By Rob Kiser
After an impressive win against Three Oaks (Michigan) Post 204 Saturday afternoon in its opening game of the July 4 tournament at Hardman Field, it was almost 11:30 p.m. Saturday night before Piqua Post 184 outlasted Greenville Post 140 9-8 in its second game of the day.
The two wins gave Post 184 the advantage heading into Sunday’s action in the round-robin tournament.
Piqua’s game with Northridge was rained out Friday night, while Armoloy and Greenville tied 6-6 in a game that was stopped in the ninth inning.
Piqua’s game with Northridge may be played Monday morning if necessary to determine who plays in the championship game at 1 p.m. Monday.
In other games Saturday, Northridge defeated Greenville 7-5, while Three Oaks opened the day with an 8-7 win over Springfield Armoloy.
After Saturday’s action, Post 184 is 2-0, while Northridge is 1-0.
Three Oaks is 1-1, Springfield Armoloy is 0-1-1 and Greenville is 0-2-1.
Sunday’s schedule includes Northridge vs. Armoloy at 11 a.m., Three Oaks vs. Greenville at 2 p.m., Three Oaks vs. Northridge at 5 p.m. and Post 184 vs. Armoloy at 8 p.m.
Against Greenville, Piqua saw leads of 4-0, 6-3 and 8-5 get away, before holding on for the win in the home ninth.
Howie Ludwig drew a leadoff walk and with one out, stole second, then stole third, with the throwing going into the outfield and Ludwig crossing the plate to give Piqua a 9-8 win.
Larkin Painter pitched four innings in relief to get the win, shutting Greenville out over the final three innings.
Piqua got two big defensive plays, both ending with Will Eversole tags for outs at third base.
The first came in the fifth inning with the bases loaded after four walks had closed Greenville to within 8-6 with two outs, when catcher Ludwig threw a strike to Eversole to pick off a runner to end the inning.
In the eighth with one out and a runner on first, Painter’s pickoff throw was high and got by Travis Smith at first. But, Smith chased the throw down and threw a strike to Eversole at third to cut down the potential winning run.
Piqua had jumped out to a 4-0 led in the first inning.
Smith had a RBI double, Logan Harris had a RBI single and Nathan Lefeld had a two-run double.
Former Piqua shortstop Alyssa Jones had a bases-loaded RBI single for Greenville in the third as Post 140 closed to within 4-3.
Piqua got two runs in the home third to make it 6-3, when Ashcraft and Lefeld both had RBI singles.
After Greenville closed within 6-5 in the top of the fourth, Piqua scored two more runs to make it 8-5.
Dylan Arnold led things off with a triple and scored on Eversole’s sacrifice fly. Smith walked and came around to score on Ludwig’s RBI single.
But, Greenville got one run in the fifth and two in the sixth to tie it, before a wild game would end with Ludwig hustling around the bases.
Nathan Lefeld pitched a four-hit shutout for Piqua against Three Oaks in a 6-0 win, striking out one, hitting a batter and walking a batter.
Piqua got a run in the first off Justin Soper.
Dylan Arnold walked, Travis Smith singled and after a walk to Logan Harris, Howie Ludwig had a sacrifice fly to score Arnold.
Bryce Evans had a leadoff double for Three Oaks in the second, but Lefeld retired the next three hitters.
In the Three Oaks fourth, Andrew Hodges and Devin Beeney had singles to start the inning.
Hodges was picked off second on a throw that went from Lefeld to shortstop Arnold to third baseman Will Eversole.
Brandon Rath reached on an error, but Lefeld was able to get out of the inning unscathed.
Piqua made 2-0 in the home fourth.
Michael Ashcraft reached on an error and with two outs, Ashcraft was on third and Joe McGillivary was on first.
McGillivary was caught between first and second, but kept the rundown going long enough for Ashcraft to score.
Piqua took advantage of a walk and two hit batters to make it 4-0 in the fifth.
The first run scored on Harris’ fielder’s choice, with the second run scoring when Ludwig reached base.
In the sixth, Joe McGillivary walked and Matt McGillivary was hit by a pitch.
Eversole had a two-run single, scoring Matt McGillivary and Spencer Lavey, who pinch ran for the final tally of 6-0.
Soper and Rath combined on a two-hitter for Three Oaks, walking six, hitting two batters and striking out five.