Bulldog Baseball Stuns #2 Ankeny to Earn Split


Many people at Legion Memorial Field Wednesday night thought the Ottumwa baseball team had missed its chance to upset #2 Ankeny. The Bulldogs had blown a late lead in game one of the doubleheader, and entered the bottom of the seventh trailing the Hawks by four in game two. It was then, however, that head coach John Jaeger’s team put together one of its signature rallies.

Ottumwa shocked Ankeny with five runs in final frame, surging to an 8-7 victory. Not only did the Bulldogs earn their first victory of 2020, it came at the expense of a team many consider a favorite to win the Class 4A state championship.

The rally began innocently enough with Colton McKinnon and Dominic Delehoy drawing back-to-back walks. Blaze Rominger then put a charge into the home crowd with a two-run triple to right-center, cutting the Ankeny lead in half. Another walk to Mitch Wood chased reliever Jase Bauer, and Ankeny called on Bryce Rinderknecht (0-1) to try for the save. Jesus Jaime greeted him with an RBI single, pulling Ottumwa within a run.

Trae Swartz followed with a sacrifice bunt, putting the tying and winning runs in scoring position. After an intentional walk, a wild pitch scored Wood to tie the game at seven. Ankeny ordered another intentional walk to re-load the bases, bringing up pinch-hitter Thomas Mitchell. The junior worked the count full, then poked a soft single to right to bring home Jaime with the winning run.

For Mitchell (0-1), it was a moment of redemption. A few hours earlier, he had given up the go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of game one to Ankeny’s Brody Becht, when the Hawks put together their own five-run rally to win 6-3. Ottumwa then spotted the Hawks four runs in the first two innings of the nightcap, and appeared to be on its way to an 0-4 start to the season until the Bulldogs’ final rally sent the fans home happy.

Max Thomason (1-0) earned the game two victory, tossing two scoreless innings in his varsity debut to keep Ottumwa within striking distance. Rominger totaled three RBI in the victory, while McKinnon walked three times and scored all three times from the number-nine spot in the batting order.

McKinnon was also stellar on the mound in game one, although the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. He allowed just one run on six hits through the first six innings, departing after throwing 98 pitches and holding a 3-1 lead. Wood cracked a solo home run in game one for the Bulldogs as well.

At 1-3, Ottumwa has the rest of this week off. They play a doubleheader on Monday at home against Fort Dodge. OHS has also seen a couple of schedule changes for next week. They’ll travel to Ames for a single varsity game on Tuesday, and play a doubleheader at Marshalltown on Thursday.

After three frustrating games, the Ottumwa softball team finally broke into the win column on Wednesday. OHS beat Ankeny 13-2 in game two of their doubleheader at Huston Field, after dropping game one 8-1. Josie Lemonds cracked a key home run for the Bulldogs in the nightcap, and Kaylee Bix had three hits, including a home run that ended the game on the mercy rule. Ottumwa will take a 1-3 record into next Monday’s home doubleheader against #1 Fort Dodge.

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