By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
PIQUA — It turns out, Mick Karn’s speed did indeed kill Springfield Tuesday at Hardman Field.
It was Karn’s speed that led to the first run of the D-I sectional opener and it was his speed that scored the final run —- in the bottom of the 10th inning to end a crazy night and five Piqua a 4-3 victory.
Piqua, 12-14, advances to play at Springboro at 5 p.m. Thursday. Springfield dropped to 6-22 after the loss.
In the home 10th inning, with the game deadlocked at three, Karn hustled down the line for the his third infield hit of the game to start things.
After he stole second, he raced down to third on a groundball back to the pitcher.
On Zane Beougher’s grounder to third, Karn bluffed going home, allowing Beougher to go all the way to the second as Karn distracted the third baseman.
Then, with Cameron Deal at the plate, the ball got just far enough past the catcher that Karn was able to hustle home and beat the tag of pitcher Lucas Mattison to end the game and set off a Piqua celebration.
Piqua had taken a 1-0 lead in the first.
With two outs, Karn beat out an infield single, stole second and scored on Iverson Ventura’s single.
It stayed that way until the third.
Springfield’s Ryan Crawford was on third with two outs when shortstop Ethan Pohlschneider fielded a ball in front of second base and appeared to throw Dominick Manier out at first base.
But, after Piqua went to the dugout, the umpires ruled that Manier was safe at first, tying the game 1-1.
Piqua coach Brad Lavey was ejected arguing the call, before Piqua returned to the field and Owen Toopes got the final out.
Piqua took a 3-1 lead in the home fifth.
Pohlschneider had walked and with one out, Blane Ouhl reached on a fielder’s choice.
With runners on second and third, Toopes lined a double to put Piqua up 3-1.
Toopes, with the help of his defense, had pitched out of several jams in the game.
Piqua turned a double play in the fourth and in the sixth, caught a runner between third and home with one out.
But, in the seventh,Springfield got two runs to tie it.
Manier had a RBI single to score Lucas Mattison and Manier scored on a wild pitch to force extra innings.
Cameron Deal entered for Toopes on the mound and pitched three scoreless innings of relief.
Piqua missed a golden opportunity to win against Springfield starter Cole Griffith in the seventh inning.
Piqua’s first four batters reached in the inning, but one was thrown out stealing and another was picked off first and the Indians did not score.
In the eighth, Karn was thrown out at the plate on a close play for the first out of the inning and pinchrunner Max King was on third with one out, but the Indians could not score.
Manier had a one-out double in the ninth for Springfield, but Deal was able to get out of the jam, giving Karn to kill Springfield with his speed in the 10th and give Piqua the win.
Toopes and Deal combined on a seven-hitter, striking out eight and walking seven.
Griffith and Lucas Mattison combined on a seven-hitter, striking out seven and walking six.
Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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