Another Impressive Carpenter Cup Showing for Tri-Cape

by Marc Narducci | Jul 1, 2024
Another Impressive Carpenter Cup Showing for Tri-Cape
The Tri-Cape team has enjoyed outstanding recent success at the Carpenter Cup that continued with this year’s 38th annual tournament featuring all-star baseball teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. 

This season Tri-Cape, which draws players from the Tri-County Conference and Cape Atlantic League, made another run that fell one run and one game short.

For the fourth straight year Tri-Cape earned a berth in the Carpenter Cup championship game. Tri-Cape won the title in 2021 and 2022 before losing to fellow Jersey franchise Jersey Shore, 8-1 in last year’s championship. 

In this year’s title game, Tri-Cape led 2-0 entering the bottom of the eighth inning, but saw its championship hopes end with a 3-2 loss to the Pennsylvania’s Inter-Ac/Independents at Citizens Bank Park.

The winning run came on a sacrifice fly by Shipley’s Jimmy Amplo in the bottom of the ninth inning.
As much as that loss stung, the players and coaches enjoyed a memorable experience in a tournament where the semifinals and finals are staged at Citizens Bank Park.

“There were some things we would like to have back to do, but we didn’t,” said Tri-Cape head coach DJ Gore who is also the head coach at Highland. “You can’t fault anybody’s effort or things like that, these kids have given up three weeks of the summer to represent the Tri-Cape franchise and I couldn’t be any prouder of the group of kids…”

The tournament began June 10, where the first two rounds were played at FDR Park. The semifinals, scheduled for June 24, were moved back a day due to wet fields and the final was played June 26. 

As the same with the Inter-Ac/Independents, the Tri-Cape didn’t have some of its top players for the entire tournament. 

That is why depth is so important in this tournament in which the rules state a pitcher can throw no more than three innings per game. Also, the pitchers can’t hit either. 

As expected, recent Gloucester Catholic graduate Tate DeRias anchored the Tri-Cape staff. In two pitching appearances covering six innings, the Miami commit who could be selected in the upcoming MLB draft, allowed just one run, while striking out three. DeRias was the starting pitcher in the championship game and threw three shutout innings.

As for pitching depth, Tri-Cape picked up Gloucester Catholic rising senior righthander Jackson Smallets for the championship game and he gave the team a major lift by pitching two shutout innings.

Recent Mainland graduate Cohen Cook had been a position player in the Carpenter Cup until the championship, where he threw two shutout innings.

Sergio Droz, a recent Millville graduate was strong on the mound and at the plate in the tournament. In the title game he played third base and was 1-for-2 with a double.

Droz pitched twice, covering five innings. He recorded a 1.80 ERA. Most impressive was three shutout innings in Tri-Cape’s 6-3 semifinal win over Delaware County.

Tri-Cape opened the tournament with a 13-6 win over fellow South Jersey franchise Burlington County. After that Tri-Cape earned its ticket to Citizens Bank Park with a 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Catholic League. 

With young players such as Gloucester Catholic rising junior infielders Noah Danza and Guy Lynam, Kingsway rising junior pitcher Nate Bott and Pennsville rising senior first baseman Peyton O’Brien, the Tri-Cape has some players to build on for the future and keep this impressive run going. 

Photo: Gloucester Pitcher Jackson Smallets / Marc Narducci

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Author: Marc Narducci

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