PHILADELPHIA - The Tri-Cape high school all-star baseball team scored 18 runs in its first Carpenter Cup game Monday.
Tri-Cape should have saved some of those runs for its second game.
Suburban One League American and Continental beat Tri-Cape 2-1 in a quarterfinal game at Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park on Thursday.
The Tri-Cape almost rallied in the top of the ninth with runners on second and third and one out.
But Tri-Cape's T.J. Dezzi hit a hard line drive right at the SOL shortstop, who caught the ball and flipped to second to double off the Tri-Cape runner for the game-ending double play.
"You hope to get two runs there or one at the very least," said Tri-Cape coach George West of Buena Regional High School. "(But) it was the perfect ball hit for a double play. It seemed that's how our day went."
SOL advanced to play Sunday in the semifinals at Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
"It's every kid's goal to play at a major league ballpark," said Tri-Cape pitcher Brett Kennedy of Atlantic City. "It was a great experience playing, but I wanted to (get) to the ballpark."
This is the 27th annual Carpenter Cup, which is sponsored by the Phillies. The 16-team single elimination all-star tournament features teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The Tri-Cape features players from the Cape-Atlantic League and Tri-County Conference, while the SOL American and Continental consists of players from suburban Philadelphia schools.
The cup allows local players to showcase their skills. Several college scouts sat behind the backstop Thursday. Pitchers Justin Smith of Hammonton and Kennedy gave impressive efforts.
Smith allowed two hits and no runs in 1 innings. He struck out two. Smith was one of two sophomores on the Tri-Cape roster.
He established himself as one of southern New Jersey's top pitchers when he won four games in the state tournament to spark the Blue Devils to the South Jersey Group III championship.
"I like to be the kid with the ball," Smith said. "I have faith in myself."
Kennedy, a senior who is headed to Fordham University in New York, followed Smith to the mound. Kennedy did not allow a run or a hit in 2 innings.
This is the second straight year an Atlantic City player made the Carpenter Cup roster.
Brett Uhing played in 2011. Uhing and Kennedy's participation in the cup is another sign of the revival of the Vikings baseball program. Atlantic City won the CAL American Conference Division II title this season.
"It's huge for the program," Kennedy said. "It shows kids that they don't have to go these powerhouse private schools. They can just go to Atlantic City. It's becoming a great baseball school."
Tri-Cape could muster little offense to support its stingy pitching.
The Tri-Cape won its first-round game 18-3 over Olympic-Colonial. But on Thursday, the team finished with nine hits. Manny Colon of Buena, Andrew Ordille of St. Joe and Justin Healy of Ocean City each had singles.
"We just couldn't mount consecutive hits," West said.
Still, the experience was a memorable one for the Tri-Cape players.
"There were a lot of great ball players here," Smith said. "I got to meet new kids. I love baseball. I could go out there and play it every day. I wish we were playing Sunday."
Contact Michael McGarry:
Tri-Cape 100 000 000 - 1 9 2
SOL American and Continental 100 100 00 x - 2 6 0