Baseball – Jersey Shore Rolls in Carpenter Cup Opener
The defending champion Jersey Shore Carpenter Cup team opened up its title defense Wednesday at FDR Park in South Philadelphia and picked up right where it left off, bombarding Burlington County, 18-0, to advance to Friday's quarterfinal round.
The Shore squad allowed only four runs in four games during its championship run in 2014 and continued that dominance Wednesday with a combined two-hitter from seven different pitchers. The offense, meanwhile, overwhelmed Burlington with 23 hits, including at least one hit from 13 different players.
Brick Memorial shortstop Matt Cuppari plated two of his four RBI with a two-run single during a six-run Shore fifth that opened up a 9-0 lead. Brick shortstop Carmen Sclafani hit a two-run single earlier in the inning after Ocean outfielder Anthony Bartolomei made it 4-0 with an RBI single for the first run of the inning. Jackson Memorial third baseman Kyle Johnson also had an RBI single in the inning.
Cuppari also added a two-run double in the top of the eighth inning to cap a 2-for-3 day, while Bartolomei and Sclafani each finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and two RBI. Both Red Bank Catholic third baseman Aaron Ahn and Middletown South second baseman Austin Markmann went 3-for-3 in the game, with Ahn scoring two runs and driving one in and Markmann scoring three times.
Colts Neck outfielder and St. John's recruit Mike Antico also added a two-run triple to give the Shore a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. Johnson (2-for-4, run scored, RBI), Rumson shortstop Max Goione (2-for-3, run scored) and Middletown South catcher Zach Schild (2-for-2, two RBI) each had multiple hits as well for the Shore. Manalapan junior Chris Rodriguez also drove in a pair of runs in the win.
Left-handers Andrew Nardi (Marlboro) and Tom Sheehan (Manasquan) each threw two scoreless, no-hit innings to headline the pitching effort for the Jersey Shore. Each southpaw issued a walk and Sheehan struck out three over the fourth and fifth innings while Nardi started off the game with scoreless frames in the first and second.
Shore Regional right-hander James Kelly and Toms River North right-hander Ryan Larsen each worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless inning, Kelly in the third and Larsen in the sixth.
Wall's Ryan Orender, Ocean's Blake DeMeter and Colts Neck left-hander Chris Murphy combined for three hitless innings to close it out. Both Orender and Murphy struck out two in their inning and Orender and DeMeter both retired the side in order.
Jersey Shore will take on Tri-Cape - which won its game 19-0 earlier on Wednesday - on Friday at 2 p.m. at UYA Showcase Field in FDR Park for a chance to play in the semifinals at Citizens Bank Park on Monday.