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Ottumwa 13-Year-Olds Drop 2nd Babe Ruth Tourney Game

By Jason Van Arkel, July 27, 2017

The Ottumwa 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball team still just needs one win to advance to the championship round of the regional tournament, but now they’re down to their last chance. The Ottumwans on Thursday fell to 1-1 in round-robin play, losing 11-2 to Bismarck, North Dakota.

The frustrating thing for Ottumwa is that the final score doesn’t indicate how close the game really was. Ottumwa scored a run in the top of the fifth to pull within 3-2, only to see Bismarck answer with three runs in the bottom of the fifth, then five more runs in the sixth. Much of the damage was self-inflicted, as Ottumwa committed six errors, and only two of Bismarck’s 11 runs were earned runs.

Ottumwa fell behind early when Bismarck scored a pair of runs in the first inning on a triple, a single and an error. The kids from the City of Bridges got a run back in the second on an RBI single by Tyson Paris, but Bismarck took a 3-1 lead in the fourth thanks to another Ottumwa miscue. Julian Moore’s RBI hit in the top of the fifth got Ottumwa back within 3-2.

In the bottom of the fifth, however, things began to unravel. Bismarck increased its lead to 6-2, scoring three runs thanks in part to a pair of Ottumwa errors. In the sixth frame, Bismarck had two out and no one on base, but a pair of hits led to a run, and then one more critical Ottumwa error opened the door for four more unearned runs to score.

The loss drops Ottumwa to 1-1 in American Division play, while Bismarck improves to 2-0. Ottumwa’s final pool play game is Friday at 5:00, against the Babe Ruth state champion from Kansas. If Ottumwa wins, they’ll advance to Saturday’s championship round, since they would own the head-to-head tiebreaker over either Kansas or St. Paul, MN. If Ottumwa loses, however, they would be eliminated. The top two teams from each division advance to a four-team, single-elimination bracket on Saturday to determine the regional champion, and the team that advances to the Babe Ruth World Series.