By Rob Kiser
Editor’s Note: The championship game finished after deadline. Look for story and photos on dailycall.com and in Wednesday’s paper.
The Piqua Post 184 baseball team was set to defend its title at 8 p.m. Sunday night at Hardman Field in the Piqua Post 184 Invitational.
Piqua defeated Van Wert 10-4 Sunday on hot and steamy afternoon as both teams finished 2-1 in pool play. Armoloy defeated Greenville to finish 2-1 as well, while Greenville finished 0-3.
Piqua and Armoloy advanced to the title game, based on runs allowed.
Van Wert and Greenville played in the consolation game at 5 p.m., before Piqua and Armoloy played in the title game at 8 p.m.
Piqua had to rally from a 2-0 deficit after one inning Sunday against Van Wert.
With two outs in the first, Van Wert had a two-run single, with pitcher Austin Rutledge cutting off a throw in front of the plate and making a diving attempt to tag the second runner.
But, Rutledge would allow just two more run the rest of the way — after Piqua had the game well in hand.
He would go the distance in the heat, hurling a five-hitter, striking out three and walking three.
Piqua took the lead for good in the third, with three runs.
With one out, Will Eversole walked and came around to score on a wild pitch.
Howie Ludwig reached on a fielder’s choice and Rutledge walked.
Logan Harris had a RBI single and Chase Humphrey followed with an infield single. Kaden Walker then executed a perfect suicide squeeze — with Rutledge just a step from home plate when he put the bunt down — to make it 3-2.
Piqua added four more runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to make it 10-2.
In the fourth, Cory Cotrell nearly rocketed the ball out of the park to leadoff the inning, getting a double on a ball that hit high off the fence. He stole third and would score on a wild pitch.
Eversole walked and with one out, Rutledge had a RBI single. After Harris walked and Humphrey singled, Walker drew a bases-loaded walk to make it 6-2 and Rylee Deitsch followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 7-2.
In the fifth, Cotrell again started things with a single.
Ludwig put down a squeeze bunt to score Cotrell and Rutledge had a RBI single to score Ludwig.
After Harris reached on an error, Humphrey capped the rally with a RBI single, his fourth hit of the day.
Cotrell and Rutledge added three hits each as Post 184 pounded 13 hits off three different pitchers to take some momentum into the title game.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.