CASCADE — Cascade found itself in an unusual position this season.
The Cougars have dominated their competition this season, winning by an average of 8.8 runs a game, and had only trailed for four innings in their first 13 games. On Saturday alone, they found themselves playing from behind for 4 ½ innings against Cedar Rapids Washington.
Class 2A second-ranked Cascade conjured up five runs in its final two at-bats, posting a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Warriors at American Legion Field.
The Cougars improved to 14-0, but this could be considered a defining victory.
“We needed a game like this against a real quality opponent to see where we stood,” Cascade Coach Roamn Hummel said. “This gives our guys a lot of confidence to know that we can compete with really anybody.”
Cascade struggled to put runs up against Washington starter Jacob Bockenstedt. When pitch-count totals forced Bockenstedt off the mound, the Cougars started their comeback.
Cascade scored twice in the bottom of the fifth, tying the game at three apiece. Haris Hoffman led off with a bunt single, but was still on base with two outs. Logan Otting sparked the Cougars, drilling a triple to the right-field wall and scoring Hoffman. Otting scored on Blake Simon’s second single of the game.
“We’ve been focusing on taking the ball the other way in practice,” said Otting, who finished with three hits and scored twice. “I saw an opportunity to do that. I just really focused on getting that outer pitch and taking it to the other side of the field, getting guys in to things going.”
Otting delivered again in the sixth. Cascade loaded the bases with three straight walks. Brock Simon came through with a sacrifice fly. With two outs and the bases loaded again, Otting drove in the game-winning run with a two-run single.
Otting also earned the win, pitching two innings of relief.
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“He’s been locked in at the plate,” Hummel said of Otting. “He’s thrown a couple innings is all to start off with and he’s been decent. Again, we needed to have him go against a team like this to see if it would translate to a tight situation against a real good team. He showed us we can rely on him in a big situation, if we need it."
Washington (10-5) pounded out 13 hits — all singles. Lincoln Riley and Drew Christensen led the Warriors with three hits apiece. Bockenstedt and Joe McKinstry each added two hits.
The Warriors needed more timely hits. They stranded 10 runners, leaving the bases loaded to end the game.
“Hit the ball extremely well (Saturday),” Washington Coach Scott Brune said. “We just didn’t have any timely hits.
“We lost our focus on the mound at the end and walked too many guys that led to a couple big innings that cost us.”
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