POTTSVILLE - Not even a change of venue could prevent Tamaqua from claiming the Schuylkill-Berks Legion Northern Division crown.
The Blue Sox banged out 15 hits and rolled to a 12-5 triumph over Southern Area Saturday evening in the Northern Division title game at Pottsville's 16h Street field.
Tamaqua was originally scheduled to host the losers' bracket final between Southern Area and Valley View (won by the A's 14-0) and then take on the winner of that game on Tamaqua Area High School's field, but a Saturday morning rainstorm changed those plans.
The Blue Sox, last year's Schuylkill Legion champions, will now face Kutztown (22-1), the Southern Division winner from Berks County, tonight at 7 p.m. at First Energy Stadium in Reading for the overall Schuylkill-Berks championship. Kutztown defeated Hamburg for the Southern title.
The winner of tonight's game will also receive the league's berth in the upcoming Region II playoffs.
In their lone meeting of the season, host Kutztown edged Tamaqua 4-3 on June 27.
The Blue Sox, who swept all four meetings vs. the A's, grabbed the early lead by pushing across a four-spot in the top of the second.
Jordan Heisler led off with a single and scored on Ryan Palsgrove's RBI single. Tyler Milot singled and Jay Pilla was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Chris Pilla delivered a bases-clearing, three-run double for a 4-0 Blue Sox lead.
Tamaqua made it 7-0 in the third when Heisler walked, Toby Rosen reached on an error, Palsgrove singled and Milot came through with a two-run single. Jay Pilla singled to plate Palsgrove.
After Southern Area cut the lead to 7-3 after five, the Blue Sox pulled away by scoring five times in the sixth.
Chris Pilla started the outburst with a walk. Ty Rother singled and Mike Streisel's RBI single scored Pilla. Heisler then doubled home Rother and Rosen, Palsgrove and Milot followed with singles to plate three more and break the game open at 12-3.
MIlot went 4-for-4 and Palsgrove 3-for-4 to pace the Blue Sox at the plate while Heisler and Rother each doubled and singled, Chris PIlla doubled and Jay Pilla, Streisel and Rosen each had one hit.
Streisel fired the first five innings for the mound win, with Chris Pilla in relief for the final two frames. The duo limited the A's to just four hits. Streisel gave up three hits and walked nine but was helped by his defense, which turned two double plays and didn't commit an error.
Tamaqua 043 005 0 - 12 15 0
Southern 002 010 2 - 5 4 1
Streisel, C. Pilla (6) and James; Berger, Curran (3), Dohner (4), Harding (6) and Reynolds. WP - Streisel; LP - Berger.