By Rob Kiser
It took a little longer than expected.
But, for the third straight year, the Piqua Post 184 American Legion baseball team defeated Armoloy in the championship game of the Piqua Post 184 Invitational at Hardman Field.
The game was supposed to start at 8 p.m. — but the consolation game won by Van Wert ran long and the first pitch didn’t come until 9 p.m.
Piqua had opener the tournament with a 2-1 loss to Armoloy Friday night despite a strong pitching effort from Rylee Deitsch.
And that pitching continued for Post 184 throughout the tournament.
After a forfeit win over Greenville Saturday, Austin Rutledge threw a complete game in the heat Sunday afternoon for a 10-4 victory over Van Wert — which was good enough to get Piqua in the championship game against Armoloy.
And Logan Harris threw a masterpiece for Piqua Sunday night.
Harris hurled a three-hitter, striking out two and not walking a batter — and Piqua’s bats continued to stay alive after breaking out with 13 hits in the win over Van Wert.
Piqua pounded 10 more hits in Sunday night’s win, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and never looking back.
With one out, Howie Ludwig singled, Austin Rutledge reached on an error and Harris walked.
Ludwig would score on a wild pitch, Chase Humphrey would have a sacrifice fly to plate Rutledge and courtesy runner Colton Shafer would score on Deitsch’s RBI single after Kaden Walker had singled.
Ludwig would double in the second inning and Rutledge would walk and Harris was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Piqua would not score.
Piqua would add two more runs in the third.
Walker and Cory Cotrell would single in the third. When Cotrell stole second and throw got away, Walker scored from third. Cotrell would score when Will Eversole reached on an error to make it 5-0.
Piqua broke the game open in the fourth, batting around and scoring five times.
With one out, Harris singled.
Shafer, running for him, would score on Humphrey’s single.
After Walker walked, Deitsch had a RBI double. Walker and Deitsch would score on the same wild pitch and Cotrell, who was hit by a pitch, would eventually score on a wild pitch to make it 10-0.
Piqua added the final two runs in the fifth inning.
Rutledge reached on an error and Harris walked.
With one out, Walker and Deitsch — who both had three hits, would follow with RBI singles to make it 12-0 and Harris ended the game early by setting Armoloy down in order in the home fifth and give Piqua the championship trophy.
Which was definitely worth the wait Sunday for Post 184 fans.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.