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Carpenter Cup Notebook: SOL AC wins first title

PHILADELPHIA >> In the 2005 Carpenter Cup, Suburban American realigned to become SOL American/Continental. Friday morning at Citizens Bank Park, the team won its first championship, 3-2, over the three-time champion Philadelphia Catholic League.

“American/Continental’s first time and hopefully not the last time,” SOL AC coach Ed Wall joked. “It’s very exciting.

“This Continental Conference was just stacked with pitching. You witnessed all season and you saw out here as an example of what they have. We had one American pitcher in (Nick) Pave who went out and did a fantastic job for two innings.”

The SOL AC has made some deep runs in its short Carpenter Cup history. It lost in the semifinals in 2010 (4-3 to SOL National/Bicentennial), 2009 (14-9 to Burlington County), 2008 (6-1 to Lehigh Valley) and 2005 (6-5 to Philadelphia Catholic).

It also has two championship losses — neither of which came in the standard nine innings. In 2011 the SOL AC lost to Burlington County 3-1 in a game that ended after eight innings due to rain. In 2007, it lost to Chester County, 6-5, in 11 innings.

But in 2016, the Suburban One League American/Continental would not be denied.

“It feels surreal,” CB South’s Eric Gross, who went 2-for-2 in the title game, said. “It’s just a cool experience to be here with a bunch of guys from different teams you played all year. It’s just a fun time going out and playing on this beautiful field, too.

“I feel this is one of the best leagues that we’re in. All these kids compete and play at a high level.”

This year was the 31st Annual Carpenter Cup. Olympic Colonial has the most titles with five, followed by the Jersey Shore with four. Chester County, Burlington County, Philadelphia Catholic, Lehigh Valley and SOL National each have three. The SOL National/Bicentennial (established in 2005) and Mercer County each have two. Delaware (split in 1993) and Delaware South have each won one championship.

Rapoport joins SOL AC for championship game

Wissahickon’s Blake Rapoport was a late addition to the Suburban One League American/Continental team. He joined Thursday night before Friday morning’s championship game.

Rapoport had tried out for the team, but the first two games were during senior week. He decided he didn’t want to leave senior week with his friends, but made sure the team knew he was still interested in playing.

The team only had two alternates and, after a couple players dropped out, needed another. Coach Ed Wall called Thursday night and Rapoport was ready Friday morning.

The Lehigh-bound Rapoport got just one at-bat in the game and grounded out, but it’s an experience he won’t forget.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “The field’s incredible. The guys on the team are incredible — it’s a great group of guys. The coaches were great. The atmosphere was just really something that I can’t put into words.”

PCL misses 2 studs

In Friday’s championship game, the Philadelphia Catholic League was without a pair of stud pitchers from Neumann-Goretti. Jeff Ciocco and Ethan Pritchett missed the game due to a vacation that was planned well in advance.

“They booked the trip way back when,” PCL coach Jim DiGuiseppe Jr. said. “We were aware of it from the beginning. It is what it is. That’s why we have a pretty deep roster and you’re allowed alternates. You look for other guys to step up and fill the void.”

Ciocco was 2-0 in two appearances for the PCL. In total, he allowed four hits in five innings. He gave up no runs, struck out five batters and walked one.

Pritchett made one appearance and threw two scoreless innings. He surrendered two hits, walked one batter and struck out one.


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