By Rob Kiser
The Piqua Post 184 American Legion Baseball Invitational continues Saturday and Sunday at Hardman Field.
On Saturday, Van Wert plays Springfield Armoloy at 11 a.m.; Greenville plays Van Wert at 2 p.m. and Piqua plays Greenville at 5 p.m.
On Sunday, Piqua plays Van Wert at 11 a.m., followed by Greenville and Springfield Armoloy at 2 p.m.
The third-place game will be at 5 p.m. Sunday, with the championship game at 8 p.m.
The tournament opened Friday night at Hardman Field, with Springfield Armoloy holding on for a 2-1 win over Piqua.
Trailing 2-0 going to the top of the seventh, Piqua Post 184 appeared to be on the verge of tying the game.
Logan Harris singled and Kaden Walker pinch-ran for him.
After Chase Humphrey walked, Piqua had the tying runs on second and third with no outs.
After a fly out to short centerfield, Austin Rutledge had a sacrifice fly to score Walker, with Humphrey holding at second. But, a strikeout ended Piqua’s chances.
Neither team could score in the first four innings.
Piqua starter Rylee Deitsch pitched out a jam in the home first, when he walked the bases loaded, before getting a fly out to Cory Cotrell in centerfield to end the inning.
Howie Ludwig had a singled in the first and walked in the third. And Humphrey had an infield single in the fifth and Rutledge walked in the same inning. But, those were the only baserunners Piqua could manage until the seventh.
But, Deitsch was keeping Armoloy off the board as well.
He took a no-hitter into the fourth inning, before Armoloy had two singles. But, Deitsch had two strikeouts and a line out to Ludwig at second to get out of the jam.
Piqua seemed to get a big break in the home fifth.
After a leadoff double, the Armoloy runner was thrown out trying to score from second on a wild pitch, with Deitsch covering at home.
But a walk, RBI double, single and sacrifice fly put Piqua in a 2-0 hole, before the dramatic finish in the seventh.
While Piqua finished with three hits, Deitsch pitched a five-hitter, striking out five and walking five.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.