Scott Hamm laid his batting lineup out perfectly Monday night.
In doing so, the Tamaqua manager watched his first five batters play a key role in yesterday's 11-6 win over Palmerton/Towamensing in the second round winner's bracket game of the District 18 11-12 year old tournament.
Tamaqua will now host Valley West on Friday night (6 o'clock) in a winner's bracket semifinal, while Towamensing must travel to Freeland on Wednesday for a 8 o'clock loser's bracket contest.
Despite the score being close several times throughout the game, Hamm will be the first to admit that there's no "I" in his team. It was the likes of Cody Hamm, Nate Boyle, Cody Scherer, Nick Breiner and Brady Moyer, who came through when things mattered the most.
"I like to think we have a solid lineup," Hamm said. "Just like back when we were nine and ten year olds, we didn't have one-two-three hitters, we had one to nine batters. We have an entire lineup that can hit.
"Our job is we get Cody, Nate and Cody Sherer on and then we have the big sticks to move them around. Tonight, we just did that."
Those Tamaqua players sat close to the top of the batting order came through the most as together they combined for a 8-for-18 performance at the plate, collecting eight of the team's nine hits against Palmerton/Towamensing pitchers. However, the key note was the fact that those individuals plated 10 of the 11 runs they scored.
Tamaqua was only held scoreless one inning and that was when those individuals didn't get a chance to face Palmerton/Towamensing's pitching.
Meanwhile, it was a whole another story for the Palmerton/Towamensing hitters when they stepped into the batter's box.
Palmerton/Towamensing manager Matt Reis saw his players score a single run in three separate innings. They only put together one inning with multiple runs.
A two-run single by Hunter Schoch keyed a three-run fourth for the hosts, while Chris Fredericks added a RBI-single later that inning.
Palmerton/Towamensing had the bases loaded in both the fifth and sixth and could only afford to push across one run in each inning.
"We just didn't hit the ball," Reis said. "We had the bases loaded several times and we couldn't bring any kids in. We just couldn't get the bat on the ball.
"Plus, we just didn't make the plays when we had to. A couple of errors here. Tamaqua made the plays when they had to and they hit the ball too. That's one heckuva ball team."
While Tamaqua Blue played solid ball on both sides of the game, Hamm pointed out he knew it wouldn't be easy against Palmerton/Towamensing.
"We knew Towamensing was tough," Hamm said. "They are the only team throughout the 9-10 division that beat us when these kids were that age. So, we knew this team was going to be tough.
"We knew this was going to be probably one of those games that would be a pivotal game. And, this is a huge win for us."
Scherer paced Tamaqua with two doubles, a single, two runs scored and a RBI, while Hamm recorded two singles and three runs scored on the night. Boyle added a two-run home run in the first, while Moyer delivered a three-run blast in the fourth.
Palm/Tow. 100 311 – 6 6 4
Tamaqua 420 32x – 11 9 4
Burnett, Eitner (1), Boehler (5) and Rehrig, Burnett (4); Moyer, Scherer (5), Boyle (6) and Breiner. W – Moyer. L – Burnett. HR: Tamaqua – Boyle (1st, one on), Moyer (4th, two on).