PHILADELPHIA >> There will be a new champion in the 32nd Annual Carpenter Cup.
The Suburban One League American/Continental team that won last year’s title was eliminated Monday afternoon. It lost to Delaware North, 5-1, in the quarterfinals at UYA Showcase Field in FDR Park in Philadelphia.
Before the SOL could blink, they were in trouble. Delaware North put up five runs in the first inning and SOL was never close enough to bring the tying run to the plate.
Souderton pitcher Blaise Sclafani started for the SOL and only managed one out. He walked three batters and gave up all five runs on four hits.
“As pitchers you have days when you’re on and when you’re off,” SOL A/C and Quakertown head coach John Pallone said. “We can tell that Blaise is a really talented pitcher. He just struggled a little bit and had a little bit of an off-day. With a team like this (Delaware North) you can’t have an off-day. I think he’s got a lot of good things ahead of him in the future.”
After that, the Suburban One pitchers were dominant.
Hatboro-Horsham’s Alex Crim didn’t give up a hit in 2 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six batters to one walk. Souderton’s Jordan Morales threw three scoreless innings — striking out three, walking one and surrendering two hits. Springfield’s Nick Pave blanked Delaware North for two innings and Pennridge’s Andrew Mayhew faced just three batters in the ninth.
The SOL offense got runners on base throughout the game, but never capitalized. Ten runners were stranded in the game, four of which were in scoring position.
“We let up some runs early and then we had some opportunities where we left guys on base,” Pallone said. “It would have been nice to get a big hit here or there to bring them all in. Obviously last game we had those. This game they alluded us a little bit. Just a couple hits away from the (Citizens) Bank (Park).”
Their best chance to get back in the game came in the eighth inning. Trailing 5-1, Quakertown’s Jake Reed stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on the corners. He struck out looking.
Three days after scoring 20 runs, the SOL managed just six hits. No single player had more than one hit.
“Delaware North played well,” Pallone said. “They kept the ball low in the zone, they were aggressive towards our hitters. Our hitters obviously can hit — they hit last game — this game they hit it right at a couple guys and just ups and downs of the game. I wish we played everything is series but there’s not enough time in the day.”
The lone run came in the sixth inning. North Penn’s Ryan Bealer hit a leadoff triple and scored on a groundout by North Penn’s Hunter Hamlin.
Delaware North will play in the semifinals Friday at 1 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.
The SOL players will move on to their summer baseball leagues.
“We appreciate the seniors that came out,” Pallone said. “A lot of them are already maybe committed to college. For them to come out — they want to play and they want to win and they provide a lot of veteran leadership. We have the juniors, sophomore and freshman here. They’re trying to play and win for the conferences and show how tough our conferences are. On top of that they want to compete and they want to be in front of guys. They all want to hit in Citizens Bank Park.
“We thanked the players for coming out. It’s an honor to coach them and it’s difficult to get on the team. To get to the tryout, to pass the tryout — is not an easy thing. For them to get that far is quality work on their part. We appreciate them and you can obviously tell they have a lot of talent.”
In other Suburban One League Carpenter Cup action, the SOL National/Bicentennial team was eliminated Monday by Olympic/Colonial, 18-6.
Olympic/Colonial took a 10-0 lead in the first inning and never looked back. SOL National/Bicentennial responded with two runs in the second, but eight runs was as close as it would get the rest of the way.
Delaware North 5, SOL American/Continental 1
Delaware North 500 000 000 — 5
SOL American/Continental 000 001 000 — 5
WP: Chris Lubman 3 IP 7 K 0 BB 1 H 0 R 0 ER
LP: Blaise Sclafani 0.1 IP 1 K 3 BB 4 H 5 R 5 ER
3B: DN: David Hazelton, Brock Nowell. SOL: Ryan Bealer.
TOP PHOTO: Hatboro-Horsham’s Alex Crim pitches for SOL American/Continental in its Carpenter Cup quarterfinal against Delaware North on Monday, June 19, 2017. (Rick Cawley/For Digital First Media)