The radar showed that there was a storm approaching, and little did Tamaqua Blue's 10 & 11 team know, it was coming in the form of Warwick's offensive surge. The Bulldogs cracked their bats and deluged the scoreboard in the final two innings of play, as they came back from a 5-0 deficit for a 12-6 win.
Warwick now moves on to the state tournament that begins later this week in Latrobe.
In the top of the fourth inning, Tamaqua had a comfortable lead until Warwick's Tommy Dugan started the offensive downpour with a one-out home run to begin the comeback. Eric Gross followed with a double and the rain began to fall hard.
"This is one of the first times the entire season that we were down by that kind of deficit," Warwick head coach Jim Parrish mentioned. "We got a break with that weather and we were able to come back with that rally that followed."
With that sole run in the top of the fourth, the eventual victors still faced a 5-1 disadvantage and needed to keep fighting. After a scoreless bottom of the fourth, the 'Dawgs went back to work as they eventually tied the game up at five apiece after fifth and went off in the top of the seventh for seven more runs to pull off the comeback.
"We had them," Tamaqua manager Charlie Kistler recalled. "I'm sure they were a little worried when they were down. You can't sit on a five-run lead against a good team like Warwick."
In the top of the fifth, Warwick's Matt Clark started the two-out rally with a single and Sean Kerrigan followed with a two-RBI single. That's when Dugan approached the plate again and delivered, again. This time, he smacked another home run that scored another two runs to tie the game at five.
Then, in the sixth, Ryan Boyce led off with a single and Chris Farrfell reached on a single. Clark came on with a RBI single to give his team the lead. Kerrigan added another two-RBI single and Dugan hit a RBI-single. Jimmy Parrish smacked a RBI-double and Casey Sloms thundered a two-run homer.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tamaqua Blue's Zeke Wassell hit an infield single, scoring a run, but the lead had swelled too much.
"This team doesn't stop and definitely doesn't quit," Kistler admitted. "I wouldn't want any other group of kids and they made me proud all season."
Parrish had nothing but compliments for their opponents today. "I thought that (Wassell) threw a great game," Parrish stated. "Tamaqua can definitely hit and I give them a lot of credit. They gave us a huge challenge today."
For the game, Tamaqua was led by Zeke Wassell, who finished 3-for-4, while teammate Thaddaeus Zuber was 2-for-4 and Cody Scherer finished 2-for-3.
Warwick's stars featured Tommy Dugan, who was 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBIs. Teammate Matt Clark was 3-for-4, while Jimmy Parrish and Chris Farrell were 2-for-4.
Tamaqua Blue reached their Sectional meeting with Warwick by defeating Stroudsburg 11-1 on Saturday night.
Riley McHugh, Tyler Kistler and Thaddaeus Zuber all finished 2-for-3 in the win.
Warwick 000 147 - 12 15
Blue 320 001 - 6 10
Gross, Sloms (2), Dugan (2) and Parrish; Wassell, Kistler (6), Clemson (6) and Rother. WP - Dugan. HR: W - Dugan 2 (4th, none on; 5th, one on), Sloms (6th, one on).