WEST DES MOINES – The Ottumwa baseball team will hope for a better start to the postseason after wrapping up the regular season with a pair of losses on the road Tuesday night in West Des Moines. The Bulldogs dropped two games at ninth-ranked Dowling Catholic, playing well against one of the top-10 teams in Class 4A.
Maroon senior pitcher Caleb Nost tossed a five-hit shutout in game one to open the doubleheader as Dowling Catholic picked up a 2-0 win in game one. The Bulldogs finally broke through on the scoreboard after 14 scoreless innings in West Des Moines in the sixth inning with a pair of runs in the sixth inning of game two, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a three-run deficit as the ninth-ranked Maroons won 4-2 in the nightcap.
Blake Mooney suffered the tough-luck loss in game one, giving up just two runs over six innings of work. The Bulldogs hit three doubles off Nost in the opener, but couldn’t string together collective hits to bring across any offense, allowing Dowling to lead from start to finish after scoring in the opening inning.
Seth Griffiths finally got Ottumwa on the board in the sixth, leading off the inning with a solo home run to bring the Bulldogs within 3-1. Collin Schulz followed with his second hit and scored on a Mooney RBI hit to pull Ottumwa within 3-2, but Dowling (26-12) ended the only Bulldog scoring rally of the night before adding an insurance run in the bottom of the inning.
Ottumwa finishes the regular season with an overall record of 20-19 in their first season under head coach John Jaeger. The Bulldogs will be back in action for to open postseason play on Friday night in Indianola as Ottumwa takes on CIML Metro Conference rival Des Moines Lincoln (21-19) in the Class 5A, Substate 7 quarterfinals at 7 p.m. The two teams split four games this season.