Their (Carpenter) Cup runneth over!

This blog has not seen any activity in a small eternity, so my eager interns have convinced me to end this hiatus. For your viewing and cerebral pleasure, I present the musings of Joe Tressa and Joey Fontanazza, who took in some great Carpenter Cup action. Look for an upcoming post from me concerning the NBA Finals (Thank you, San Antonio!!!) and the World Cup. For now, though, I am letting the young bucks have their say.

*** Joe Tressa

The Philadelphia Catholic League played its first game in the 29th annual Carpenter Cup Classic this past Saturday against Tri/Cape. This game was originally scheduled for Thursday, June 12, but was pushed to Saturday due to inclement weather. The game was played at Ashburn Field inside of FDR Park in South Philadelphia.

Speaking of South Philadelphia, five Neumann-Goretti players were picked to play for the Catholic League in this game. Charlie Jerla, Justin Curtin, Nick D’Amore, Bay To and Ethan Pritchett were in uniform, with Cardinal O’Hara, Bonner/Prendie, Lansdale Catholic, LaSalle, Archbishop Wood, St. Joe’s Prep, and Archbishop Carroll having representatives, as well.

Jerla had the honor of starting this game. He had a solid outing, going three innings and allowing one run. This was the maximum that the lefty could have pitched, as the Carpenter Cup rules restrict a pitcher to pitch more than three innings per game. To also got the start for the team, as he was the starting right fielder. He went 1-3 with a double and scored a run on a Tri/Cape error in the sixth inning.

D’Amore did not start this game, but he did contribute by driving in a run on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the ninth inning. He also reached base on a single in the seventh inning. Curtin did not start this game either, but got an at-bat in the seventh, in which he was retired on a flyout. Pritchett, who is a pitcher, did not get a chance to make a relief appearance in this game.

Although Tri/Cape won this game, the Catholic League was in contention for most of the contest. It would have had a decent chance if it hadn’t given up two runs in the top of the ninth on an error made by the catcher attempting to throw out the runner at second base and then a sacrifice fly to push the lead to 6-2. The Catholic League boys added two more runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it was not enough for the win. One thing to take away from this game was the Catholic League’s failure to take advantage of Tri/Cape’s bad defense, which led to six errors throughout the contest.

The Carpenter Cup is a single-elimination tournament, so the Catholic League was officially eliminated with the loss. The Philadelphia Public League was also eliminated from this tournament when it was defeated by Delaware County on Sunday afternoon. It was a tough Carpenter Cup for the two Philly teams, but hey, there’s always next year.

*** Joey Fontanazza

The Philadelphia Public League entered the 2014 Carpenter Cup with an embarrassing record of 1-29 since the Philadelphia Phillies’-run series began. A .034 winning percentage greeted the Pub All Stars with the draw as the Delaware County, but past statistics meant little to the players participating. A second Carpenter Cup win was what the Public league strove for yet history would repeat itself.

Delco’s starting pitcher, Rob Brown from Penn Crest made quick work of the top of the Public League lineup retiring South Philadelphia natives and Prep Charter juniors, Keegan McKoskey and Joe Suppa then Science Leadership Academy’s Kevin Courtney. GAMP’s Jacob Kurtz looked to keep pace with his counterpart but surrendered a run on a Ben Faso fielder’s choice RBI knocking in Ryne Orgen.

Brown continued to impress through his three innings of allotted play. He bobbed and weaved pitches within the strike zone and mixed velocities. Prep Charter’s Christian Coppola supplied the only hit on Penn Crest’s all- star pitcher on a ground ball up the middle.

While Brown frustrated the Public League’s hitters, Kurtz valiantly tried to keep the game close. He worked through some defensive miscues to only allow two runs on two hits. The second run coming from Kevin Mohollen’s RBI groundout that sent Liam Bender home.

Delco started to pull away in the 4th inning, locking into the Public League’s new pitcher, Colin Yeager. Three hits from them began to chip away from the collective confidence of the players and two errors followed. Yeager was able to escape the inning with only three runs surrendered, though the damage was done.

Ashton Rains led off where Brown left as he entered the game and quickly retired his opponents’ hopes of gaining any ground. Heading into the top of the fifth, Yeager again ran into trouble. He retired the first two batters of the inning; however he would be unable to secure the third out in the fifth.

Yeager’s day came to an end after two straight walks, as Anthony Devito from Central entered the game. Devito’s inherited base runner, Jimmy Pasini, took it upon himself to get into scoring position with a wild pitch then stealing third base. Delco’s Nick DiGregoiro would send Pasini home with a single earning his first of two RBIs. Devito was able to strike out the next hitter, James Kanter, to end the inning. Rains kept his dominating pitching from the forth inning as he went to mound for the fifth.

He swiftly retired the side, blanking the Public League for yet another inning. The Public League’s nemesis, Liam Bendo, did his last dose of damage against his adversaries, as he scored the last of his three runs and earned his last of three hits. Bendo’s run gave Delco a 7-0 led over Philly’s Public League and another wild pitch sent Kevin Mohollen home for an 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.

Delco’s trio of pitchers Tyler Knight, Sean Correli and Dave Moore would hold off any hope of a comeback from the Public League with a continued shutout through the pitchers. Delco’s offense also wasn’t finished, as Kanter collected his one RBI and his second hit on a single to right field that scored Andrew Turner. Hope dwindled for a come back but the Public League still would not silently take the loss. Its offense finally showed signs of life in the bottom of the ninth. Nick Houser from Abraham Lincoln worked that count to get a walk.

Delco’s closing pitcher, Will Carey, struggled with his command as he was substituted into the game. Carey lost control of a pitch and hit Xavier Sanchez giving the Public League two rare base runners. Carey’s woes continued as he threw a wild pitch to advance both runners then another to allow Nick Houser to cross home for the Public League’s first run.

Frankford’s Edgardo Bernard Jr. added two more runs, knocking in Alex Blanco and Xavier Sanchez scored. The Public League refused to give in but with two runners on base, Will Carey was able to get Thomas Edison’s Michael Garcia to pop out for the final out of the game.

While Philadelphia’s Public League lost, its roster members played commendably against a team that featured many college prospects, and seniors can be proud to say their final high school game was played at Ashburn Field for the Carpenter Cup. Delco will go on to face Philadelphia’s Inter-Ac on June 17, 2014.

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