By Rob Kiser
The Piqua Post American Legion baseball team opened its July 4 tournament with some timely hitting and clutch relief pitching from Cameron Gordon in a 4-3 win over the Springfield Titans at Hardman Field Friday.
The Titans also lost to Springfield Armaloy 4-3 in the opening game of the tournament Friday.
Gordon had entered the game in the home fifth, with Piqua holding a 4-3 lead and faced a bases loaded situation with no outs.
Gordon promptly struck out the side and would go on to strike out seven of the 10 batters he faced. The only batter to reach base on him came on a two-out walk, before he struck out the next batter to end the game.
Gordon combined with starter Nathan Lefeld on a two-hitter, but Lefeld walked seven and hit one batter — to go with one strikeout — in four-plus innings.
The Titans had taken a 2-0 lead in the first when Kawambe Moss and Joe Sanchez walked.
Moss scored from second on Matthew Harris’ sacrifice bunt and Anthony Reed’s fielder’s choice made it 2-0.
Piqua got on the board in the second.
After singles by Braden Goodwin, Max Schutt and Howie Ludwig loaded the bases, Dylan Arnold’s fielder’s choice scored Goodwin to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Piqua took the lead for good in the third.
After Austin Arnold reached on an error and Travis Smith singled, Noah Gertner drilled a two-run single to make it 3-2.
Gertner ended up on third on the play, but was stranded there.
Piqua made it 4-2 in the fourth.
Dylan Arnold, Josh Osterholt and Austin Arnold all singled to load the bases with no outs.
After a fielder’s choice kept the bases loaded, Andrew Lundvall had a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
The Titans scored one run in the home fourth.
Brandon Beegle reached on a fielder’s choice and would score on a RBI single by Dylan Youngblood.
That set up the fifth inning and Gordon’s impressive performance in relief.
Beegle pitched a nine-hitter for the Titans, striking out five, walking four and hitting a batter.
The tournament continues today.
Richmond, Ind., will play Armaloy at 11 a.m. and the Titans at 2 p.m.
Post 184 will close the day, playing Armaloy at 7 p.m.
On Sunday, Post 184 will complete round-robin play against Richmond at 11 a.m., with the tournament championship game scheduled for 2 p.m.