PHILADELPHIA – It was like watching batting practice.
There were deep fly balls to the fence. Line drives in the gaps. Hard-hit singles.
Sending 13 batters to the plate, the Olympic-Colonial all-stars scored 10 runs on eight hits in the first inning Monday. The South Jersey squad would go on to collect 21 hits – 10 for extra bases – en route to an 18-6 victory over SOL National/Bicentennial in the quarterfinals of the 32nd annual Carpenter Cup Classic.
“The hits just started coming and hitting’s contagious,” said Louis Priolo, an outfielder from Eastern. “We’ve got a team full of studs and it was pretty awesome to be a part of.
“People are hungry to win a championship. I am, especially, because we had a disappointing run in the (South Jersey Group 4) playoffs. Winning the Carpenter Cup would be a nice way to go out and close my high school career.”
Olympic-Colonial will face Jersey Shore in Friday’s semifinals at Citizens Bank Park. First pitch is set for 9:30 a.m. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 10 a.m.
Jersey Shore eliminated Tri-Cape 5-2 in another quarterfinal matchup.
“We’ve got a really good group of guys,” said Shawnee catcher Colin Wetterau, who had one of the team’s six doubles. “We’re showing what we can do together.”
Olympic-Colonial last won the title in 1997.
Playing on Showcase Field at FDR Park, the team comprised of players from the Olympic and Colonial conferences simply put on a hitting clinic. Fourteen had at least one hit, with Priolo, Jack Herman (Eastern), Kevin Gsell (Seneca), Matt Orlando (Bishop Eustace), Jake Topolski (Lenape), Kevin Teschko (Gateway) and Luke Kaschak (Washington Township) collecting two apiece.
Herman and Kyle Garrison (West Deptford) each had RBI triples in the first, while Sky Duff (Bishop Eustace) had a two-run triple in his second plate appearance of the inning. Jake Owens (Cherry Hill West) had a triple and scored in the eighth.
“We showed that we have a great lineup,” said Gsell, who had a two-run single in the decisive first frame. “It was a good showing of all this talent.
“It’s really cool to play. It’s been a great experience to play with such great players.”
The winners added two runs in the second, sixth and eighth innings. They scored single runs in the third and seventh.
“We’re a bunch of great players and came ready today,” said Kaschak, who had an RBI single and a two-run double in three at-bats. “After the first couple of hits, we just kept rolling.
“I’m not really a fan of teams we play during the season. But when it comes down to this, we’re all good friends.”
Herman scored three runs, while Gsell, Garrison and Orlando scored two runs apiece.
“When we first looked at this team, we were in awe of the talent,” said O-C assistant Sam Tropiano of Bishop Eustace. “Today, it was fun to see them in action. That was quite a show they put on with their bats.”
Going the first two innings, Jesse Barbera (Eastern) earned the win. He was followed by Matt Kennedy (Haddon Heights), Jacob Small (Haddonfield), Anthony DiMartino (Timber Creek) and Nick Hammer (Washington Township).
“For the older coaches, we haven’t got past this hurdle in a while,” Tropiano said. “The battle cry was all about getting to ‘The Bank’ for Mr. (Joe) Hartmann. It was the last thing we said in the pregame talk, and boy did they respond.
“It’s kind of exciting to be going to Citizens Bank Park on Friday. We’ve never experienced going to the ballpark, so it’s going to be a neat experience.”
Washington Township first baseman Luke Kaschak went 2-for-3 with a two-run double for Olympic-Colonial
Olympic-Colonial 18, SOL N/B 6
SOL 020 100 201 - 6-13-2
O/C (10)21 002 12x - 18-21-2
WP: Jesse Barbera. LP: Billy Bethel. 2B: Philip Stahl, SOL; Alex Gattinelli, Kevin Gsell, Luke Kaschak, Colin Wetterau, Teddy Sparks, Jake Topolski. 3B: Tyler Brasier, SOL; Sky Duff, Jack Herman, Kyle Garrison, Jake Owens, O-C.