PHILADELPHIA — There are only two sophomores on the Tri-Cape baseball all-star team’s roster for the annual Carpenter Cup Classic tournament.
Pleasantville High School’s Alejandro Rosado is one of them.
Rosado hit a triple in the eighth inning and later scored on a failed pickoff attempt, giving Tri-Cape a much needed two-run cushion Wednesday in its opening-round 4-3 win over Philadelphia Catholic at UYA Showcase Field.
When the sophomore utility player crossed home plate, that score would prove to be the eventual game-winning run. Tri-Cape advances in the single-elimination tournament to the quarterfinals against Olympic-Colonial at 9 a.m. Monday at UYA Ashburn Field.
Carpenter Cup games are nine innings, unlike the traditional seven in high school. Olympic-Colonial beat Mercer County 8-3.
“In the beginning, I was a little bit nervous,” Rosado said. “But I started to feel comfortable and my swing felt good. It was a big run, it was a big moment of the game, too.”
The Carpenter Cup, held annually since 1986, is a single-elimination tournament featuring 16 teams from the tri-state area. Tri-Cape consists of top players from the Tri-County Conference and Cape-Atlantic League.
This was Rosado’s first career Carpenter Cup appearance. It is safe to say that he impressed.
“It is a great honor,” Rosado said. “I want to thank God for that. I work my butt off for this. It is such a great honor.”
Robbie Petracci, a junior from Egg Harbor Township, and Ervin Bogan, a junior from Vineland, each walked in the fifth inning, which gave Gloucester Catholic’s Evan Giordano a chance to contribute with two runners on base.
The senior hit a two-out double, driving in Petracci and Bogan.
“I was just going up there trying to get a pitch to drive, and he left a fastball in,” Giordano said. “And I just found the barrel and two runs scored, and I couldn’t be happier coming out with the (win).”
Once on first base, Petracci said he was ready to run because he knew Tri-Cape had talented hitters.
“Next thing you know, Evan came up and crushed the ball,” Petracci said. “There was two outs so I was running on the pitch, and got home easy.”
Philadelphia Catholic scored two runs in the seventh, but Glassboro’s Noah Putney scored on a fielder’s choice to help Tri-Cape regain the lead. Putney, like Rosado, is a sophomore.
St. Augustine Prep senior Kevin Eaise, who went three innings and struck out six while walking none, was Tri-Cape’s starting pitcher. Eaise was relieved by Gloucester Catholic’s Andrew Vail, who struck out seven over three no-hit innings.
Ocean City junior Brandon Lashley pitched the final two innings.
“(We) did great,” said Tri-Cape coach D.J. Gore, who is the head coach of Highland Regional. “The starting pitching was outstanding. … We got a couple big hits and played good defense. This is a talented group of players.”
Tri-Cape lost in the quarterfinals last season to eventual champion Jersey Shore. With the semifinals and title game being held at Citizens Bank Park on June 22-23, this season could have a different outcome.
“A majority of guys have played here for a second time,” Gore said. “I think there is a feeling of wanting to play at Citizens Bank Park.The kids are looking forward to the challenge of getting to play Monday.”
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Philadelphia Catholic 000 000 201
Tri-Cape 000 020 11x
2B: Tri-Cape, Giordano, Padden. 3B- Tri-Cape, Alejandro.
WP: Sachais 0k; LP: Crowell 0k.