The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Sports

July 31, 2013

Pittsburg Post 64 beats Salina

HAYS, Kan. — V.J. Piccini pitched a nine-inning complete game, and Pittsburg Post 64 defeated Salina 6-3 in the Kansas Triple A American Legion Tournament on Wednesday at Hays.

The St. Mary’s-Colgan product scattered nine hits, while allowing only two earned runs. He struck out five and walked one in the 106-pitch outing.

“He was dominant from the get-go,” Pittsburg coach Mike Watt said. “He was really, really sharp. He changed speeds. He hit his spots all day long.

“V.J. threw 20 pitches in the final inning, so he had 86 going into the ninth. You can see that he was very efficient. There were several innings where he threw seven pitches or less to get them out.”

The win moves Post 64 into a winners’ bracket game at 5 p.m. today against Arkansas City, a 15-13 winner over Newton on Wednesday.

Piccini’s effort leaves Pittsburg with a fresh stable of pitchers for today’s game.

“That was a big, big bonus for us,” Watt said.

Not needing the bullpen was all the more meaningful as Girard High School graduate Cody Grilz injured his shoulder Wednesday. Grilz, who was 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBI and two doubles, also has been a key pitcher for Pittsburg.

Watt said he expected to send either Christian Cedeno or Nicholas George to the mound today against Arkansas City.

Pittsburg supported Piccini with 17 hits on Wednesday. Colton Gilbert was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored. Brett Macary and Bryan Wade were each 3-for-4 with one RBI.

 The Post 64 defense committed only one error.

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