By ANDY HEINTZ
The Ottumwa Senior Babe Ruth team lost a hard-fought game to Oskaloosa Babe Ruth 4-3 in a Midwest Plains Babe Ruth Senior tournament game that went into extra innings Saturday at Lacey Memorial Complex.
Ottumwa was in control for the breadth of the game, but Osky mounted a rally in the later innings.
"The boys played there heart out," Ottumwa Babe Ruth coach Rich Kennedy said. "Of course you can always ask for more base hits, but that's in any given game. We just have to be a little bit more disciplined at the plate. We were underneath a lot of baseballs and we should have been hitting them square."
Ottumwa scored two runs in the bottom of the third off a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Christian Bambrook and a Spencer Fuller single through the right side of the infield. Seth Staton got things rolling for Ottumwa in the inning with a leadoff single and Collin Schulz followed him with a double to right centerfield.
Seth Griffiths bashed a triple to deep right field in the bottom of the fourth and later went on to score to increase Ottumwa's lead to 3-0 . Oskaloosa mounted its rally in the top of the sixth. The catalyst for Osky's big inning came when Ottumwa centerfielder Spencer Nelson tried to make a diving catch on a line drive by Darren Berthusen. Nelson couldn't quite make the catch and the ball bounced over his head, allowing two Osky runners to score. Moments later, Coy Moore drove Berthusen in with a line drive to right centerfield that tied the game at 3.
In the top of the eighth, Osky's offense began to stir again. Osky managed to get two runners on base before Berthusen gave it the lead with an RBI double to left field.
Blake Mooney slapped a hit to start the bottom of the eight for Ottumwa. The boys, however, couldn't get anything else going in the inning and Osky picked up the win.
"I can't express how proud we of the boys for just hanging in there," Osky coach Matt Saville said. "We just told them to keep plugging away and making good at bats and we did and started putting hits together."