Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Ottawa Legion shows signs of potential

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 6/17/2013

Ottawa American Legion AA baseball coach Shawn Herrmann has seen glimpses of how good this summer’s team can be.

Ottawa (8-4) has yet to click on all cylinders in the first 12 games of the season. The pitching has been solid throughout so far. The defense and the hitting have seen its good and bad moments.

Ottawa American Legion AA baseball coach Shawn Herrmann has seen glimpses of how good this summer’s team can be.

Ottawa (8-4) has yet to click on all cylinders in the first 12 games of the season. The pitching has been solid throughout so far. The defense and the hitting have seen its good and bad moments.

“We have not put all the aspects together yet,” Herrmann said. “When we do, we will be pretty tough.”

Herrmann said the record is not indicative of how this team has played.

“We have played good competition,” he said. “We have let some slip away.”

Three of the four losses have come to Iola, the defending state champions. Ottawa lost 2-1 and 6-4 last week. Ottawa had chances to win both games.

A lot of it is growing pains. Half the roster is new to this level of competition and many of them are new to Herrmann.

“Six or seven are going to be a major part of the team for the next couple of years,” Herrmann said. “I am impressed by some of the younger guys. They are all athletes and can play multiple positions.”

Herrmann, who has 16 players on the roster, continues to mix and match the lineup and the batting order. The coach said many of the players have not played together before nor with as many teammates.

“They have adapted well,” he said. “They are very flexible in what we are doing.”

Sam Carver and Dayne Jung are two examples of the young players making an impact. Carver has given Ottawa solid performances on the mound, made nice plays at first base and contributed offensively.

Jung has two game-winning hits so far this season and has shown his versatility by playing the outfield and catching.

“He has a nice swing,” Herrmann said.

Veteran Turner Roth has been a big influence with his play and vocal leadership. Herrmann said the example of how he plays multiple positions at a high level has been a huge help.

“It makes it tough to him off the field,” Herrmann said.

Ottawa begins a stretch of home dates 6 p.m. today against Wellsville. Five of the next six playing dates will be at home.

“We still have a lot to work on,” Herrmann said.

Ottawa plays 6 p.m. Wednesday in a nine-inning game in Baldwin City. Herrmann said he likes those nine-inning games because it is different and gives him a chance to shake things up a bit.

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