PLEASANT HILL — The swagger’s not back yet — but give it time.

The confident approach that has produced two state baseball titles for the school of Ottumwa hasn’t shown itself in awhile.

That kind of mindset has also resulted in three state tournament appearances under current Bulldog head coach Ryan Woods.

But that winning strut has unfortunately been absence for Bulldog baseball fans.

Ottumwa was hoping to start its journey to Principal Park in Des Moines and the state tournament versus Waukee in the quarterfinal round of Class 4A postseason play on Friday night.

Six Ottumwa errors went a long way to end that talk.

Waukee scored seven runs in the final three innings to take a 10-7 victory come-from behind victory in eight innings in each team’s Class 4A, Substate 6 matchup on Southeast Polk’s ball diamond.

Woods is confident his team can get back to state after what is now a two-year absence from the prestigious field.

“On day one we got together as a team and our No. 1 goal was to get our swagger back,” said Woods. “Did we accomplish that goal? I don’t think so. We’re not where we want to be yet.”

Ottumwa (17-18) was gunning to get past the Warriors (19-14), rekindle a nine-game win streak the Bulldogs had created just a week ago and attempt to make the state tournament for the third time in four seasons.

Under the hot summer sun, the Bulldogs’ defense melted.

“I think there were six errors on the scoreboard, but I can go through 10 in my head — a double play that wasn’t turned. Mental things — picking up and holding it when a guy is running home,” said Woods.

Ottumwa led 6-3 headed into the top of the sixth but couldn’t hold on.

Waukee’s Walker Woods, who also earned the win on the mound for head coach Monte Friestad’s squad, belted a two-run double to left that tied the score at 6-6 in that big four-run sixth inning for WHS. Waukee took a short-lived 7-6 lead in the next at bat on Ted Haag’s RBI single.

Ottumwa tied it in the bottom of the seventh to force extra-innings after Ben Lott smacked a two-out double. The sophomore shortstop raced around to home plate on junior designated hitter Daniel Goodvin’s single up the middle. The relay throw beat Lott, but the umpire ruled obstruction and Ottumwa had life, tied 7-7.

Waukee ended any threat of the Bulldogs advancing to the second round and taking on eighth-ranked West Des Moines Valley on Monday with three runs in the ensuing inning.

“What it comes down to is....we just flat out gave it to them. We gave them runs early, we gave them runs late,” said Woods. “There is no excuse for that. You can say it’s hot. You can say it’s pressure, but you have to be able to play. We didn’t tonight.”

A passed ball, an RBI groundout and a single accounted for Waukee’s final tallies in the eighth. Waukee’s first three runs scored were all unearned.

Waukee wasn’t much better in the field as the Warriors committed five gaffes for a total of 11 errors in the CIML non-conference postseason tilt.

Ottumwa plated four runs in the second inning and got it started on senior Brian Delker’s single that knocked in two. A throwing error to second plated Ottumwa’s third run and Lott’s sac fly made it 4-1 Bulldogs headed into the third.

Delker, Woods’ choice to start on the hill, pitched well early, but could not overcome the many miscues that tightened the vice on the Bulldogs’ lead.

Delker worked five-plus innings and allowed four earned runs. Sophomore Ben Ryder finished the game and allowed three earned runs.

Two errors by Waukee’s right fielder contributed to Ottumwa’s fifth and sixth runs.

“They’re a good team. We just came back from our mistakes,” said Walker Woods.

Waukee won its two regular season meetings with Ottumwa — 7-6 in eight innings and 14-4 in five innings.

Valley defeated Indianola 13-3 in five innings and sixth-ranked Southeast Polk took out Oskaloosa 17-3 in five innings in the other games in Class 4A, Substate 6.

Ottumwa played to a 13-6 mark down the stretch after a 4-12 start.

“Did we make some strides in the second half of the season? We sure did. We did some things the right way,” said Woods.

Ottumwa graduates seven seniors on its squad.

Waukee 10, Ottumwa 7 (8 innings)

WAU 101 104 03 — 10 11 5

OTT 041 100 10 — 7 7 6

Waukee battery — Walker Woods (W) (7IP, 7H, 7R, 4ER, 9K, 6BB), Kyle Collins catching.

2B — Jake Knott, Brian Peters.

Hits — Knott 2-4, Chad Howard 1-3, Woods 2-5, Ted Haag 1-4, Peters 3-5, Jordan Sears 1-4, Collins 1-3.

RBI — Howard, Woods 2, Haag 2, Peters. Runs — Knott 2, Howard 2, Woods 2, Peters, Collins, John Peters, Collen Newhouse.

Ottumwa battery — Brian Delker (L) (5 2/3IP, 8H, 7R, 4ER, 3K, 5BB), Ben Ryder (1 1/3IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 1K, 1BB), Justin Birch catching.

2B — Ben Lott, Jake Steinbach.

Hits — Lott 1-2, P.J. Shaeffer 1-5, Steinbach 3-3, Daniel Goodvin 1-3, Delker 1-4.

RBI — Lott, Steinbach, Goodvin, Delker 2. Runs — Lott, Birch, Chris Cordray, Steinbach 2, D. Goodvin, Clint Utter.


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