TROY — After two days and a move nine miles south, Sidney Post 217 finally got underway in the Ohio Region 2 American Legion baseball tournament on Friday.
Sidney opened the double-elimination tournament with a 10-1 victory over Piqua Post 184 at Duke Park in Troy. Post 217 scored four runs in the first inning after several walks and hit batters and had no problem pulling away from there.
The tournament was supposed to begin on Wednesday at Piqua’s Hardman Field, but rain that moved through the area early in the day forced the first two games to be postponed to Thursday. Post 217 was slated to face Piqua at 7:30 on Thursday in Piqua after the conclusion of a first-round game between Troy and Greenville, but an afternoon thunderstorm forced the Troy/Greenville game to be pushed back and Sidney’s game to be postponed to Friday.
Troy and Greenville’s game never finished on Thursday. The game was suspended in the fourth inning after a bank of lights at the field went out. After the lights were unable to be fixed on Friday, the games were moved to Troy.
Sidney advances to face the winner of the Van Wert vs. Troy game on Sunday at a time and place to be determined. Van Wert and Troy will face off on Saturday in Troy, as will Greenville and Piqua in an elimination game. Sunday’s two tournament games could be moved back to Piqua if the lighting issue is fixed; otherwise, Duke Park will host the games.
The tournament is made up of the five teams that comprise the Western Ohio League. Van Wert Post 178, which won the tournament last year, earned the No. 1 seed in regular-season play this year and broke a streak of three consecutive years Post 217 had earned the top seed.
Post 217’s Evan Monnier, Zach Griesdorn and Kyle Noble all reached base to start the bottom of the first inning after either walking or being hit by Piqua pitcher Timothy Knapschaefer. Kurtis Rutschilling then hit a single to score one run, and a throwing error on the play allowed another run to score.
Noble scored on a passed ball while Bryce Kennedy was at the plate to increase the lead to 3-0. Rutschilling later scored on a throwing error to give Sidney a four-run lead heading into the second.
Piqua scored in the third when Howie Ludwig drove in a run on a single to right field, but Post 217 answered in the bottom of the inning. Noble led off the inning with a walk, then Rutschilling hit a single on a hard grounder to left field. Both runners advanced on a passed ball with Kennedy at the plate, and Kennedy then hit a sacrifice groundout to score Noble.
Sidney scored two runs with two outs in the fourth to push the lead to 7-1. Monnier hit a double to right-center field, then Griesdorn followed with a one-run double to right. Griesdorn later scored after a balk and a passed ball.
Post 217 wrapped up the scoring in the sixth with three runs on one hit, which was a 2-RBI double by Griesdorn.
Griesdorn picked up the win on the mound. He pitched six innings and gave up one earned run on six hits and one walk. He had four strikeouts. He finished 2 for 3 at the plate with 2 RBIs while Rutschilling was 2 for 3.
Sidney had six hits. Knapschaefer was charged with the loss after allowing seven earned on five hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Ludwig and Levi Godwin each had two hits for Piqua.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.