Arrows 'turnaround' fortunes with consistent play

Greg Mast
The Ottawa Herald

The Ottawa Arrows got an important week off on a good note Tuesday in the home finale.

The Arrows run-ruled Leavenworth, 14-3, at Harvey M. Drake field. Ottawa came to play, getting good performances in all areas. The Arrows were coming off a disappointing performance in the Hays Tournament this past weekend.

Ottawa Arrows pitcher Jackson Lytle combined with four other hurlers for 14 strikeouts in Ottawa’s 14-3 win Tuesday over Leavenworth.

“It was a good turnaround,” Arrows coach Aidan Michel said. “We needed it going into this week. It was not a good weekend [in Hays]. We had bad attitudes and not a lot of good effort. This game should be a confidence booster. We can hit and have pitchers that can throw strikes. I hope they come out with the same intensity.”

Ottawa (12-15) plays this week in the tough FIKE Tournament at Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

Ottawa started the tourney Wednesday against Post 331. Ottawa plays SMCI on Thursday.

“The teams in FIKE are not going to mess around,” Michel said. “There is going to be some really good teams there this week. They will throw their best at you. It is a lot of fun.”

Arrows outfielder Wyatt Sink said everyone came to play with a good mindset against Leavenworth. It showed from the start. Ottawa plated eight runs in the first inning and four more in the second to take a commanding 12-0 lead.

“We hit a lot in the first inning then we slowed down after that,” Sink said. “After we got the first hit in the first inning that is when we got rolling. Hitting is contagious. We have to keep our confidence up. When our confidence is up, we get more hits. We stay in the box. We are not afraid to swing at a pitch that is close and foul it off.”

Five Arrows pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts, getting back to early season form.

“If pitchers can’t throw strikes, we can’t win games,” Sink said. “We went out there and threw a pretty good amount of strikes. There were a lot of strikeouts from the various pitchers.

“It is nice when you are out in the field to have confidence in your pitchers that they will throw strikes.”

The Arrows defense backed up the pitching after a sloppy performance in Hays.

“We did a good job of making the routine plays,” Sink said. “Sometimes we struggle with that. We have to make the routine plays. There is no room for errors. In high school, there is no reason to mess up routine plays. You have to have that mindset you are one of the best players. If you have that mindset, you will field the ball every time.”

Ottawa played solid defense while moving players around each inning to different positions.

“It is always fun to switch positions and play positions we normally don’t get to play,” Sink said.