Baseball – Jersey Shore Powers Up Early, Pitches Throughout to Win Record Sixth Carpenter Cup Title
PHILADELPHIA -- Frank Scrivanic has watched a lot of teammates trot around the bases after hitting a baseball over a fence, but during his three-year varsity career at Red Bank Catholic, he never got a chance to try out his own home run trot.
That all changed on Thursday at Dick Allen Field in Philadelphia's FDR Park -- the host site of the 2023 Carpenter Cup championship game.
One pitch after Jackson Memorial graduate Charlie Meglio hit his 10th home run this scholastic season, Scrivanic hit the first of his high-school career -- the offensive highlight that sparked the Jersey Shore Carpenter Cup to an 8-1 win over Tri-Cape that clinches the organization its record sixth championship in the 37-year history of the event.
"To be back where we belong is a great feeling," Jersey Shore and Jackson Memorial head coach Pat George said. "It’s a testament to the hard work that these kids put in. With summer and travel ball, you’re asking a lot for the kids to commit to this, but they were all in. Now they can go enjoy the summer."
Although Scrivanic did not clear any fences on the fly during his Red Bank Catholic career, he still hit at a level becoming of a Carpenter Cup player and was especially good hitting against high-level pitching and in tournament games for a Caseys program that won the Shore Conference Tournament in each of Scrivanic's three seasons. This past season, the Seton-Hall-bound first baseman hit .356 with 11 doubles, a triple, 26 runs scored and 24 RBI for a 26-5 RBC squad.
On Thursday, Scrivanic finally left the yard and it came as part of a rousing start to the game for Jersey Shore. It started with Meglio, who hit 20 home runs in his three-year career at Jackson Memorial and launched his first dinger of the Carpenter Cup with two out in the bottom of the first inning Thursday.
Meglio crushed an opposite-field solo shot over the rightfield fence to put Jersey Shore ahead, 1-0, and before he could collect congratulations from all his teammates, Scrivanic connected on his big swing.
On the first pitch he saw from St. Augustine left-hander C.J. Flukey, Scrivanic -- a left-handed swinger -- launched a deep drive the cleared the fence midway between the 370-foot sign in right-centerfield and 400-foot sign in dead center.
The two-homer inning marked the first of four straight innings in which the Jersey Shore squad scored at least one run. In the bottom of the second inning, Red Bank Catholic junior Sean Griggs led off with a walk, raced into third base on a single by Central senior shortstop Dom Masino and scored on an RBI single to rightfield by Rumson-Fair Haven senior second baseman Reece Moroney.
Moroney capped a strong showing during the Carpenter Cup, finishing 4-for-7 with a double and three RBI during the four-game run.
"It was unbelievable to see the firepower from the offense. Defensively, we locked it down all tournament," George said. "There were a couple of miscues here and there, but for the most part, we made every play behind our pitchers. Our pitchers, more than anything, challenged every hitter. There is not one weak spot up and down this entire lineup."
The Shore had a chance to break the game open in the second inning with runners on second and third and none out, but Flukey struck out three batters around a walk to RBC sophomore Dylan Passo to escape further damage.
In the third inning, Jersey Shore added to the lead anyway. RBC senior catcher Shane Andrus led off with a walk and Donovan Catholic senior centerfielder Gavin Degnan torched a line drive to the left-center gap for an RBI triple. Degnan then bolted home on a shallow sacrifice fly to rightfield by Masino, with Degnan taking advantage of Lower Cape May's Hunter Ray fielding the ball off-balance while communicating with two over converging fielders.
Degnan finished Thursday 1-for-4, making him 5-for-10 for the four-game tournament. His Carpenter Cup performance also included two doubles, a home run at Citizens Bank Park in Monday's semifinal win and five RBI to go with Thursday's triple.
"How he has gone unnoticed (by colleges) for what he has done for the last two or three years is a huge question to me," George said of Degnan, who remains unsigned and uncommitted for next season. "From the start of this tournament, he carried us and led us leading up to the game today. He got to play the whole game today because we were one sub short, but he was able to do it at the plate for us and just get things jumpstarted. It was incredible to watch him and, again, how he has gone unnoticed is just beyond me."
With the five runs in three innings, coupled with RBC junior right-hander Steve Svenson facing the minimum nine batters in three innings, Jersey Shore jumped out to a commanding 5-0 advantage. Svenson allowed one hit and struck out four, with the lone base-runner he allowed getting wiped out by a batter's interference call on a steal attempt.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Shore added to its lead with more extra-base power and more production from Meglio and Scrivanic. Passo (3-for-5, double, three walks, three runs scored and two RBI in the tournament) started the noise with a double down the leftfield line and scored the sixth Jersey Shore run when Meglio crushed a double to deep centerfield.
Meglio finished the Carpenter Cup 5-for-11 with a double, home run and three RBI.
Scrivanic drove in his second run of the game with a line drive into left-center that chased home Meglio for a 7-0 Jersey Shore lead.
On the pitching side, Red Bank Regional senior left-hander Nate Ruth followed Svenson with two scoreless innings of his own and was named Carpenter Cup MVP for his dominant performance over the course of the Shore's last three outings. After striking out two more on Thursday, Ruth finished the tournament with eight scoreless innings, five hits, three walks and 12 strikeouts.
"We went to (Ruth) after the rain delay and after the three shutout innings there, we knew we had something special with him," George said. "We put our faith and trust in him and he has been getting it done every time out."
The Shore pitching continued to quiet opponents Thursday, which has been the case since surviving a 10-7 slugfest in a first-round win over Burlington County. Jersey Shore was tied, 2-2, in the top of the sixth inning vs. Southeastern Pennsylvania in the quarterfinals when the game was suspended by rain.
Since the resumption of that quarterfinal game, the Shore finished the tournament by outscoring three different opponents, 24-5, in just under 20 innings.
Matawan junior right-hander Brandon Falco pitched a one-two-three sixth inning with two strikeouts and Marlboro senior Alex D'Ambrosio (two outs) and Southern junior Brady Lesiak combined for a scoreless seventh inning.
Rumson-Fair Haven right-hander John Goodes worked through the eighth inning, when Tri-Cape scratched across its only run of the game on a two-out RBI single by Highland senior Robert Carfagno.
Jersey Shore got the run back in the bottom of the inning on an RBI fielder's choice groundout by St. John Vianney senior Andrew Zottar after Wall senior shortstop Gabe Cavazzoni and Toms River East sophomore second baseman Matt Ferrara started the inning with back-to-back singles to place runners on the corners.
In the ninth, George summoned Middletown South senior Ben Schild -- a UConn signee, two-time Shore Sports Network All-Shore First-Team selection and a Third-Team selection this season despite missing four weeks of pitching due to injury. Schild mowed through the first two batters with strikeouts and after issuing a walk on a 3-2 pitcher, the 6-foot-5 right hander blew away the final batter on three pitches for a championship-clinching strikeout.
Schild finished the tournament with two runs allowed on two hits and two walks while striking out 10 in four innings of work.
"He is the one that asked from the get-go," George said of Schild's desire to close out the tournament. "He wanted to be at the bottom of the dogpile, so for someone to ask that – actually, demand that – it’s incredible. And we knew he was perfect for that job."
With Thursday's win, New Jersey has now accounted for each of the last six Carpenter Cup championships, with the Shore winning the first and most recent titles of that run. Jersey's Shore's last title came in 2017, when current Carpenter Cup assistant and St. John Vianney assistant Sebi Bellone won it as a player.
Bellone was part of a staff that also included Wall head coach Jim Rochford, Central head coach Jerry Frulio, Southern head coach Ed Truitt, Keyport head coach Kyle Keelen.
"Everyone gave us more than we could have expected from them," George said. "It’s a special thing this group accomplished. They are always going to be remembered for this."
Jersey Shore 8, Tri-Cape 1
|C.J. Furey (L)||2||4||3||3||1||4||44|
|Steve Svenson (W)||3||1||0||0||0||4||34|
|Robert Carfagno||1-2, RBI|
|Jay Salsbery||1-1, BB, R|
|Vinny Davis||1-2, 2B|
|Jersey Shore||Game Stats|
|Charlie Meglio||2-3, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI|
|Frank Scrivanic||2-3, HR, R, 2 RBI|
|Gavin Degnan||1-4, 3B, R, RBI|
|Dylan Passo||1-2, 2B, BB, R|
|Dom Masino||1-1, RBI|
|Reece Moroney||1-2, RBI|
|Gabe Cavazzoni||1-2, R, SB|