OTTUMWA – There was only so much magic this week the Ottumwa baseball team could muster. It proved to be enough to carry the Bulldogs to a season-best six-straight wins and a split Friday night with Marshalltown.
The Bobcats, however, did not leave Legion Memorial Field without taking the winning streak with them. After literally giving away the opening game of a varsity doubleheader to Ottumwa, losing 7-6 on a pair of unearned seventh-inning runs, the Bobcats took the Bulldogs deep into the night before salvaging a split with nine-inning win in the nightcap to end the best week for OHS under first-year head coach John Jaeger.
Ottumwa (11-10) and Marshalltown (9-10) seemed destined for a pitchers’ duel for most of the night in game one. The Bulldogs and Bobcats played flawless baseball most of the night with neither team being able to put big scoring rallies together as Marshalltown edged ahead 2-1 in the top of the sixth.
Marshalltown’s defense then began to betray them. The Bobcats committed the first two of four errors in game one, allowing Ottumwa to put up the biggest inning of game one with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Tyler Johns two-RBI triple was the biggest hit of the rally and helped Ottumwa take a 5-2 lead into the seventh before three errors by the Bulldogs including two by Johns sparked a Marshalltown rally.
The Bobcats scored four times to keep the opening game going. After tying the game at 5-5, Grant Thimesch walked with two outs and took second before Blake Judkins RBI double brought home Thimesch with the go-ahead run.
Ottumwa took advantage of two more errors in the bottom of the seventh to earn the game-one win. Walks by Seth Staton and Seth Griffiths led off the frame before Kyle Keck’s fly ball to center was dropped to bring the tying run in. Another walk to Spencer Fuller loaded the bases before Griffiths scored the winning run on a wild pitch on a Blake Mooney strikeout.