Tri-cape topples American/continental
During the regular season, Upper Moreland coach Ernie Rehr and HatboroHorsham coach Pete Moore get their respective teams ready to go head-to-head in an annual rivalry game between the two neighborhood squads. But when it’s time for the Carpenter Cup, the two head coaches team up and the rivalry is completely forgotten – if not for at least a short time.
After the first game of the annual classic earlier in the week, things were looking good for Rehr, the Suburban One American/Continental head coach, and Moore, an assistant coach, but things quickly went south in the team’s second game.
SOL American/Continental allowed two runs in the first, another in the second and then a very costly eight runs in the third to go down big early and eventually lose to Tri-Cape (NJ), 13-6, in a quarterfinal game of the 28th Phillies Carpenter Cup Classic at FDR Park’s Richie Ashburn Field on Friday afternoon.
Despite scoring two runs in the bottom of the seventh and three more in the ninth to make the game closer, Rehr’s team was never in the game, trailing from the very start while never being able to recover.
“We ran into a heck of a team,” Rehr said. “The first kid they threw got drafted and if they throw three innings each with just their first three guys, they should be able to beat just about anybody. They’re the best team I’ve seen out there and their lineup is no slouch either. That’s one good team.”
Despite the loss, the experience of playing in the Carpenter Cup was a positive one for many players and coaches who normally play against each other.
With schools such as Upper Moreland, HatboroHorsham, Wissahickon and Upper Dublin, among others, represented by the SOL American/Continental team, the squad features a plethora of players who play against each other all year. But when the tournament begins, the players and coaches all know none of that matters.
“It’s actually a lot of fun. I’ve been friends with a lot of these guys and play with them on travel teams and whatnot and it’s cool,” said Ryan Kelly, a Hatboro-Horsham pitcher who pitched three strong innings on Friday, allowing three hits and one unearned run while striking out two for SOL American/Continental. “We all have certain stories about our own things and we bond and it’s fun.
“I thought I pitched well today. I wish they would’ve been playing their starters, but I threw a lot of pitches in the zone and hit a lot of groundballs and I thought I did pretty well. They just came out swinging lights out and we got down too much and they were really aggressive. We threw a lot of pitches right down the middle and they just took advantage of it.”
SOL American/Continental was able to get some offense late in the game when Rafael Fernandez (Cheltenham) hit a two-run single in the ninth. Upper Moreland’s Robert Knox followed with a single of his own to provLGH WKH HLJKWK DnG finDO KLW for his team.
With the loss, most players from the SOL American/ Continental team will now go back to playing in the summer American Legion leagues, while all of the non-seniors will still be able to look forward to playing against some of the players whom they called teammates for the past week.
Either way, everyone involved enjoyed the experience.
“It’s fun and we’re just lucky that we don’t have to play them (Upper Moreland) in a league game during the year, so I can root for them when we’re not playing them,” Rehr said. “It’s kind of a pleasure to sit back and root for guys who you normally want to beat, but just in general, these guys are a fun group to be around. It’s fun to be around guys that are this talented and who are this much fun to coach.” like this.”
Other solid performances from Team Blue included Souderton’s Justin Hag, who had a single and threw an inning and Nor-Gywn’s Pat McNally who started the game off with a scoreless frame on the mound. Deep Run’s Evan Tice did not have as much success at the plate, but did strike out two in an inning of work. AJ Shapiro of Warminster also nRWFKHG D fiUVW-LnnLnJ VLnJOH.
Team Blue appeared in control until the eighth inning. Harleysville had four representatives in the game, but none bigger than Nate Loscombe, who roped an RBI double in the big inning. Bates also contributed an RBI single and Doug ApSOH RI HDWfiHOG wDONHG wLWK the bases loaded. They all came up big after unsuccessIuO fiUVW DW EDWV.
“I felt like I did pretty badly in the beginning because I struck out, but I did better by the end of the game,” Loscombe said. “By playing with the best guys in the league, you see who is better and what to do to improve to become a better player.”
Most players took a very calm approach to the game, not putting too much pressure on themselves and trying to have as much fun as possible.