The first two innings of Tuesday's match-up between Tamaqua and Panther Valley looked like it was shaping up to be a good ol' fashioned pitching battle between the two local rivals.
Key the Tamaqua offense.
The Blue Raider batters poured it on in the third inning scoring six runs en-route to a 19-0 Schuylkill League Division 1 victory over the Panthers.
Panther Valley pitcher Thad Ogozalek had things going well early on, not allowing a hit and striking out two in his first two innings of work. Ogozalek's hold over the Raiders would end however, when a fly ball to centerfield was a little bit mis-judged by the Panther outfielder, which gave Tamaqua baserunners for the first time on the afternoon.
A couple batters later the Raiders Tanner Kehl broke the game wide open with a three-run double, which sent the Tamaqua offense into high gear.
"We just made some mistakes and mis-playing that ball in centerfield started the ball rolling for them," said Panther Valley coach John Cooper. "Then once we started to feel a little pressure we started to try and make the perfect pitch instead of hitting our spots and that's how the game got away from us."
Ogozalek was relieved at the end of the third and from then on it was pitching by committee for the Panthers. The four combined PV pitchers walked 12 and after the six-run third inning gave up 13 more runs to the Tamaqua hitters.
"We weren't swinging at good pitches," said Tamaqua coach Jeff Reading. "We had hitters counts and we weren't being patient. We swung at pitches that were up in the zone and that's why we struggled early on. Hitting with us is streaky, but the guys settled down and started to focus more at the plate and it showed in our run production."
Tamaqua freshman Brett Kosciolek also had a banner day for the Raiders, doing his work from the hill. The youngster hurled six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, and a walk. This is Kosciolek's second straight shutout, tossing 13 consecutive scoreless innings. He also has 18 strikeouts over his last two starts.
"With Brett it's all about hitting his spots," said Reading. "He throws with nice velocity and when he has control of the strike zone he's going to have days like he had today."
"I pretty much just wanted to go out there and hit my spots," said Kosciolek. "My fastball was working real well for me and when they did get the bat on the ball the defense was there to back me up."
Tamaqua's Dylan Delay had three RBI's on the day, Kosciolek, Zach Green, and Matt Yeakel all drove on two a piece to help the Raiders get the win.
Ogozalek, Steve Terry, and Jake Knepper were responsible for the Panthers hits on the afternoon.
With the win the Raiders improve to 2-6, while the Panthers remain winless dropping to 0-7.
"We just have to go out and throw strikes," said Cooper. "Twelve walks is entirely way too many walks for high school baseball and our guys have to have accountability and suck it up as the season moves forward."
Tamaqua 000 649 x - 19 11 1
Panther Vy.000 000 - 0 3 6
Kosciolek and Matsago; Ogozalek, King (4), McArdle (5), Szczecina (6), and Black ; W - Kosciolek L - Ogozalek