The Ottumwa Courier

Sports

July 20, 2013

Van Buren 'saves an inning,' advances a round

FAIRFIELD – The road to Principal Park can be a long and treacherous one to navigate at times.

Finding a way to make that road a little shorter and little less tough is something any and every team at this time in the state would gladly take at this time of the year. Anything to get them that much closer to Des Moines.

Van Buren head coach Chad Scott knows this full well. And he also knows how much fans of the Warrior baseball program finally want to make that long-awaited two-hour drive to the capital city of the state.

But the hardest miles to get to Des Moines are always the final ones. As such, getting through the first half of the postseason journey without using up too much tread is always much sought after. After a few early innings of strain, the Warriors were able to put on cruise control after using a two-out hitting rally in the third inning against Winfield-Mount Union Thursday night in the Class 1A, District 8 semifinals.

Six-straight hits with two outs led four runs that helped the Warriors open it up against the Wolves, turning a tight 2-1 contest into a 6-1 runaway. WMU had no response, even as it went to the bullpen, and Van Buren used stepped on the accelerator late for five runs in the sixth to lock up a 13-2 win in just six innings at the Fairfield baseball diamond.

“That’s one inning we saved right there,” Van Buren head baseball coach Chad Scott said after watching his team improve to 22-5 with the victory. “We know it’s not going to be this easy on Saturday night or, hopefully, on Tuesday night if we’re lucky enough to be playing for a spot at state. Saving an inning for our pitching and the strain on the rest of our team is definitely important at this time of year.”

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