TOPEKA — The defending state champions got off to a rocky start Tuesday. The Topeka Senators sent the Ottawa Post 60 AAA Arrows home with a pair of losses to kick off the American Legion baseball season. Ottawa fell 5-2 and 6-5 in the doubleheader.
Topeka’s Devon Richardson won the nightcap for the Senators when he stole home. Arrow’s pitcher Brody Mundell threw strike two to Topeka’s Brett Koelling with two outs, and Richardson flew down the third base line to score on the throwback to the pitcher, ending a wild, back-and-forth game.
Ottawa led 5-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning after the team scored the go-ahead run in the top of the frame. Wyatt Johnson drove in Owen LaMar on a single after LaMar hit a one-out triple to center. Topeka came back to tie it in the bottom of the seventh with a one-out bunt that scored the tying run from third. Mundell struck out Chris Huff to bring up Koelling.
The Arrows scored two runs in the top of the first thanks to a pair of errors by Topeka. They then scored in the top of the fourth on a bases-loaded, two-out wild pitch that made it 3-2. Topeka took its first lead in the bottom of the frame, 4-3, but Ottawa responded with the tying run in the top of the fifth. Johnson scored from first thanks to a wild pickoff attempt followed by a throwing error that went past the third baseman as Johnson rounded the bases.
Neither team got much offense going in the early game that featured seven total hits (four by Ottawa, three by Topeka). Colson Bien reached on an error and drove in Johnson from third in the top of the second to make it 1-1. Ottawa didn’t score again until LaMar hit an RBI double in the top of the sixth to make it 4-2 Senators. Topeka scored an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth.
The Arrows (0-2) look to earn their first win in their home-opener this weekend in the Jim Allen Wood Bat Tournament at Orlis Cox Sports Complex, 901 W. Second St., Ottawa. Ottawa plays 4 p.m. Saturday against Great Bend in a rematch of last year’s state championship game. The team then plays 8 p.m. against Salina, and 10 a.m. Sunday against the Topeka Senators before bracket play begins Sunday afternoon.
The Ottawa A’s Single-A team plays in the tournament starting 8 p.m. Friday against Clay Center. The A’s play noon Saturday versus the Blue Springs Elks, 4 p.m. versus Junction City followed by bracket play Sunday afternoon.
The West Franklin Brigade will also play in the Single-A tournament starting 8 p.m. Friday versus FIKE. The team then plays noon Saturday against Great Bend, 2 p.m. against Lawrence followed by bracket play Sunday afternoon.