PHILADELPHIA — The Tri-Cape all-star baseball team suffered a heartbreaking loss in the 2018 Carpenter Cup Classic quarterfinals to eventual champion Olympic-Colonial.
On Monday, Tri-Cape almost got redemption.
Tri-Cape took a 2-0 lead into the fourth inning, but Olympic-Colonial scored single runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings en route to a 3-2 victory over Tri-Cape in the opening game of the 34th annual Carpenter Cup Classic at UYA Showcase Field in FDR Park.
The loss eliminated Tri-Cape from the tournament.
Tri-Cape outhit Olympic-Colonial 8-2 but also walked nine and made errors that contributed to two runs. All three Olympic-Colonial runs were scored by players who reached base on a walk.
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.
“It’s just great to be here,” Ocean City High School senior pitcher Brandon Lashley said. “Even though it didn’t come out the way we wanted, it’s still great.”
Carpenter Cup games are nine innings, unlike the traditional seven in high school.
“This isn’t a right to be here,” said Lashley, 18, of Upper Township. “Everyone on this team earned (being here). We’re not given this. Everyone doesn’t get this opportunity, so just being out here and being able to participate in something like this is big to me.”
Egg Harbor Township senior outfielder Robbie Petracci made the Tri-Cape roster for the second consecutive season.
Petracci, who will play baseball next season at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, doubled and scored a run.
“It’s always fun to get out here and play with and against players that are really elite,” said Petracci, 18. “It’s always competitive and always good nature, too.”
Vineland’s Ervin Bogan was hit by a pitch to start the third inning. Petracci then doubled, and Gloucester Catholic’s Lillo Paxia singled them both in give Tri-Cape a 2-0 lead.
The semifinals and title game will be held at Citizens Bank Park on June 17 and 18. Olympic-Colonial will play the winner of Philadelphia Catholic and Mercer County in the quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Friday
“It felt good (to contribute) because I know we all wanted to play at Citizens Bank Park,” Petracci said. “Unfortunately we aren’t, but going in that was definitely the goal and the mindset.”
Lashley, who will continue his baseball career next season at Stony Brook University, was the starting pitcher. He pitched three innings, struck out four and gave up just one hit.
“I knew there was a lot of good bats on that team,” he said. “But I had confidence in myself and the tremendous players behind me.”
Four of the six pitchers Tri-Cape used were from CAL teams — Lashley, Millville’s Dom Buonadonna, St. Joseph’s Jayden Shertel and Cedar Creek’s Luke Vaks.
The pitching staff combined for 10 strikeouts and gave up one earned run, but the walks and errors were costly.
“Bottom line is, you’ve got no defense for a walk,” Tri-Cape assistant coach Bryan Carmichael said, who is the head coach at EHT. “But when they do get on, and the ball is in play, you’ve got to dominate the routine play.”
Pleasantville’ Alejandro Rosado, St. Augustine Prep’s Kevin Foreman, Buena Regional’s Jake Guglielmi and the Thunderbolts’ Nate Goranson each singled.
“It’s an honor to play in the game, and it’s a great tournament,” Carmichael said. “It’s very prestigious. It’s good to come up and be around the elite players.
“Obviously, you want to be on the winning end. It’s our goal to get to Citizens Bank Park. We came up a little short today, but it’s fun to be around these guys.”
Olympic-Colonial;000 110 100— 3
Tri-Cape;002 000 000— 2
2B— Petracci TC
WP: Hammer; LP: Shertel