A couple weeks into the season, Ozark’s Brody Baumann is hitting and pitching like one of the better players in the area. He is also walking and talking like one of the better teammates the Tigers could ever ask for.
Baumanmn wasn’t bemoaning his fate Friday, after an unearned run in the sixth inning led to Ozark’s 2-1 setback to Staley.
The Tigers were guilty of back-to-back errors in the sixth and a bloop RBI-single by the Falcons brought home the winning run.
Afterward, Baumann pointed out the plays his teammates made behind him, not the two they didn’t.
“I loved my defense behind me,” Baumann said, referring to Ozark playing error-free ball for five innings. “(Staley was) putting it in play and I had a great outfield working for me and in the third or fourth inning there were back-to-back ground balls to (third baseman Rhett Hayward), who was making plays out there for me.”
After the Tigers' miscues gave Staley runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the sixth, Baumann may have made one of his better pitches. But a Staley hitter fought off an inside fast ball for a softly-hit blooper to right field, allowing what proved to be the winning run to score.
“I hit a good spot. I hit him inside," Baumann said. "It hit off his hands and blooped out there and dropped. That’s how it is sometimes. They’re a good-hitting team and they’re going to run into some. I’m not saying it was bound to happen, but stuff happens in a baseball game. I guess that’s the fun of baseball. You can have a great day or a bad day and it will switch the very next day for you. The makes it a fun game to play.”
The bloop hit couldn’t have been placed better. It was well over second baseman Brady Dodd’s head and landed well in front of right fielder Greydon Miller.
“I was charging in on it, but knew there wasn’t a chance,” Miller said. "I feel bad for Brody. He pitched his butt off. We had a couple errors and did not have a good hitting performance as a team. You can’t score one run and win games.”
"I don’t pitch, but still know that was great pitching,” added left fielder Brock Sundlie, who made his first start on the season. “He was phenomenal.”
Ozark’s bats were kept in check. The Tigers’ lone tally came in the fourth on an RBI-single by catcher Cooper Buvid.
“I’m extremely proud of our guys. They competed and battled,” coach Justin Sundlie said. “It wasn’t a clean enough game is all. We could have made more adjustments at the plate, that’s what we’ve got to do. But you want to be in those one-run games, that’s what is going to help you improve.”
Ozark bounced back to whip Owassa (Oklahoma) 11-6 Saturday. Devyn Wright, Gage Depee, Sutton Hanks and Brady Dodd all had two hits.
Earlier in the week, Ozark downed Marshfield 7-0 behind a shutout by Miller.
““I was attacking the zone as much as I could,” Miller said., “My arm was feeling pretty hot. I kept going and before I knew it, it was the seventh inning.”
Ozark's offense versus the Jays included three hits by Hayward and two hits apiece by Wright and Kannon Little.