PIQUA – Greenville used a seventh inning rally to earn a comeback 7-4 Tuesday night win taking back-to-back GWOC wins over the Piqua Indians with both wins coming by way of complete game pitching performances by Greenville freshmen hurlers – Warren Hartzell at home with a Monday night 1-hitter and Alex Kolb picking up the Tuesday night road win.
“It was a battle. It was two good ones – two close games,” said Greenville coach Eric Blumenstock. “We had to pull it out there in the seventh. I was proud of the guys. They did a good job.”
The teams played to a scoreless standoff after two innings of play before Greenville would plate a third inning run with a RBI double off the bat of Tyler Beyke followed by two Piqua runs in the bottom of the inning sending the game to the fourth inning with the Indians leading 2-1.
Piqua plated a run in the bottom of the fourth to up its lead 3-1 with the Green Wave coming to the plate in the top of the fifth.
A Beyke fifth inning RBI single to center scored Ethan Saylor to make it a Piqua 3-2 lead after five complete.
Greenville used a sixth inning Saylor run scoring single to left to plate Ethan Flannery with the tying run only to have Piqua score in the bottom of the inning to lead 4-3 with the teams heading to the seventh and final inning.
“Keep calm – play baseball,” Coach Blumenstock told his team going to the seventh. Sometimes you get in those league games and they get in tight situations and you tense up a little bit. Nobody plays good when they are tense, so take a deep breath and play just like you would any other day.”
Grant Minnich led off the top of the seventh with a double to left and Beyke reached by way of a Piqua error with Minnich advancing to third on the play. Beyke followed with a steal of second putting runner in scoring positon with no outs.
Warren Hartzell took advantage of a RBI fielder’s choice to short scoring Minnich with the Wave’s tying run bringing a pitching change by the Indians.
Next up, Tony Sells took a free pass putting Wave runners on the corners setting up a Piqua wild pitch to score Beyke with Sells scoring all the way from first on the same play coming by way of an Indians error to put Greenville up by a 6-4 score.
Flanner reached first with a two out walk, stole second and scored on a RBI Tytan Grote single to left to give the Wave a 7-4 lead that would hold up for the final score with Wave freshman Alex Kolb setting the Indians down in order by way a three infield groundouts, two to Beyke at shortstop and one to Grote at first.
“Kolb pitched the whole game,” noted Blumenstock. “We got back to back complete game wins out of our freshmen. Kolby (Alex Kolb) had eight strikeouts, no walks, pitched seven innings. He did a heck of a job against Piqua’s Ace.”
“We got a little help from the girls softball team,” Blumenstock said of the LWSB team coming to watch the team’s final inning after run ruling the Lady Indians 15-1. “They came over in the seventh inning and got a little loud for us. I think that pushed us over the top so we appreciate them coming over and cheering for us – it was good.”
Beyke paces Greenville going 3-4 with 2-RBIs and a run scored. Salor went 2-4 with a RBI and a run and Terry Miller was 2-3 on the night.
Greenville played error free ball while Piqua was saddled with three errors. The two game sweep is the first for the Wave over Piqua since the 2013 season.
Kolb threw 7.0 innings giving up 11 hits, striking out eight while not walking a batter.
With the win Greenville improves to 6-9 overall and 4-6 in conference play.