By Rob Kiser
When Seth Clayton is on the mound for the Piqua American Legion Post 184 baseball team, he doesn’t need a lot of run support.
But, he certainly got it Tuesday night as Post 184 exploded for 16 runs in a 16-5 run-rule win in seven innings over Greenville Post 140 at Hardman Field.
It was Piqua’s seventh straight win — coming off winning the Ottawa tournament over the weekend — and gives Post 184 a 12-3 record heading to the Hillbilly Hardball Classic.
It also gives Piqua a 3-0 record in Western Ohio League play — with two of the wins by run-rule.
Piqua has already swept Troy and has one game remaining with Greenville and two with Sidney.
“I think Seth (Clayton) threw 14 pitches in the first three innings,” Post 184 coach Justin Jennings said. “he is amazing. We weren’t sure who was going to pitch tonight before the game and he looked at me and said, ‘I will go’.”
He allowed just three hits, with errors leading to most of Post 140’s runs.
He had five strikeouts and two walks, including striking out the side in the sixth inning as he ran his record to 4-0.
Piqua used some small-ball and hard hitting, breaking open the game with an 11-run sixth inning which featured a lightning delay in the middle.
Post 184 had taken a 3-0 lead in the second.
Logan Harris singled and on a wild pickoff throw, went all the way to third.
After Matt McGillivary was hit by a pitch, Harris would score on a wild pitch.
McGillivary would circle the bases on Howie Ludwig’s double.
After a sacrifice bunt by Josh Osterholt, Spencer Lavey’s fielder’s choice scored Ludwig.
After Greenville got two unearned runs in the third, Piqua made it 5-2 in the fourth.
Ludwig, who singled, and Osterholt who walked, would both scored when Dylan Arnold’s grounder got past the shortstop.
It stayed that way until a crazy sixth inning.
Ludwig started things with a triple.
Spencer Lavey had three RBIs in the inning on two singles, while Greenville walked seven batters in the inning.
Michael Ashcraft also had a two-run single in the inning.
“Greenville started off trying to slow-pitch us,” Jennings said. “But, we adjusted and started staying back on the ball. Howie Ludwig is hot at the plate right now. Logan Harris is hitting the heck out of the ball. So are Spencer Lavey, Travis Smith and Michael Ashcraft.”
Smith also had a double for Post 184.
“This is a great way to head to the Hillbilly Classic,” Jennings said with a smile. “The kids are hitting the heck out of the ball. It is a big win for us in the league. We leave for West Virginia at 10 a.m.”
With as much momentum as any team could have.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.