OTTAWA — The Piqua Post 184 American Legion baseball team will host Greenville tonight at 7 p.m. at Hardman Field.
Post 184 is coming off winning the TAWA Run Classic in Ottawa.
“The tournament was a great building stone for our season,” Post 184 coach Justin Jenings said. “We have won six in a row and are 11-3 on the season.. After the Greenville game, we leave for west Virginia on Wednesday to play in Hillbilly Hardball Classic.
“There will be 30 to 36 Legion ball teams from all over the country in that tournament. We could have to play seven or eight games over four days. We won three games down there last year so we hope to do a little better this year. We are just trying to get the right combination of players in the line up with the right pitcher.
“We have been dealing with kids on vacation and graduations all season. We haven’t had our full team at any one game yet and are finding a way to finish off the games for wins.. If it all comes together and we get all our kids on the field and clicking it could be a lot of fun for the race to state in the middle of July.”
Post 184 opened the tournament with a 10-2 win over Chillicothe.
Logan Harris pitched a three-hitter, striking out four.
“Logan (Harris) pitched a great game, falling down 2-0 after three innings,” Jennings said. “But, when the bats came alive, we scored 10 runs in the final four innings. He settled down and threw great. He gave up only one hit the rest of the way.”
Michael Ashcraft was 3-for-4 with four RBIs, while Dylan Arnold had two hits, a triple and three RBIs.
Piqua followed that up with a 5-4 win over Wooster.
Post 184 rallied from a 4-2 deficit.
“Matt McGillivary was the man when we were trailing 4-2 in the fifth,” Jennings said.
Josh Osterholt was hit by a pitch, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch.
McGillivary drilled a triple to make it 4-3, then Dylan Arnold tied it with a sacrifice fly to score McGillivary.
McGillivary then led off the seventh with a walk and scored on a bases-loaded walk to give Piqua the win.
Post 184 then outslugged Ottawa 17-15.
Piqua rallied from deficits of 8-1 after two innings and 13-5 after three innings, scoring nine runs in the sixth to take a 17-13 lead.
“The big nine-run innings in the sixth just dazed a very confident team to that point,” Jennings said. “Sometimes in those spots (down big) team fold and give up. Not today and not these boys. They played hard, came out winners and everyone had a blast. Michael Ashcraft was a beast at the plate.”
Ashcraft was 4-for-5 with seven RBIs, two triples and three runs scored.
Howie Ludwig was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored, while Travis Smith had two RBIs and three runs scored.
Arnold and Harris each had two hits.
In the semifinals, Post 184 knocked off Ashland 9-8 in nine innings.
Ludwig came up big with a triple in the ninth and scored the winning run when Ashland threw to first on Arnold’s fielder’s choice.
“He bolted for home and scored with ease,” Jennings said. “The game should have ended in the seventh on the same kind of play. Howie (Ludwig) led off that inning with a double and was called out at home. It was a close call, but we went to extra innings.
“Spencer Lavey pitched well for the game, but ran into a little bit of a rough spot in the seventh. We just couldn’t get it done for him.”
Lavey scattered five hits, walked six and struck out four.
Ludwig was 3-for-5 with a triple, two doubles and two runs scored.
Smith was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs and Harris was 2-for-4 with a RBI and a run scored.
Will Eversole and Osterholt had two RBIs each.
Piqua defeated Sandusky 9-3 in the championship game.
“The story to this game was a lot of good baseball and some great pitching by Seth Clayton,” Jennings said. “The boys came out swinging the the bats 13 hits and some shutdown pitching by Seth.”
Clayton only allowed on hit until the seventh ad two late hits by Sandusky were not enough.
Piqua led 5-1 after two and cemented the win with three runs in the sixth inning to go up 9-2.
“It felt good giving the ball to Seth for the championship game,” Jennings said. “He is a solid pitcher. He is not going to strike out 12 or 15 batters, but it seems like it. He’s got good movement on his fastball and can locate pitches well. When he does give up a hit, he moves on to the next batter. He has pitched three games and won them all.”
Harris was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Smith was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Lavey was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored, while Eversole had a hit, scored three runs and walked twice.
Ashcraft added two hits and one RBI.