A dozen of the best Cape-Atlantic League baseball players will compete for a chance to play in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia this week.
The 28th annual Carpenter Cup begins today. The single-elimination all-star tournament features 16 teams from New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
The Phillies founded the tournament in 1986. Major League Baseball players such as Mike Piazza and Bobby Higginson have played in the event. The semifinals and final are scheduled for Citizens Bank Park on June 24-25.
"It's a great honor to be selected," St. Augustine Prep outfielder Mike Elfreth said. "It means a lot to play with all these great players.
Players from the CAL merge with standouts from the Tri-County Conference to form the Tri-Cape Team. Tri-Cape opens at 9 a.m. Tuesday against Berks County on Ashburn Field in Philadelphia's FDR Park.
The Carpenter Cup turns rivals into teammates. The Tri-Cape team consists of several players from Gloucester Catholic and St. Augustine Prep. Gloucester Catholic beat St. Augustine 7-0 to win the South Jersey Non-Public A title earlier this month.
"We'll joke about it," Elfreth said. "It will be a little awkward. They'll always know they beat us, but we'll get along."
The Tri-Cape has never won the Carpenter Cup. The team did reach the semifinals and play in Citizens Bank Park in 2011. The chance to play in the home of the Philadelphia Phillies is what all these players want.
"It would be an awesome feeling to be out there in the outfield where greats have played," Elfreth said.
The local players on the Tri-Cape team: Chris Oakley, Barry Buchowksi, Christian Adorno and Elfreth of St. Augustine Prep; Don Money of Vineland; Kyle Cox of Millville; Troy Dixon of Egg Harbor Township; Doug Schwartz of Middle Township; Beau Hall and Kyle Andrews of Ocean City; Chris Newman of Cedar Creek; and Robert Bunton of Buena Regional.
Contact Michael McGarry:
At Ashburn Field in FDR Park in Philadelphia
9 a.m. - Olympic Colonial vs. SOL National/Bicentennial
12:30 p.m. - Lehigh Valley vs. Delaware South
4 p.m. - SOL American/Continental vs. Philadelphia Catholic
9 a.m. - Tri-Cape vs. Berks County
12:30 p.m.- Inter-AC Independents vs. Philadelphia Public
4 p.m. - Chester County vs. Jersey Shore
9 a.m. - Mercer County vs. Burlington County
12:30 p.m. - Delaware North vs. Delaware County