Timber Creek played such good defense yesterday, the Chargers were complaining about a play in which they recorded two outs.

The near-triple play didn't figure in the outcome, but the bang-bang-almost sequence seemed to kick the home team into a higher gear.

"I think that ignited the guys," coach Frank Torcasio said after the second-seeded Chargers beat 10th-seeded Deptford, 9-2, in the quarterfinals of the South Jersey Group 3 tournament.

Junior righthander Jim Schramm worked a complete game, allowing four hits with four strikeouts as Timber Creek (13-6) advanced to Tuesday's semifinals.

Senior catcher Craig Lewis had two hits and two RBIs, and junior rightfielder John Garozzo had two hits and three RBIs for Timber Creek.

Pat Steen hit a solo home run and drove in both runs for Deptford (10-8).

"They outplayed us," said Deptford assistant coach Mike Vilary, who directed the team in place of head coach Tim Taylor, who was not there for personal reasons. "They got good pitching, played good defense, got some timely hits. That's a good team."

The Chargers had lost three in a row. But they scratched their way back into a groove against the Spartans, working eight walks, taking three hit-by-pitches, and stealing five bases.

"It's all about getting on base," Torcasio said. "When you get on base, anything can happen."

Lewis delivered a two-run double on a 3-2, two-out pitch in the third, jacking Timber Creek's lead to 5-0.

"I just wanted to fight it off, and I got a pitch to hit," Lewis said.

Garozzo stroked a two-run single in the fourth and another run-scoring single in the sixth.

"I was just trying to relax and get some good swings," Garozzo said.

The Chargers were solid on defense, and they nearly made history on a play in the top of the fourth, with runners on first and second and no outs.

Third baseman Andrew Mucerino made a diving, backhanded stab of a hard shot by Deptford's Max McCarthy. Mucerino tagged third, wheeled, and fired to second baseman Nate Floyd for the second out.

Floyd turned and fired to first, but McCarthy beat the throw by inches. If that.

"We had it," Lewis said.

"That was crazy," Schramm said.

Inspired, the Chargers scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth to stretch their lead to 8-0 and cruised into the sectional semifinals.

Deptford 000 011 0 - 2 4 0

Timber Creek 113 301 x - 9 9 1

WP: Jim Schramm. LP: Mike Dicken.

2B: TC–Craig Lewis. HR: D–Pat Steen.

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223 or panastasia@phillynews.com.