By Rob Kiser
Call Sports Editor
SIDNEY — The Piqua Post 184 American Legion baseball team came up short in its hopes to advance to state tournament, with losses to Troy Post 43 and Sidney Post 217 over the weekend.
Piqua found itself in a 5-0 deficit for the second straight night — albeit different circumstances — iand couldn’t battle out of a big hole in a 7-4 loss to Troy Post 43 at Sidney High School Friday night..
“If it wasn’t for the first inning it would have been a different story,” Piqua coach Jim Roberts lamented.
That’s because Troy scored five runs before Piqua ever came to bat — in an untypical performance by Cam Gordon, who has shown some mastery of the Troy hitters over the last couple years.
Six of Troy’s first eight batters had singles off Gordon, who had pitched the final inning and a third Thursday night against Sidney.
Evan Bowling and Adam Gunston had the first two hits, while Colton Nealeigh, Jimmy Pelphrey and Reid Ferrell had RBI singles.
Trenton Wood also had a hit, Ryan Lavy had a sacrifice fly and Bowling drew a bases-loaded walk in his second at bat of the inning to make it 5-0.
Just as quickly, Gordon returned to form, allowing Troy just two hits over the next six innings and pitching into the eighth.
“It was typical Cam (Gordon) after that,” Roberts said.
That allowed Piqua to get back in the game.
It started when Brandon Wysong blasted a shot over the left field fence in second inning to make it 5-1.
In the fifth, Devin Braun doubled, Brandon Kirk singled and Noah Gertner’s fielder’s choice scored a run.
In the seventh, Post 184 tightened the game after two were out.
Kirk walked, stole second and moved to third when Gertner reached on an error.
After Gertner stole second, Buddy Nix delivered a two-run single to make it 5-4.
“The kids battled back,” Roberts said. “We should have hit the ball better, but we saw Troy’s two best guys.”
Troy answered right back in the eighth with two insurance runs.
Wood, Lavy and Pelphrey all singled and when Pelphrey’s ball was misplayed in the outfield, Wood and Lavey scored to make it 7-4.
“We had some critical errors tonight,” Roberts said.
Taylor Baumeister entered the game for Gordon and got out of the jam, pitching one and two-third innings of scoreless relief to finish the game.
In the home ninth, Piqua threatened again.
Kirk walked and Gertner singled.
Nix then hit a rocket one-hopper at Cory Harsman, who stepped on third and threw to second for a double play and Troy was able to escape with the win.
“That really did sum up the night,” Roberts said. “We hit a lot of balls hard right at people.”
Austin Baumgarner and Zack Kendall combined on a seven-hitter for Troy, striking out four, hitting three and walking two batters.
Wood was 3-for-5 at the plate and Pelphrey and Ferrell both had two hits.
Gordon and Baumeister combined on a 12-hitter, striking out four and walking four.
Kirk reached base in four of hit five at bats, while Nix had two hits.
Against Sidney Saturday, it was a familiar scenario for Post 184.
Even though Piqua outhit Sidney 11-7 and had baserunner in six of its nine at bats, Piqua lost 7-2.
Sidney scored single runs in the first and second and added four in the third to take a 6-0 lead.
In the first, Isaiah Counts had a bases-loaded fielder’s choice with one out to score Cole McEldowney.
In the second, Bailey Francis walked and came around to score on Josh Koppin’s single.
In the third, Francis had a RBI single and Eric Neeley broke the game open with a three-run double.
Gabe Wills got the final out of the inning in relief of Jeff Paul and went the rest of the way for Post 184, allowing just one hit and one run.
That came in the eighth on Bailey Francis’ RBI double.
Piqua strung four straight hits together in the fourth for its only two runs.
Brandon Wysong had a one-out double.
Jake Turner singled, Paul had a RBI single and Wills singled to load the bases. Devin Braun’s sacrifice fly scored the second run.
Dan Borchers went the distance for Sidney, scattering 11 hits.
He struck out four, walked one and the Sidney defense turned three double plays behind him.
Paul and Wills combined on a seven-hitter, striking out two, walking three and hitting three.
Piqua’s record drops to 27-11.