With the start of the District 18 Little League Tournament Friday night, teams throughout the area are on edge as they begin the double elimination.
Tamaqua's 11-12 year old age group team had nothing to worry about as it started out their playoff tournament in winning fashion, downing Franklin Township, 10-0, in four innings.
"It is definitely important to start out with a win because everyone wants to stay in the winner's bracket," Tamaqua coach Joe Coleman said. "It's very important and our kids did that tonight."
After the victors' Connor Hartung relinquished no runs in the top of the first frame, his squad's bats came to life immediately, putting across four runs in the bottom of the first.
Hartung, who struck out six in just 2 innings, replicated the same effort in the top of the second, as Franklin Township could not muster much offense.
Tamaqua, which totalled nine hits in the shortened game, continued with its hot bats, as it poured across another four runs in the bottom of that second frame.
In the top of the third, Hartung gave way to Zach Coleman on the mound, but the domination continued as FT was unable to put across their initial run of the game. Then, in the bottom of the third, Coleman decided to aid his own cause with a two-run home run that cleared the fence in centerfield.
With that score, the winners needed to maintain the same score of 10-0 through three more outs to invoke the mercy rule. Tamaqua did just that and went on for it initial win of the tournament.
"Everyone really played hard tonight," Coleman said. "It was a good, solid effort from the kids and everyone really stepped up, which is what we needed to happen."
Individually, Tamaqua was led offensively by Zach Coleman, who finished the day 2-for-3 with the homer and two RBIs. Meanwhile, Matt Minchhoff and Connor Hartung both had two-run singles in the game to aid in the effort.
Franklin Township received a hit apiece from Hunter Greene and Dante Salerno.
Tamaqua will host Jim Thorpe in a winners' bracket game on Monday, while Franklin Township will travel to Valley East in the losers' bracket the same evening.
Franklin Twp. 000 0 - 0 2
Tamaqua 442 x - 10 9
Clements, Cann (2), Niehoff (3) and Salerno, Clements (2); Hartung, Coleman (3) and Moyer. W-Hartung; L-Clements. HR: T - Coleman (3rd, one on).
Darren Goida had a solid pitching outing and Anthony Micholik slugged a home run to lead Lansford to a 9-2 win over Towamensing.
Goida pitched 5 innings and gave up four hits and one walk while striking out eight.
Micholik had two hits, one the homer, and scored a pair of runs. Anthony Vavra contributed a double and a triple and also scored a run, while Lucas Mika added two hits and a run scored.
For Towamensing, Danny Nicolo had a double and scored a run.
Lansford 530 010 - 9 8 2
Towamensing 000 101 - 2 4 4
Goida, Micholik (6) and Mazzie; Swartz, Bradberry (3), Nicolo (5) and Miller. W - Goida. L - Swartz. HR: Lansford - Micholik (5th, none on).