By Rob Kiser
The Piqua and Covington baseball teams tuned up for tournament play with Piqua winning a 3-2 thriller at Hardman Field.
Piqua, 11-14, played at Bellefontaine in D-I sectional action Tuesday, while Covington, 4-16, travels to Russia today in D-IV action.
Owen Toopes pitched a four-hitter for Piqua and took a 2-1 lead to the seventh inning.
With one out, Ty Freeman reached on an error on an infield grounder when when Toopes couldn’t handle the toss to first on a ball hit between first and second.
Derek Hite entered the game and Braden Miller walked.
On a potential game-ending double play, the throw to first was wide, allowing Freeman to score from second on the play and tie the game.
But, Piqua won the game in the home seventh.
Travis Smith had an infield single and went to second on a throwing error. Hite walked and Ethan Garland beat out a bunt to load the bases with no outs.
Blake Wright hit a fly ball to left field and Smith was preparing to tag and go home. But, the ball was dropped and Smith scored to give Piqua the win.
Covington threw ace Nathan Blei for the first two innings for a tuneup for Wednesday and he held Piqua scoreless without a hit.
Covington had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Freeman singled, Miller reached on an error and Blei singled to load the bases with no outs.
One out later, Kenny Atkinson’ fielder’s choice scored Freeman to make it 1-0.
The first three Piqua batters Freeman faced in the third reached base, before he settled down and limited Piqua to runs the rest of the way.
Dakota Iddings led off the third with a double, went to third on Toopes’ single and scored on Smith’s double.
Piqua took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Smith doubled again and came around to score on a wild pitch.
That set up an exciting seventh inning for both teams.
Neither team was opportunistic at the plate, as Covington left eight on and Piqua left nine on in its first six at bats.
Blei and Freeman combined on a six-hitter, with three strikeouts, five walks and a hit batter.
Toopes had eight strikeouts and two walks for Piqua, while Hite walked a batter and hit a batter in picking up the win.
with tourney win
HOUSTON — Houston broke open a tight game with back-to-back five-run outbursts in the fifth and sixth, the second one ending the game in the sixth, 14-4 over Botkins in a Division 4 Sectional Tournament game Monday at Houston.
Houston goes to 8-15 overall and plays at third-seeded Triad on Wednesday. Botkins is 5-14 overall and still has three County games remaining.
Houston got three hits and two runs scored from both John Leist and Dominic Beaver, two doubles, two RBIs and two stolen bases from Howie Ludwig, and two hits and four RBIs from Jacob Trent.
Alex Bergman was 2-for-4 for Botkins.
Houston took advantage of four walks, two hit batsmen and a double by Ludwig to score five in the sixth. In the fifth, Houston had four of its hits.
falls to Greenon
ENON — The Miami East baseball team lost 11-1 to Greenon Monday in D-III sectional baseball action.
SPRINGBORO — The Piqua softball team has upset on its mind against Springboro in D-I softball action Monday.
The Lady Indians, 11-15, held a 2-0 lead before Springboro, 16-9, scored three runs in the home fifth to win 3-2.
Springboro will host Sidney in second-round action today.
VERSAILLES — The Versailles softball team was upset 8-4 by Triad in D-IV sectional action Monday.
Kami McEldowney slugged a home run and was 3-for-4 with two RBIs, while Kate Stammen hit a solo home run.
Anna Gehret was 3-for-3 and Hailey McEldowney was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple.
lose to Troy
PLEASANT HILL — The Troy softball team continued to build momentum heading into tournament play on Monday, defeating a tough Newton team 7-5 in eight innings on the road for its seventh consecutive win.
Troy led 5-4 going into the seventh inning on the strength of a four-run second inning, but Newton’s Kylee Fisher tied the game with a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to send the game to extra innings. But in the top of the eighth, Madison Potts reach on a one-out error and scored on an RBI double by Hallie Snyder, then Molly Miller added some insurance with an RBI double and the Trojans held on from there.
For Newton, Kacie Tackett finished 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Kristen Rappold was 2-for-4 with a double and Haley Pack was 2-for-3 with a double.
pick up win
SIDNEY — The D-II sectional tennis tournament was moved to Friday because of bad weather Tuesday.
Lehman closed the regular season with a 3-2 win over Tippecanoe.
“Big come from behind win by freshman Danny Lins in his first singles match of the season to clinch the team win to give us a winning season this year,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “We played some kids in spots they will being playing in at sectionals as this was our last match of the season.”
In singles, Griffin West defeated Colin Achteburg 6-1, 6-2;Lins( defeated Ian Stewart 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; and Sean Toner lost to Evan Hill 6-3, 6-3.
In doubles, Sam Ritze and Ryan Goettemoeller defated Noah Blake and David Slinger 6-3, 7-5; and Michael Wesner and Ekias Bezy lost to Christian Blake and Levi Berning 6-1, 6-1.