By Jay Cook |
PHILADELPHIA – Not every baseball player is afforded the experience of playing in a Major League ballpark, but that dream came true for the 30-plus baseball players from the Jersey Shore.
While it wasn’t filled with nearly 45,000 screaming Phillies fans, Saturday morning’s 2017 Carpenter Cup championship game gave a number of Two River area high school baseball players the taste of playing in a professional setting, while also capturing some gold there as well.
Sitting in the same dugouts, standing on the same mounds and running the same basepaths that former Phillies like Ryan Howard, Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins once occupied, the Jersey Shore’s all-star team was elated about playing their championship game in that setting.
“It’s amazing,” said Red Bank Catholic sophomore outfielder David Glancy. “There’s nothing like playing here at Citizens Bank Park with this group of guys.”
Glancy, one of the youngest players on the squad, was one of the key contributors in the Jersey Shore’s 7-2 championship game win over Delaware North on June 24 at the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
After falling to a 2-0 deficit in the first inning, Glancy drilled an RBI double to left center, right beside the 374’ foot sign, and moved to third on the throw home.
He was one of seven players on Jersey Shore that represented Two River area teams in the annual Carpenter Cup end-of-season tournament.
“It was a lot of fun and a good experience,” said Christian Brothers Academy junior Nick Hohenstein, who held down the fort at right field throughout the tournament. “Playing with all of these guys was awesome, and I’m glad we were able to win it.”
Major Jersey Shore baseball powerhouse teams were represented on the championship roster. It was Toms River North’s Mike Nyisztor, Jared Bellissimo and Toms River South’s T.J. Scuderi providing much of the firepower for the team, but a bevy of different pitchers help keep scores in check throughout the tournament.
RBC’s Austin Nappi, one of the top Junior pitchers in New Jersey, was one of those throwers who helped the Jersey Shore through the tournament.
“It’s an honor to be part of a pitching staff like this – a lot of guys with really good arms,” Nappi said. “I’ve been very lucky to have the success I’ve had, and these guys behind me and the team we have is really the reason we were able to be so successful throughout this tournament.”
Holmdel’s Sal Monticiollo has developed into one of the top young first basemen in the Shore Conference after batting .507 this year with 15 extra-base hits, four homeruns and 24 RBI’s.
“In terms of meeting everyone and the whole team, it was a great experience and very exciting,” Monticiollo said. “I enjoyed every second of it. It’s a memory that will last a lifetime, and I’m thrilled to play with the seniors that were on this roster and bring home the Carpenter Cup to the Shore.”
Saturday’s win at Citizens Bank Park marked the fifth time that the Jersey Shore won the Carpenter Cup Tournament, a 16-team all-star tournament showcasing some of the best high school baseball talent in New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania.
The win ties Jersey Shore for the most championships in the tournament’s 32-year history with Olympic-Colonial, who Jersey Shore knocked out on Friday afternoon with a 12-7 offensive explosion.
Jersey Shore also won the tournament in 2014 behind a remarkable collection of Two River athletes, all of whom have succeeded at their respective next levels: CBA’s Luca Dalatri and Brandon Martorano, Rumson-Fair Haven’s Shane McCarthy and Morgan Maguire, and RBC’s Al Molina. Dalatri and Martorano just completed their freshman season with the North Carolina Tar Heels. Molina and McCarthy played for Seton Hall with Shane earning a professional opportunity after being drafted in the 18th round by the Saint Louis Cardinals. Maguire finished his sophomore year at Old Dominion.
While each squad is only allowed to have 10 seniors per team, Hohenstein, Monticiollo and Nappi will all make their cases during their high school seasons next year to come back to Philadelphia and return as back-to-back champs.
After the post-game ceremony, where the Carpenter Cup itself was presented to the team and each player and coach were awarded watches, coach Mike Yorke of Colts Neck High School gathered the team in the dugout for one last speech.
“You guys made a bunch of friends, worked hard, never complained,” Yorke said to the elated players. “If someone asked me if I’d do it again, guess what I’d say? I would!”
This article was first published in the June 29-July 6, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.
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