Amer­i­can / Con­ti­nen­tal top­pled by Tri-cape

The Willow Grove Guide - - OPINION - By Mike Prince

mprince@mont­gomerynews.

com 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 (kJ), 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 pro­vide the eighth and fi­nal hit 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.”

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