Monday, October 20, 2014

Roth's actions spark Ottawa

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 7/25/2014

POMONA — Nathan Roth is a quiet leader. He doesn’t say much.

Roth picked a good spot to interject his voice. Hayden Yancey had a tough second inning on the mound Thursday against Iola in the winner’s bracket of the Zone 6 Tournament in Pomona.

POMONA — Nathan Roth is a quiet leader. He doesn’t say much.

Roth picked a good spot to interject his voice. Hayden Yancey had a tough second inning on the mound Thursday against Iola in the winner’s bracket of the Zone 6 Tournament in Pomona.

“In the second inning, I had a lot of walks,” Yancey said. “Nathan was one of the players that really picked me up. He came and talked to me. He was the reason I was able to come back out and give a couple more innings.

“It is nice to know you have a player like Nathan. He is there and keeps you composed with his actions. He is not the only one, but he stood out today. He has been there before.”

Roth ripped three hits, had three RBIs and scored two runs to help lead Ottawa to an 8-3 win over the two-time state champions and a spot in the Zone championship game.

Ottawa (23-10) played the winner of Iola-Paola Friday in the title game. Ottawa would need to lose to force today’s if championship game at noon.

“We have not been in this situation for awhile,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said. “It is a good feeling. It is not over. We still have to beat a good team. We have to come out and do what we do and not beat ourselves.”

Things did not look good as Iola led 3-0 after the top of the second inning after Hayden’s three walks.

“Usually he has a bad inning,” Herrmann said. “That bad inning was pretty rough.”

Ottawa regrouped and scored eight unanswered runs the rest of the game.

“Getting down 3-0, the energy and adrenaline came back,” Herrmann said. “We have some tough kids. We have kids that will do what it takes.

“Before we hoped to get hits and right now we are going to get hits. Our pitchers were hoping to compete, right now we are competing.”

Ottawa scored four runs on three hits in the third inning and added two in the fourth and two more in the sixth. Most came with two outs.

“One of the best games we have hit,” Yancey said. “One inning, we came up with four or five two-out hits. Since the KABA tournament, the bats have come through. Our swings were short and sweet.”

Ottawa is playing with a tough mentality.

“We came here to win it,” Yancey said. “It is a team effort. It feels nice to get a win against them in Zone.”

Ottawa has not won a Zone Tournament title since 2010.

“It is going to be tough no matter who we play,” Herrmann said. The nice thing is they have to win to get to us.”

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