KEOSAUQUA — Down by five runs on Thursday night, the Ottumwa Little League 10-year-old All-Stars appeared on the verge of being forced into a decisive district championship game with Lucas County on Friday.
Instead, Ottumwa Little League rallied back, scoring eight of the final 10 runs including the game winning run on an error in the bottom of the sixth to earn an 8-7 victory. Dawson Weller, a member of last year's 10-year-old district championship team, scored the winning run.
Carter Johnson had a bases-clearing hit to right center to help Ottumwa Little League score five times in the fourth inning, tying the game at 5-5. Mitchell Jordan added a key bunt that resulted in a pair of runs scoring in the fifth, giving Ottumwa a brief 7-5 lead.
"The big thing is how we fought back into it multiple times," Ottumwa Little League coach Brett Monaghan said. "We've got a really good group of kids. They're always paying attention to the game. They always stay in it and realize it's never over. That attitude gave us a chance to win in the end."
The 10-year-old district title is the second straight for Ottumwa Little League, having rallied last year to beat Appanoose County twice in order to earn a trip to state. Ottumwa finished third in last year's 10-year-old state Little League tournament, going 3-2 in pool play capped with a 13-1 win over Raccoon Valley.
Many members of last year's 10-year-old Ottumwa Little League district champions were playing for the Ottumwa Little League 12-year-olds on Thursday night in their district title game against Jefferson County. That game was still underway as the Courier went to press.
The Ottumwa 10-year-olds will open their state tournament on July 21. Opening ceremonies for the 10-year-old Iowa State Little League tournament will be held in Urbandale on July 20.