Tamaqua 11-12's stay alive
Tamaqua remained alive in the District 18 Little League 11-12 year-old Tournament with a 6-1 victory over Hazleton Friday night at Bill Angst Stadium on Dutch Hill.
The win was the third straight in the losers' bracket for Tamaqua after it suffered its lone loss of the double elimination tournament to Hazleton by a 9-5 count back on July 2.
Connor Hartung's monster game at the plate, combining with the no-hit pitching of three hurlers, propelled Tamaqua into the championship round, where it will travel to Hazle Township on Sunday at 6 p.m. to face winners' bracket finalist Hazle-Township/Tri-County.
Should Tamaqua win that game Sunday, it will face HTTC on Monday on Dutch Hill for the District 18 crown.
"I think it's been a 180 degree turnaround the last three games," said Tamaqua manager Joe Coleman of his team's resiliency following the loss to Hazleton.
Hazleton pitcher Kyle Rogers defeated Tamaqua in the previous meeting, but Hartung made sure that wouldn't happen again, going 3-for-3 and slugging a pair of home runs, including a three-run shot in the third inning and a two-run roundtripper in the fifth. He also picked up the pitching win as he, Matt Minchhoff and Russ Blaker combined to no-hit Hazleton.
Hazleton took a 1-0 lead in the first when Rogers scored on passed balls, but Hartung's big blow in the fourth keyed a four-run uprising that put Tamaqua ahead to stay.
"Once we got the momentum, we kept it going," said Tamaqua coach Tom Blaker.
Russ Blaker tripled and singled and Minchhoff and Zach Coleman each had doubles in support of Hartung's efforts for Tamaqua.
Because Tamaqua is still playing in District 18, its Panther Valley Little League Tournament 11-12 game at home with Jim Thorpe Blue for Sunday night has been postponed for now. Whether it is rescheduled or not depends on the outcome of the District tournament.
Hazleton 100 000 - 1 0 0
Tamaqua 004 02x - 6 7 1
Rogers and Swetz; Minchhoff, Hartung (2), Blaker (6) and Moyer. W - Hartung; L - Rogers. HR - T: Hartung 2 (third inning, two on; fifth inning, one on).