Altic's gem paces Ottawa past Piper
The Ottawa High School baseball team had a point to prove Thursday against Piper at Harvey M. Drake Field.
The Pirates had their way against Ottawa earlier this season in Fort Scott. Piper downed Ottawa 11-5.
“The last time we played them we had 11 walks and three or four hit batters,” Ottawa coach Shawn Herrmann said.
This time, Ottawa had its ace on the hill. Senior Lane Altic came through with a gem. He tossed a five-hit complete game in helping Ottawa to a 4-3 victory.
He wriggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning.
“Lane made some big pitches to get outs,” Herrmann said. “We needed that. It goes back to Lane. Nothing ever bothers him. Our guys know he is going to compete and throw strikes.”
Altic said the Cyclones played with a chip on their shoulder.
“That first game was not us,” he said. “This is who we are. It felt great to get that one.”
Herrmann liked how the Cyclones came to compete.
“That was a big win for us,” he said. “We knew they would come for us. We knew who was pitching for them. I like the fight we have on our team.”
The game went as Herrmann envisioned with both teams making big plays throughout the game.
“I knew we would get guys on,” Herrmann said. “I knew it would be a low-scoring game. I knew we would get chances. Our defense has been solid all year. We had a couple of key hits from Jose [Richards].”
Bunt defense gave openings for both teams to score runs.
“We just practiced on it [Wednesday] night,” Herrmann said. “The first time they played us, they bunted a lot. Bunting in general is a hidden art. Not everybody does it.”
Herrmann likes where the Cyclones stand at the mid-season point of the season. Ottawa is 6-4 overall and 3-0 in the Frontier League.
“We played a lot of good teams,” he said. “We have faced a lot of No. 1 pitchers. We have not been blown out. We have had some close games. If we keep playing like we know how to, we will be alright.”
Throughout his two decades, Herrmann has scheduled top teams in the early part of the season to challenge his team.
“That is why we play Lee’s Summitt and Lansing,” Herrmann said. “We know that is what Louisburg and Paola is going to be like. I am not worried about the record. “
Herrmann wants the Cyclones primed for a deep May run.
“I think we can win every game here on out,” he said. “We have faced some really good pitching. We are seeing the ball well.”