Tamaqua Blue rolls to title
tj engle/times news Members of the Tamaqua 10-11 year-old Little League All-Star team celebrate after capturing the District 18 championship on Saturday.
DRUMS - Scott Hamm had a good feeling that the Tamaqua Blue bats were eventually going to come alive.
"When we played our first two games, we weren't able to put everything together offensively," Hamm said. "At practice, these guys practiced so hard on hitting and they were hitting the ball so well.
"I said, 'sooner or later, we're going to put this together. We're going to hit in a game like we do at practice.'"
Fortunately for Hamm, the Tamaqua Blue bats did come through when they needed them most.
Saturday in the District 18 10-11 year old Little League championship game, Tamaqua Blue unleashed a 22-hit barrage to roll to a 22-2 four-inning victory over Franklin Township.
"We were waiting for a breakout game and it's definitely nice to see in happen in the championship game," Hamm said. "We hit throughout the whole entire lineup. This is the way we're capable of playing.
"When we tie it together, this is what we can do. If we continue to do that, I think we will do well in Sectionals."
With the win, Tamaqua Blue advanced to Section 6 tournament at Richboro where they will face Warwick on Thursday at 5:45 p.m.
Tamaqua Blue, which finished undefeated in the double-elimination tourney, exploded for 11 runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back.
Five pitches into the game, Cody Hamm collected a triple down the line. Nate Boyle and Matt Gadzick both recorded the first hits of their four hit days to help Tamaqua Blue put runs on the scoreboard. Boyle poked a RBI single and then Gadzick laced a RBI triple. Matt Kistler recorded a RBI single, Michael Bonetsky delivered a RBI double and then Nick Breiner crushed a two-run homer to make it 7-0 with only one out. Tamaqua Blue wasn't quite done as Hamm (double), Boyle (RBI single) and Gadzick (RBI single) got a second chance to cause more damage in the opening inning. Brady Moyer accounted for the last run in the outburst with a RBI-double.
"We wanted to come out and play like that right out of the box and hit," Hamm said. "My coaching staff and I know how these guys can hit. And I said, 'We need to show it in a game and they did today.
"And, if we can do that, it should be a nice ride through Sectionals."
While Tamaqua Blue was able to go off in each of the first three innings to build a 20-0 lead, Franklin Township finally got on the board in the home third when Zachary Crum drilled a two-run double.
The damage had already been done, however, as Franklin Township manager Roger Crum had to watch an amazing run through the loser's bracket come to an end.
"Their hitting was on and we had some errors that hurt us in the first inning," Crum said. "But I'm proud of my team. They played hard and did a nice job making it this far.
"They hung in there and showed a lot of heart."
Tamaqua Blue (11)36 0 - 20 22 1
Franklin Twp. 002 0 - 2 5 3
Kistler, Hamm (3), Bonetsky (4) and Breiner, Boyle (4); Whiteman, DeKorte (3) and Pryce. W - Kistler. L - Whiteman. HR: Tamaqua Blue - Breiner (1st, none on), Gazdick (3rd, two on).