Arrows pitching a bright spot in early season

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

Pitching has been the Ottawa Arrows calling card early in the season. The Arrows gave up just eight runs this weekend in the Topeka Tournament.

Ottawa went 2-2 in the tourney, despite the good pitching. Ottawa defeated Iola 2-1 on Friday. The Arrows fell 5-4 to Hays on Saturday. On Sunday, Ottawa fell 1-0 to Blue Springs and run-ruled Rossville, 11-1.

The Ottawa Arrows are off to a 3-3 start after splitting four games this weekend in the Topeka Tournament. Ottawa schedule stays busy this week with two doubleheaders and a tournament this weekend in Emporia.

Ottawa shortstop Brady Beets knew coming into the season the pitching was a solid part of the team.

“Pitching is the biggest thing,” Beets said. ”You have to throw strikes.”

The Arrows coaches used all their arms through the first six games, which was played in four days.

“It will be a busy summer,” Ottawa coach Kyle Altic said. “That is what everybody wants.”

Brett Hadl, one of Ottawa’s utility players, said playing a lot of games is what makes the summer season fun.

“I love playing,” he said. “It is consistency.”

Altic likes his team with having players like Hadl who can play multiple positions.

“I wanted to see people move around,” Altic said. “ It is good to have people that I know where they can play. We are filling in at a few spots. We have a lot of new guys.”

Hadl said playing different positions makes the game fun for him.

“I love playing all the positions,” Hadl said. “It is good to have experience in all areas of the field. It is good to have people who can play [multiple] positions.”

Beets said the game is different at each position. He played outfield in the high school season and infield for the Arrows.

“It is almost two different games, school and summer,” Beets said. “You get to play different positions. It is a completely different game at every position. The ball comes off the bat differently. We have a lot of utility guys. Everybody plays off of each other. It makes it more fun.”

Altic is not worried about the hitting.

“That will come along as the season goes,” he said. “Hitting is hard.”

Beets said the bats will come around. And they did against Rossville as the Arrows (3-3) cracked 16 hits.

The Arrows’ goals don’t change from year-to-year, Altic said.

“We want to win games like every year,” he said. “We want to make it to state. We want to win there. Be one of those organizations that people look at say ‘we have to play Ottawa.’ That is what we are looking for.”

Upcoming schedule

Tuesday: at Iola, 6-8 p.m.

Thursday: Pittsburg, 6-8 p.m.

Friday: at Emporia, 7 p.m.

Saturday: Scrappers (at Emporia), 2:30 p.m.

Sunday: TBD (at Emporia)