PERKASIE - Clinging to a 2-1 lead heading into the top of the third, Warwick was hoping something would go in itsfavor.
With a six-hit, nine-run top of the third, it did, and Tamaqua Blue never recovered in its Section 6 9-10 year old tournament game.
"Going into the third, the game was close," Warwick head coach Tim Ford admitted after the four-inning, 10 -run rule18-2 win. "We had a big third inning and I think that took them out of the game, mentally."
With five Tamaqua errors and a healthy offensive attack, Warwick pulled out the victory and will await their opponent in a game tonight at Lenape Field in Perkasie. Tamaqua will play Pennridge, a winner over Pocono Mountain East last night. If Tamaqua wins, it will have a rematch against Warwick Friday night. If the Blue loses, it is eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.
Despite the lackluster effort by the locals in their game, and plenty of questionable calls by the umps, Tamaqua head Coach Scott Hamm didn't want to take anything away from Warwick.
"I thought there were a lot of judgement calls made tonight that didn't necessarily go in our favor," Hamm stated. "We played a team that brought their 'A' game and I'm not making any excuses. They played a great game."
As the game started, things were close. The Bulldogs put up a sole run in the top of the first, as Brett Mallec bunted, stole second, and two consecutive walks loaded the bases. Mallec eventually scored on another bases loaded walk to help his team strike first.
Tamaqua came right back in the bottom of the first as Nate Boyle reached on an error with one out. He stole second and moved to third on a passed ball. Nicholas Breiner came up big with a RBI single to tie the game at one.
In the second, Warwick pushed across another sole run, as Shane Sloms reached on an infield single, stole second, third and home.
Meanwhile, starting pitcher for the Bulldogs, Cole Nehring, struck out five batters in the first two innings to keep Tamaqua Blue at bay.
The top of the third is where things swayed heavily in favor of Warwick. Highlighting the effort was Sam Reynolds, who hit a grand slam, as the ball bounced off the top of the center field fence. Another big hit in the session was a two-out triple by Mike Ferrara.
Tamaqua Blue got its only other run in the bottom of the third, as Breiner added a second RBI single.
In the top of the fourth, another barrage of runs by Warwick put the game out of reach, as Nehring helped his own effort with a two-RBI double, and teammates Brian Gozden and Joey Lyond both had RBI-singles.
Matt Kistler made a nice double play at second base to end the surge.
In the game, Tamaqua got a nice offensive performance from Breiner with two RBI singles, while teammate Brandon Mader had a double and Brady Moyer had a single.
For Warwick, Reynolds led the way with the grand slam, Lyond had three singles with a RBI, Ryan Ford had two singles, Ferrara smacked a triple and Nehring had his 2-RBI double.
"I think they're a solid team, and going into that third, it was still anyone's game," coach Ford admitted. "These kids on our squad are amazing and pretty talented and we're looking forward to playing Friday night."
Warwick 119 7 - 18 13 3
Tamaqua Blue 101 0 - 2 4 5
Nehring, Reynolds (3), Ferrara (4) and Gifford; Moyer, Boyle (3), Bonetsky (4) and Breiner. WP - Nehring, LP - Moyer. HR: W - Reynolds (3rd, three on).