OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa baseball team swept the Huskies from Des Moines Hoover in CIML Metro action Thursday night at Legion Field. The sweep included a 13-1 win in game one and then a 6-5 walk-off win in the second. The walk-off win is the fifth for the Bulldogs this season.
“Our guys have done a great job of not changing their approach at bat,” said Ottumwa coach Mike Egbert. “Making sure we get a quality at bat has been one of the things this team has done really well. It’s obviously helped us pick up some of these final at bat wins.”
In game one, the Bulldogs started fast and didn’t need any late-game heroics, as they downed the visitors 13-1 in five innings.
The tone for the game was set by the first two Bulldog hitters. Seth Griffiths led off with a triple that possibly should have been caught. Collin Schulz followed with an RBI single, after getting second life as the Huskies misplayed a pop foul.
The early play set the pattern. The Bulldogs were going to take advantage of every Hoover mistake.
The three Bulldog runs of the first, were followed by three runs in the second. Schulz had his second hit in the inning and Michael Colins’ bases loaded single drove in the first run. Tyler Ollom also had a second inning RBI.
Bulldog starter Kyle Keck breezed through the first three innings. He retired all nine hitters and had six early strikeouts.
“I don’t consider myself to be a strikeout pitcher,” said Keck. “I try and have a good strikeout to walk ratio and then rely on the defense behind me.”
Hoover scored its only run in the fourth. They had three of their four hits in the inning. The Bulldogs made sure that the visitors’ run wouldn’t be a problem, as they scored seven runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth, to go up 13-1.
Collins started the big inning with his second hit. Ollom’s hit scored Collins. After a two-out walk to Mitch Stuchel, Tyler Johns lined a ball to left center that he turned into a two-RBI inside-the-park home run.
“That’s the first inside-the-park home run I’ve had,” added Johns. “Off the bat I was thinking double but when I saw that he couldn’t cut it off, I just picked up coach and he waved me around”.
The inning continued with the visitors walking the bases full of Bulldogs. Luke McIntosh’s wind-blown single plated two and Collins ended the Bulldog scoring with a two-RBI double.
Collins, who had three hits and three RBIs in the opener. talked about his hitting.
“I try to work the middle of the field. Hitting in the fifth spot, I’m expected to contribute RBIs.”
Keck surrendered a hit to start the Hoover seventh but retired the next three hitters to end it.
The Bulldog win in game two was highlighted by the walk-off, but not to be overlooked was the job Ollom did in relief. His five innings of scoreless relief earned him the win.
“Tyler (Ollom) did a great job of keeping us in it allowing us to win it late,” said Egbert. “He has had at least one more long relief stint that was as good as this one.”
Game two started exactly like game one. Griffiths tripled and scored on a Schulz RBI. The early Bulldog lead was erased in the top of the second. The visitors took advantage of three Bulldog errors and added four hits, as they scored five unearned runs. The big hit in the inning was a two-RBI single by Colin Blackford.
“Sometimes it’s hard after a blowout win to keep up the intensity,” said Egbert. “We have a lot of capable guys and we don’t expect a drop-off with a couple of position changes.”
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 5-2 with a single run in the home second. Karsten Van Velsor singled and scored on a single by Johns.
Ollom started his relief work in the third. He avoided trouble in the third, fourth, and fifth but had to wriggle out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth. He ended the inning with strikeouts of the third and fourth place Huskie hitters.
In the seventh, the visitors committed three errors that helped the Bulldogs score the four unearned runs they needed to win.
Johns reached on an error and Griffiths followed with a walk. Schulz then lined a double down the line in left. Keck grounded a sharply-hit ball to first and the infield error was followed by an outfield throwing error and the score was tied. McIntosh then joined the walk-off party with a deep double to right center.
McIntosh, who caught all 14 innings of the doubleheader, talked about his hitting. “This is my first walk-off. I think it’s actually easier to hit late in a doubleheader because I’m into the game and relaxed.”
Egbert and his Bulldogs (13-7, 5-3) are on the road for a doubleheader tonight at Johnston.
Ottumwa 13, DM Hoover 1 5 innings
DMH 000 10 — 1 4 1
OTT 330 7x — 13 11 0
Hoover battery — Blake Cunningham (LP) (2IP, 6H, 6R, 5ER, 0K, 5BB), Daniel Peterson (2IP, 5H, 7R, 7ER, 0K, 5BB), Ben Mittchell catching.
Hits — Matt Pearson 1-for-2, Cody Pifer 1-for-2, Max Lindstrom 1-for-2, Bak’r Brown 1-for-2.
RBI — Lindstrom. Runs — Pearson.
Ottumwa battery — Keck (WP) (5IP, 4H, 1R, 1ER, 8K, 0BB), McIntosh catching.
2B — Collins.
3B — Griffiths.
HR — Johns.
Hits — Griffiths 1-for-2, Schulz 2-for-2, McIntosh 1-for-2, Collins 3-for-4, Ollom 2-for-4, Van Velsor 1-for-3, Johns 1-for-3.
RBI — Schulz, McIntosh 2, Collins 3, Ollom 2, Stuchel, Johns 2. Runs — Griffiths 2, Schulz 3, Tyler Bramschreiber 2, Cody Miller 3, Collins, Stuchel, Johns.
Ottumwa 6, DM Hoover 5
DMH 050 000 0 — 5 8 3
OTT 110 000 4 — 6 9 3
Hoover battery — Pearson (6IP, 7H,4R, 2ER, 3K, 1BB), Cody Pifer (LP) (0IP, 2H, 2R, 0ER, 0K, 0BB) Mittchell catching.
3B — Jordan Provost.
Hits —Blackford 1-for-3, Matt Andorf 1-for-3, Pearson 2-for-4, Pifer 1-for-4, Provost 1-for-4, Mittchell 2-for-4.
RBI — Blacckford 2, Pearson, Linndstrom. Runs — Blackford, Andorf, Provost, Lindstrom, Matt Pudans.
Ottumwa battery — Cody Miller (2IP, 5H, 5R, 0ER, 1K, 0BB), Ollom (WP) (5IP, 3H, 0R, 0ER, 6K, 3BB), McIntosh catching.
2B — Schulz, McIntosh.
3B — Griffiths.
Hits — Griffiths 1-for-2, Schulz 1-for-4, McIntosh 2-for-4, Ward 1-for-3, Blake Mooney 1-for-2, Van Velsor 1-for-3, Ollom 1-for-2, Johns 1-for-3.
RBI — Schulz 2, McIntosh, Johns. Runs — Griffiths 2, Schulz, Keck, Van Velsor, Johns.