Baseball – Jersey Shore Falls in Carpenter Cup Final, 12-6
PHILADELPHIA - For most baseball teams, a seven-run deficit at any point in the game is too much to overcome. However, after scoring 31 runs in their first two games combined and 37 in the first three, the players on the Jersey Shore Carpenter Cup team knew their runs were coming after falling behind by seven in Tuesday's Carpenter Cup Classic championship game at Citizens Bank Park.
While the Shore rallied within two runs and scored at least six runs for the fourth time in four tournament games, S.O.L. National Bicentennial also kept scoring, enough to beat the defending champions, 12-6, and deny the Shore the first back-to-back titles by a Carpenter Cup team since 1991 and '92.
S.O.L. National scored seven runs against Shore Regional right-hander James Kelly in the top of the second inning to jump out to a 7-0 lead and led 8-1 after three. The Shore trimmed the deficit to 8-5 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, highlighted by an RBI double by Freehold Township's Joe Silvestrone and a two-run single by Ocean outfielder Anthony Bartolomei. Wall third baseman Ryan Orender added an RBI single with two out that made it 8-5.
"We have some serious bats in this lineup so we know we're not out of a game," Bartolomei said. "I really believe we had the best lineup in the tournament, but we just didn't catch some breaks, and we missed some opportunities today."
The Shore sliced another run off the S.O.L. National lead with a run in the bottom of the eighth, which scored on an RBI infield single to shortstop by Middletown South catcher Zach Schild with one out.
St. John Vianney outfielder Ciaran Devenney came through with a two-out single to left field, but Red Bank Catholic's Evan Madigan held up at third to load the bases. Howell center fielder Connor Boyle - who made a spectacular diving catch on a line drive over his head during the top half of the inning - lined out to first base to end the threat.
The eighth inning was one of two times the Shore left the bases loaded and they stranded a total of 15 runners in the game.
"I wasn't worried at all earlier in the game," Bartolomei said. "I knew we were going to make a comeback there, and I think we should have cashed in on a few more opportunities. We left the bases loaded twice, so that was big. We had a lot of opportunities to win this game."
After the Shore's pitching kept S.O.L. National in check from innings four through eight, the newly-crowned champions tacked on four insurance runs in the top of the ninth against Marlboro left-hander Andrew Nardi, who had thrown a one-two-three eighth.
Manasquan brothers Tom and Jack Sheehan helped keep Jersey Shore in the game, combining to allow one run on four hits and one walk while striking out seven over 5 2/3 frames. Tom Sheehan struck out four in 2 2/3 innings, and Jack Sheehan racked up all three of his strikeouts when he struck out the side in order in the top of the seventh.
"It's a little bit of a different look," said the right-handed Jack Sheehan of following his left-handed younger brother, which the two did on occasion for the Warriors during the regular season. "It mixes up the hitters' point of view, and he throws a couple of different pitches and I throw a couple of different pitches."
Bartolomei finished the game 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI and went 5-for-10 with two doubles and five RBI during the tournament's five games. The Ocean senior, who will play for Dominican College in New York, was a second-team All-Shore selection by Shore Sports Network after batting .409 with 13 doubles and a pair of homers this past year.
"It's a great experience and you just want to make the most of it because you never know if you'll have an opportunity like this again," Bartolomei said. "I just wanted to take advantage of every opportunity I had to step on the field. I felt pretty good at the plate, my swing felt quick and I was seeing the ball very well."
Sadowitz finished the tournament 5-for-8, and Tuesday's championship game was the first in which he did not hit a double. He finished the week with three doubles and four runs scored.
St. Rose's Kyle Missry - the hero in Monday's extra-inning win to get the Shore to Tuesday - went 1-for-2 with a single and a lineout to center field in his two plate appearances, capping a 5-for-6 showing during the tournament.
Schild was 1-for-2 Tuesday to cap a 5-for-8 tournament, which also included a double, three runs scored and three RBI.
Rumson-Fair Haven infielder Max Goione went 6-for-11 during the Classic and he, Sadowitz and Colts Neck center fielder Mike Antico (5-for-13) each had at least one hit in each of the four Jersey Shore games.
After 14 more hits on Tuesday, the Shore finished the four-game tournament with a total of 43 runs (10.7 per game) on 69 hits (17.2), but it was not enough to beat a 17-hit attack by S.O.L. National, which won the tournament for the first time since 2008.
"It was an awesome experience," said Jack Sheehan, who will be a senior next season. "We were hoping to keep it going and get one more win, but unfortunately, we just couldn't get it done. It was a good run and hopefully we can get back next year."