Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ottawa Legion AA gives all in 2014 season

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 8/4/2014

WATHENA — The Ottawa American Legion AA baseball team gave everything this season.

The road was a bit bumpy at times, but the players never wavered in staying the course.

WATHENA — The Ottawa American Legion AA baseball team gave everything this season.

The road was a bit bumpy at times, but the players never wavered in staying the course.

Ottawa’s season came to an end with a 9-8 loss to Fort Scott Saturday in the State Legion AA Tournament championship game in Wathena.

“We are not the most talented team, but we got the most out of our talent,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said. “We left it all out there. We are dead tired, but we did not show it.

“They kept battling and kept battling. We came up short. It does not always turn out our way. I am proud of what they did this year. The way they played baseball and conducted themselves.”

Ottawa became a tough-minded team, one which battled through different circumstances.

The seeds were sown early in the season when Ottawa claimed a 12-inning win over Silver Lake and ended with a gut-wrenching loss to Fort Scott.

“We played some of the best teams in the state,” Herrmann said. “We competed with all of them. On any given day, we could be the best team in the state. This is one of the better years for the KABA and it showed.”

Herrmann liked the make-up of his players and how they played for each other.

“I can’t complain one bit,” Herrmann said. “We did not come out on top. If we are going to lose, we needed to lose to a good team.

“We lost to a good team. We had two losses in the tournament and both were to them. Both were good games.”

It was a learning season for some of the players.

“We made some rookie mistakes,” Herrmann said. “We have some young guys on our team. We kept getting better and better. Look where it led us to.”

The state title game was a lot like how the season played out. Fort Scott came out on fire with six hits in the first inning and grabbed a 4-0 lead.

Ottawa was down 5-1 when Post 60 scored five runs on three hits in the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead.

“We got down and hung our heads for about a minute,” Herrmann said. “Then we battled right back.”

Ottawa scored two in the top of the sixth for an 8-5 lead, but Fort Scott scored four in the bottom of the sixth to snare a one-run lead.

Ottawa did not go quietly in the seventh inning with two hits, but could not plate the tying run.

Ottawa (28-13) got to the state title game with a 6-1 win over Concordia in Saturday’s semifinals.

Jordan Morton tossed a two-hitter and had two RBIs.

“Jordan threw really well,” Herrmann said. “We have been scoring runs. It was some of the better baseball we have played in five or six years.”

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