May 24, 2015
7:24 am
MoneyTalk with Bob Brinker
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Ottawa pounds Mendota to advance to regional semis

OTTAWA, Ill. – Ottawa used a five-run fifth inning to pull away from Mendota and stay alive in the postseason, earning a 7-1 victory over the Trojans in the Class 3A Morris Regional Quarterfinal.

Michael Donovan went the distance for Ottawa (12-17), allowing one earned run on six hits. More importantly, his teammates in the lineup backed him up at the plate and in the field.

The Pirate defense, which has been prone to making errors throughout the season, was flawless behind Donovan. The offense put the winning across just five batters into the game, and broke the game open late.

Kyle Wallbaum had a pair of RBI singles for Ottawa, while John Carroll, Jake Less and Trent Porter added consecutive RBI singles in the fifth inning. The Pirates scratched out only seven hits, but made the most of four Trojan errors.

Ottawa opened the game with three consecutive singles, including Wallbaum’s RBI single that scored Seth Coffey and put the Pirates on the board. Two batters later, Nick Quick lined out to Mendota second baseman Riley Schuhler, but the senior’s throw to the bag at second was errant, and Weston Hoffman scampered home from third to give Ottawa a 2-0 lead.

Mendota threatened in the second inning, collecting three consecutive singles to load the bases with one out for Paxton Kennedy. The freshman popped out to third for the second out.

And then the rains came. A storm delayed the game for 52 minutes, and when play resumed, Donovan got Curt Kellen to ground out to second to escape the jam.

Mendota finally got on the board in the fourth inning, on a sacrifice fly from Kennedy that scored Evan Schultz. Meanwhile, the Ottawa bats went quiet, drawing just two walks over the second, third and fourth innings.

That changed in the fifth. Coffey reached on an error by Mendota third baseman Garet Zinke, and two batters later, Wallbaum lined a single up the middle to bring him home. Cahill Horner was hit by a pitch, and after Quick flew out to center for the second out, Carroll, Less and Porter delivered in succession to put the game on ice.

Jaron Robinson took a tough-luck loss for Mendota. He allowed seven runs over six innings, but only the first run of the game was earned.

Ottawa faces the regional host and top seed Morris on Wednesday.
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Location : IllinoisOttawa
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