OTTAWA – The Atchison Senior A’s didn’t start their zone tournament the way they wanted on Monday.

Mental and physical errors allowed the Oskaloosa River Bandits to jump on top early and the A’s never could catch up. Oskaloosa won the zone opener 9-1 in six innings.

Austin Bonnel got the start on the mound for Atchison, but struggled with his command. He walked two of the first three batters, but had two outs when he forced a ground ball. However, the A’s defense misplayed the ball, allowing a run to score in the top of the first.

Oskaloosa began the second inning with a single and walk, then tried to sacrifice bunt the runners over. The A’s fielded the ball, but after a look to see if they could get a lead runner on a force out, it was too late to get the batter at first, loading the bases.

The next hitter lofted a soft fly ball to shallow center, but Atchison couldn’t get there in time to make the play and a run scored. After a pop out to short – what could have been the third out of the inning if the previous two plays had been made – Oskaloosa ripped a two-run double to increase its lead to 4-0.

The Bandits led 5-0 in the fifth before the A’s finally cracked the scoreboard. Bonnel singled and stole second base, moving to third on a wild throw from the catcher. Marcus Denton drove in Atchison’s only run with a ground out.

Oskaloosa put the finishing touches on the game in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on Augie Scholz, who had replaced Bonnel in the third inning.

Atchison didn’t do much offensively on Monday. Bonnel had two hits, as did Kevin Scott. Adam Smith ripped a double in the third, but was left stranded on third base after a ground out and a strikeout. The A’s had a chance to equal or best Oskaloosa’s one run in the first inning, loading the bases with two outs, but the chance fizzled away on a fly out.

Redemption for Atchison can come through the loser’s bracket, though. The A’s beat Leavenworth on Tuesday night in Ottawa. Leavenworth lost its opening game against the host team, 13-1.

Adam Gardner can be reached at

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