OTTUMWA – Just how John Jaeger planned it, right?
The top two hitters, average-wise, on the Ottumwa Bulldog baseball hitting at the exact opposite ends of the batting order.
After leading the team for most of the year in batting average, Spencer Nelson snapped out of a recent slump in a big way on Wednesday. Two big extra-base hits not only helped lead Ottumwa to an opening-game 5-2 win over Des Moines Lincoln, it also moved Nelson back ahead of lead-off hitter Curtis Schneckloth for the team’s top batting average.
That was until late in game two, when an RBI single by Schneckloth moved the OHS senior back into the lead. It also helped the Bulldogs complete a Metro sweep of the Railsplitters with a 3-2 win in game two.
“I wish I was that smart,” Jaeger said with a smile when told about the battle for the batting title between his ninth-place hitter and lead-off man. “I’d like to say that’s how I draw it up when I fill out the lineup card.”
Nelson and Schneckloth won’t be starting any batting title rivalry, however. No matter who gets the hits, both Bulldogs are just happy to contribute to a 16-3 run that has put Ottumwa in prime position for a top postseason seed.
“It doesn’t really matter too much to me,” Nelson said. “As long as we win the game, that’s what matters most.”
“We’re (Schneckloth and Nelson) a one-two punch, or a nine-one punch. That’s just the way we like it.”
Nelson did plenty on Wednesday to get the Bulldogs moving on the scoreboard in game one. Down 2-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, back-to-back hits from Brok Hopwood and Spencer Fuller to set the table for what would be a go-ahead rally.