OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa baseball team turned lemons into lemonade Thursday, and, in the processs, may have pointed their season's compass back in the right direction.
After losing their first game by forfeit because they inadvertently failed to heed an official rule, instead of hanging their heads and mechanically going through motions in game two, the Bulldogs put together what was perhaps their best all around game of the season — a 10-0 blowout that lasted only five innings because of the 10-run rule. It was the perfect antidote to despair. and, hopefully, the fons et origo of future accomplishments.
The game was festooned with clutch hitting, great catches and rock-solid defense. And, perhaps more importantly, it was devoid of sulks. Affronted by a mediocre first game at the plate, Seth Griffiths bounced back with a vengeance in game two, going 3-4 with a double and driving in three RBI. Not to be outdone, Collin Schulz went 3-4 with a double and four RBI in the nightcap.
The Bulldogs really busted things open in the top of the second. First, Seth Staton slapped an infield single that drove home a run to give Ottumwa a 1-0 lead. Then, Griffiths blasted a three-run double into the left centerfield gap that upped Ottumwa's lead to 4-0. Moments later, Schulz cracked another double into left centerfield that extended Ottumwa's lead to 5-0.
We feed off each other," Shulz said. "We start putting hit after hit together."
Blake Mooney started game two for Ottumwa, but he struggled to exert command over his pitches and was relieved by Bryce Ward after just two and a third innings of work on the hill. To his credit, Mooney, despite walking five batters, managed to escape the first two innings without surrendering a run. Ward, who entered the game with two runners on base, got the next two batters to fly out to keep the shutout intact.