The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

May 26, 2012

Bulldogs drop two close ones to No. 2 Valley

WEST DES MOINES — For an early-season meeting with the second ranked team in the state, the Ottumwa baseball team certainly held their own.

The Bulldogs battled West Des Moines Valley in a pair of close two-run contests, giving themselves several chances to earn at least one win for the second-ranked Tigers. After holding on for a 6-4 win in the opener, Valley got a dominant one-hit shutout from junior pitcher Brock Everett to complete the sweep with a 2-0 game-two triumph.

“Those were two very well-played games. Our pitching did a great job keeping us in it,” Ottumwa head baseball coach Mike Egbert said. “It seemed like we were always a hit away. We had of plenty of opportunities.”

The opening game presented most of the scoring chances for Ottumwa, who took a pair of leads with four runs in the first four innings. The Bulldogs used a two-run third inning to open a 3-1 lead, then got a two-out RBI hit from Lucas McIntosh to break a 3-3 tie in the third.

After giving up the tying run in the fourth, relief pitching Tyler Ollom gave up a two-out, two-run single as Valley went back on top to stay. Ottumwa missed several chances to answer back, stranding 14 base runners and leaving the bases loaded four times including in the seventh when Kyle Keck grounded out to short.

There was very little opportunity for offense against Everett in the nightcap, who struck out 16 batters in his first start of the season. Everett threw 103 pitches and allowed just four base runners as Ottumwa’s last 10 outs all came on third strikes.

“He had his curve ball working and his fastball was moving,” Egbert said of Everett. “He had a really good night.”

Ottumwa (1-2) will return home to Legion Memorial Field for a single varsity matchup with Fairfield following the 5:30 p.m. junior varsity matchup. Egbert hopes his team can build toward being the kind of team that can not only hang with, but be better then top teams like Valley later in the season.

“I know people will tell us it was a great effort we had (at Valley), but we came up here to beat these guys,” Egbert said. “We need to get to the level where we can beat those kind of teams on a consistent basis.”

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