OTTUMWA — It didn’t take the Ottumwa baseball team long to set the tone in its doubleheader Monday against Des Moines North at Babe Ruth Field.
The Bulldogs strung together nine runs in the top of the first on their way to a 15-0 blowout victory against the Polar Bears. Although it took a little longer, game two was more of the same — the Bulldogs thrashed North 11-1.
Ottumwa’s offensive onslaught in the first inning kicked off with five straight hits by the top of the Bulldogs order.
Seth Griffiths led off with a bloop double to left field that was aided by some miscommunication between North’s fielders. Collin Schulz followed with a triple to right-center field that scored Griffiths and gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Then Kyle Keck, who started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs; hit a blooper to right field that landed just in front of the glove of a diving Brent Walker, scoring Schulz and upping Ottumwa’s lead to 2-0. Two batters later, Michael Collins slapped a groundball single up the middle that scored Schulz.
Things didn’t get any better from there for the Polar Bears. Ottumwa tacked on six more runs before the inning came to an end.
Keck took advantage of the massive run support by allowing only two hits in his four innings of work.
Ottumwa scored four more runs in the bottom of the third, including a two-RBI single by Luke McIntosh, who went 3-for-3 in the game. The Bulldogs went on to win 15-0.
Game two proved to be less of a cakewalk.
The Polar Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first thanks to an errant throw to second by Bulldog catcher Luke McIntosh that allowed North’s Chris Hazelbaker to score from third.
But Ottumwa got the run back in the bottom of the second when Tyler Ollum smacked a double to right center field in the bottom of the second that drove in McIntosh and tied the game at 1.
Ottumwa’s offense struck again in the bottom of the third. First, Griffiths belted a double that drove in Tyler Johns, upping the Bulldogs lead to 2-1. Then Keck poked a single to left field with the bases loaded, scoring two runs and extending Ottumwa’s lead to 4-1.
Back-to-back doubles by Griffiths and Schulz set the stage for another big Ottumwa inning in the bottom of the fourth.
“They fuel our offense,” Ottumwa coach Mike Egbert said about Schulz and Griffiths, his No. 1 and No. 2 hitters.
Shortly after the doubles, the Polar Bears’ defense went into a funk, committing errors on three consecutive plays. The combination of Ottumwa’s hitting and Des Moines North’s miscues led to a five-run inning for the Bulldogs.
Griffiths tripled and scored the game-ending run in the bottom of the fifth and the Bulldogs picked up the 11-1 victory.
For Griffiths, it was a day of redemption.
“The first time we played them at north I didn’t really hit well,” he said. “I think I went zero for eight. I wanted to get back at them and my teammates helped me get up and I was fortunate to hit well tonight.”
Bulldog pitcher Karsten VanVelsor picked up the win. He struck out six while allowing five hits in five innings.
Ottumwa (16-11, 8-6 CIML Metro) plays a doubleheader at Bettendorf today.
Ottumwa 15, Des Moines North 0
North 000 000 0 — 0 2 2
Ott 904 000 0 — 15 15 3
DM North battery — Conner Davis (L) (4IP, 15H, 15R, 11ER, 1K, 2BB), Brent Warren catching.
Hits — Warren 1-for-2, Brian Franks 1-for-2.
Ottumwa battery — Kyle Keck (W) (4IP, 2H, 0R, 0ER, 4K, 0BB), Luke McIntosh catching.
2B — McIntosh, Griffiths 2.
3B — Collin Schulz.
Hits — Schulz 3-for-3, Michael Collins 2-for-3, Kyle Keck 2-for-2, Seth Griffiths 2-for-2, McIntosh 3-for-3, Bryce Ward 1-for-1, Tyler Johns 1-for-2, Blake Mooney 1-1.
RBI — Schulz 2, Keck 2, Griffiths 2, McIntosh 3, Collins 2, Bramschreiber. Runs — Griffiths 3, Cody Miller 2, Schulz 4, Bramschreiber 2, Mitch Stuchel, Clayton Baird.
Ottumwa 11, DM North 1
North 100 000 0 — 1 5 7
Ott 013 520 0 — 11 7 2
DM North battery — Christian McFadden (L) (5IP, 7H, 11R, 6ER, K, 2BB), Matt Russell catching.
Hits — Chris Hazelbaker 2-for-3, Russell 1-for-2, Zach Cox 1-for-3, McFadden 1-for-3. Runs — Hazelbaker.
Ottumwa battery — Karsten VanVelsor (W) (5IP, 5H, 1R, 0ER, 6K, 2BB), McIntosh catching.
2B — Tyler Ollum, Collin Schulz, Seth Griffiths.
3B — Seth Griffiths.
Hits — Ollum 1-for-3, Tyler Johns 1-for-3, Keck 1-for-3, Griffiths 2-for-3, Schulz 2-for-3.
RBI — Ollum, Keck 2, Griffiths, Schulz. Runs — Cody Miller 2, Tyler Johns, Griffiths 2, Schulz 2, McIntosh 2, Collins, Clayton Baird.