Wildcats’ comeback ends one run short
De Soto vs. Ottawa
The De Soto baseball team took on Ottawa in a doubleheader Tuesday at home. De Soto lost the first game, 5-2, and fell behind by five early in the second game. De Soto made a comeback and scored four unanswered runs, but lost the nightcap, 5-4.
After giving up a five spot on the scoreboard in the top of the third inning of the second game of the doubleheader, De Soto baseball coach Joel Thaemert challenged his team to step up its game because he said if it didn’t, the game would get ugly.
The Wildcats answered their coach’s challenge and, over the next five innings, cut the lead to one. But the Cats fell short, and were swept by the Ottawa Cyclones, 5-2 and 5-4 Tuesday night at home.
“Offensively, we didn’t do very much,” Thaemert said. “I don’t know if that’s youth or inexperience or just good pitching. (Ottawa) had good pitching that first game. That second game, we didn’t compete the first few innings like we needed to and I thought we figured out, ‘Hey, we could do this.’ So I was encouraged by the way we came back and fought.”
De Soto’s comeback began in the bottom of the third as Tyler Buffkin drew a walk and Dylan Burford crushed a double to deep left. Buffkin went to third on the play and scored on a sac fly by Paul Oswald. The run seemed to energize the Wildcats’ dugout, and after pitcher Tommy Elmer kept the Cyclones off the scoreboard in the fourth, the Wildcats’ bats heated up in the bottom of the inning.
With two outs, Lyle Logan missed extra bases twice down the right field line, as the ball bounced just foul. Logan then laced a ball just inside the third base line for a single. T.J. Martin then crushed a triple of the left field wall to score Logan. Elmer then lined a single to center to plate Martin making the score 5-3.
“We just had to stay positive and know the game’s not over until the last pitch,” said Logan who had two singles and a double in the second game.
In the sixth, Eric Seymour scored on Martin’s RBI single to make it a one-run game. Martin was stranded at third to end the inning. The Wildcats, though, had a shot in the seventh as Oswald drew a one out walk. With a two-strike count Oswald took off for second, and De Soto hit a liner to the second baseman who then threw back to first for the double play to end the game.
Seymour started for the Wildcats and struggled with his command early and didn’t make it out of the third inning as he was replaced by Elmer. Kyle McCulloch pitched three scoreless innings, but De Soto pitchers walked 11 batters and plunked two others.
“We’ve just have to get better,” Thaemert said. “We just have to keep working. Offensively we have to have better at-bats. We have to compete better in our at-bats and square up some balls and find some gaps. In the first game we weren’t even making contact, and that’s definitely a concern. We can’t strike out and compete. Nobody can. The second game we did a good job of not striking out and competed well.”
Next up for the Wildcats (1-3) is the Frontier/Kaw Valley League Challenge Friday and Saturday. De Soto will play Piper on Friday and Lansing and Mill Valley on Saturday.