VW beats Tamaqua for title
RON GOWER/TIMES NEWS Tamaqua's Luke Von Buskirk (left) gets ready to apply the tag to Valley West baserunner Jake Marnell.
By the time Tamaqua Blue got its bats going, it was just a little too late.
Valley West took advantage of Tamaqua's slow start to push its tournament winning streak to five games and capture the District 18 10-11 year-old tournament with an 11-4 victory.
After recording 16 hits in a win over Tamaqua on Saturday, Valley West went off for 12 more Sunday night to pull off the weekend sweep of previously unbeaten Tamaqua.
"We just didn't hit the ball very well over the first three innings," said Tamaqua manager Ed Titus, whose team finished with a total of 13 hits between the two games. "We started to come on there in the fourth, fifth and sixth. But, I guess that's a credit to their pitching.
After being held to a double in the opening inning, it didn't take Valley West long to get right back to spreading the hits around McGarvey Field. Valley West put together a pair of three-run innings on its way to building a 7-0 lead.
"We just got too far behind," said Titus. "They just kept us off balance."
It wasn't until the fourth inning when Tamaqua Blue was able to chip away a bit at the deficit.
Up until that point, Tamaqua Blue only accounted for a Joe Minehan double in the bottom of the third. Tamaqua finally got on the scoreboard when Carson Barron led off with a double and moved to third when Emily Titus reached on an error. Emma Kuczynski walked to load the bases. Bronson Strouss patiently waited out another walk to score Tamaqua's first run. Titus then scored on a wild pitch before Dante Agosti delivered a RBI single to score Kuczyski to make it 7-3.
Valley West answered back, however, adding four more in the fifth to end any Tamaqua Blue comeback hopes.
Tamaqua got its final run in the sixth on Agosti's fielder's choice RBI but it was too little, too late.
"When it was 7-0, I was telling them we needed to get some runs," Titus said. "We needed to chip away a little bit. We got three runs, but then they come out the top of the next inning and hit a home runto open the lead back up again. It was just too late to dig ourselves out of the hole."
Barron led Tamaqua Blue with a single, double and a run scored.
Despite the weekend heartbreak, Titus was still able to sport a smile when talking about his Tamaqua Blue team.
"I'm proud of the kids," he said. "This is the second year in a row that we have been in the finals. I can't ask for more than that. "We just couldn't get our hands on the ultimate prize. We will be back next year."
Valley West 031 340 - 11 12 2
Tamaqua Blue 000 301 - 4 6 2
Stefanick, Zientek (4) and Bartal; Minehan, Rex (4) and Titus. W - Stefanick. L - Minehan. HR: VW - Book (5th, none on).