Tamaqua's offense delivers
The storm brewing in Bill Angst Stadium had nothing to do with the impending downpour headed toward the Tamaqua ballpark.
The only thunder and lightning on this night came from the bats of the Tamaqua offense, as the team picked up 12 hits on its way to a 10-4 win over Valley East in the District 18 11-12 tournament.
With the win, Tamaqua will move on to face Towamensing Township.
The game wasn't secure for Tamaqua until the fourth, as Valley East held a slim advantage heading to the bottom of the inning.
Valley East put three runs on the board in the third, highlighted by Collin Wilkenson's two-run bomb to right field, which came one pitch after Zach Ferris smoked an RBI double earlier in the inning.
Tamaqua would answer in the bottom half, as Brady Moyer connected on a two-run single to score Cody Scheier and Cody Hamm to cut the deficit to 3-2 heading into the fourth inning.
And that's when the Tamaqua offense would finally erupt with a four run rally, which included back-to-back solo home runs from Nate Boyle and Scheier, to give the team a 6-3 lead and plenty of cushion heading into the fifth.
Hamm would again be a catalyst for the offense in the fifth, knocking in Derian Stianche with his third hit of the contest. Hamm would later score on a wild pitch, as would Matt Kistler and Matt Gazdick to give Tamaqua a 10-3 lead.
Valley East put its final run on the board in the sixth, as Christian Stemko led off with a solo home run, which was the team's first hit since Wilkenson's homer in the third.
After the game, Tamaqua coach Scott Hamm pointed to the depth of his lineup as one of the reasons the team was able to dig themselves out of an early hole.
"We had guys at the bottom of the lineup start to hit the ball." Hamm said. "Everybody was hitting the ball and I try to emphasize this all the time, that we don't have a one-through-nine order; it's just a number. It doesn't matter where we are in our lineup, they can all hit the ball.
"We got off to a little bit of a slow start and we left a lot sit on the table to start the game. But sooner or later, they're going to hit and we made the hits when it counted."
later, they're going to hit and we made the hits when it counted."
The tenacity of the Tamaqua team to battle back from an early deficit after dropping a close game to Valley West on Friday shows the resolve of a veteran group.
"These kids are determined right now," Hamm said. "We could have really laid down after the game the other night. I told our kids that we could roll over or use that as fuel and the kids really dug deep.
"Sometimes they might have a slow start, but you can't keep them quiet the whole game. We're going to make a run for this and we're certainly not done with just this one. They'll see us again."
Valley East coach Heath Snkusky is proud his team was able to advance to this point in the tournament.
"I have a great group of boys and they really fought hard to make it this far," Snkusky said.
Valley East 003 001 - 4 5 2
Tamaqua 002 44x - 10 12 0
Horton, Stemko (4), Vozar (5) and Snkusky, Warner (4); Gazdick, Moyer (4) and Scheier. W - Moyer. L - Horton. HR: Valley East - Wilkenson (3rd, one on), Stemko (6th, none on); Tamaqua - Boyle (4th, none on), Scheier (4th, none on).