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TAMAQUA: big win eliminates Franklin

Published July 06. 2010 05:00PM

Nearly two weeks ago in the opening round of the District 18 11-12 year-old Little League Tournament, Tamaqua knocked Franklin Township into the loser's bracket of the double-elimination tourney.

Monday night, Tamaqua knocked Franklin Township out of the tourney.

Tamaqua suffered its first setback to West Hazleton on Friday. Meanwhile, Franklin Township kept itself alive on Saturday by beating White Haven its third straight victory since the opening loss to Tamaqua.

Tamaqua utilized the strength of a five-run opening inning to run away with a 11-3 victory.

"It was a good win for us and it was a tough loss for them because they have been fighting their way through the loser's bracket," Tamaqua manager Joe Coleman said. "They have come a long way. It's going to be a tough one for them to swallow, but deep down all these guys know what they got to do.

"It wasn't handed to them, they had to earn it because it was loser goes home kind of situation. And, our kids weren't ready to go home."

It showed right away.

After the defense recorded a double play for a quick two and Russ Blaker ended the top half of the inning with a strikeout, Tamaqua's bats backed Blaker with some sparks in the batter's box.

After back-to-back singles by Blaker and Owen Bates, Connor Hartung jumped on a Brady Niehoff offering for a three-run homer. Three batters later, Dillon George added a two-run shot giving Tamaqua a quick 5-0 lead.

Zack Coleman, Hartung, Matt Minchoff and Bud Moyer recorded consecutive singles in the third, which led to three runs as Coleman, Hartung and Minchoff scored. Minchoff and Moyer were credited with RBIs.

Wyatt Clements and Brody Hydro showed Franklin Township wasn't ready to rollover. In the fourth, Clements recorded his second of three hits on the day and then later scored on Hydro's RBI-double to put Franklin Township on the scoreboard.

But, in the bottom half, Tamaqua answered right back as Coleman belted a solo homerun in the fourth.

In the fifth, Franklin Township tried to stay within reach of a victory with two runs in the fifth. Dante Salerno walked and then later scored on Clement's RBI-double. Then, Clements scored when Hunter Greene poked an RBI-single to rightfield.

"After our first game against Tamaqua, they 10-runned us we could have easily folded after that," Hydro stressed. "But, they didn't. They kind of had a gut check there and they totally changed their attitude to a positive outlook on the tournament and came out and won the next three.

"They battled their way through the loser's bracket to get here and get another chance. Unfortunately, it didn't end the way we wanted it to. But, you got to tip your hat to Tamaqua, that's one good ball club."

Blaker took the wind totally out of the Franklin Township sails in the fifth inning. The winning pitcher drilled a two-run single to right field, which scored Moyer and George.

"Every single one of these kids played with heart tonight," Coleman said. "There was definitely no quit in sight. They came together when they had to."

Franklin Twp. 000 120 - 3 6 2

Tamaqua 503 12x - 11 13 1

Niehoff, Cann (1) and Clements; Blaker, Minchoff (6) and Boyer. W - Blaker. L - Niehoff. HR: FT - none; Tamaqua - Hartung (1st, two on), George (1st, one on), Coleman (4th, none on).

FT-White Haven

On Saturday, Franklin Township remained alive in the double-elimination tournament with a 13-3 victory over White Haven.

Wyatt Clements had four hits, including a homer, four runs, and two RBI.

Brady Niehoff and Brody Hydro both added three hits and two RBIs. Niehoff also scored three times. Hunter Greene had a home run, a single and four RBIs. Dante Salerno scored two runs and also knocked in a pair.

For White Haven, Joel Sledewski had two hits and Matthew Trimmer hit a three-run homer.

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