Most sports enthusiasts will tell you that a good ole' fashioned baseball game is a great thing to experience.
A great experience was exactly what on-lookers got on Wednesday evening, when the Palmerton-Towamensing and Tamaqua 11-12 year old little league teams squared off in the District 18 loser's bracket semifinal.
From the onset, the contest was a back and forth affair, but when the dust settled it was Palmerton/Towamensing advancing to the loser's bracket final, holding on for a 5-4 win over Tamaqua.
It was evident early on that P/T was determined to move on to the next round as they got out of the gate in the first with a 2-0 lead. P/T had their first five batters reach base, with Tanner Burnett reaching on a walk, Ben Serfass getting a double, Luke Eitner and Brody Boehler hitting singles, and Cody Waterhouse reaching on a fielders choice. Eitner was the RBI man in the first, crushing a single, bringing in Burnett and Serfass.
Tamaqua also showed early that they would not lay down for P/T.
Tamaqua matched P/T in the first, scoring two runs of their own with Nick Breiner knocking in two runs from the clean up spot. Nate Boyle and Cody Scherer each tallied singles in the inning and scored runs for Tamaqua.
"Tamaqua is a really good baseball team and they have a really dangerous lineup," said P/T coach Matt Reis. "It was just a good game between two good teams. The difference was, we just got key hits in key situations. We put the ball in play, made them make plays and we came out on top. We've been preaching that all season long and the kids just did a good job of coming through with big hits at the right time."
P/T certainly did come up with some clutch hits, starting with Cody Waterhouse's full count single that brought in Boehler in the third. P/T tacked on two more runs in the fourth and Tamaqua was now looking at a three run deficit, heading into the fifth.
Once again, Tamaqua showed that they would not go quietly into the night as they screamed back into the ball game, scoring two runs in the fifth to get back within one. Breiner was the RBI culprit once more, smashing a homerun to dead center with a man on.
"This a great bunch of kids and they fought hard the entire game," said Tamaqua coach Scott Hamm. "We just didn't hit the ball as well as we normally do and you have to tip your hat to Boehler because he kept us off balance tonight. Towamensing has a good baseball team and they did what they had to do to win the game."
As much as P/T's key hits were part of their success, their pitcher Brody Boehler was just as responsible. Boehler went 5 innings, striking out 10, giving up six hits. Burnett relieved Boehler in the sixth after he struck out Tamaqua batter Mike Bonetsky, doing his part as well, striking out Tamaqua's final two batters to seal the deal.
"That's the thing for us, if we pitch well and play good defense we're a tough team to beat," said Reis. "Brody has kind-of flew under the radar this year because we haven't pitched him all that much. He did a nice job for us tonight, he really came through for us."
With the win Towamensing will now advance to play Lansford at 6 p.m. tonight at the Lansford Little League Field.
P/T 201 200 - 5 8 0
Tamaqua 200 020 - 4 7 1
Boehler, Burnett (6) and Reis; Moyer, Scherer (5) and Breiner. W-Boehler. L- Moyer. HR: Tamaqua - Breiner (5th, one on)