a lot of teams’ aces. A lot of people want to beat us.”

Ottawa stayed with Iola for four innings. The game was tied 1-1 heading into the top of the fifth inning when Iola exploded for eight runs on six hits.

“A good team, one mistake and boom ... the run-rule is right there,” Herrmann said. “It is 1-1 and the next thing you know it is 9-1. You have to play faster with more urgency.”

Ottawa’s bats had couple of nice rounds in the tourney. Ottawa exploded for 14 runs on eight hits in the second inning of Saturday’s 14-0 victory. Ottawa broke open a 1-0 game Sunday with a seven-run outburst in an 8-0 win over Garnett. Ottawa scored five runs in the final three innings Saturday to best Garnett, 5-2.

“We know we have a good team,” Roth said.

The veteran said the younger players, which are all at the top of the lineup and play in the center of the defense, were solid.

“They are all producing,” he said. “I am happy to have them on my team.”

Connor Stepp and Sam Carver combined for a four-inning perfect game against Girard. Alex Stepp, Carver, Turner Roth and Nathan Roth combined to shut down Garnett in Saturday’s victory.

Nathan Roth tossed a two-hitter in Sunday’s win over the Muddogs.

“We have talent,” Herrmann said. “Some of our guys are in a funk right now either batting or throwing. We have to play together.”

Ottawa plays Friday through Sunday at Emporia in the Sam Ellis Classic. Ottawa plays 12:45 p.m. Friday versus Lawrence Cactus.

Ottawa plays 12:45 p.m. Saturday against Wichita Aces and 6:15 p.m. versus Emporia. Ottawa plays 11:45 a.m. Sunday against McPherson.

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