Baseball: Olympic Colonial wins Carpenter Cup opener

By Phil Anastasia

Jon Gonzalez doesn't know much of the history of the Olympic Colonial franchise in the Carpenter Cup Classic.

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But he knows what happened in 2012.

"We got killed," said Gonzalez, a senior from Winslow Township.

Gonzalez and his teammates made sure OC will stick around for the first week of the 28th annual tournament in South Philadelphia.

Gonzalez was 3-for-4 with a home run and 4 RBIs as OC beat Suburban One National/Bicentennial by a 16-8 score Monday morning at Richie Ashburn Field in FDR Park.

"It's an honor just to play on a team like this," Gonzalez said.

OC advanced to Friday morning's second round. The South Jersey team will face the winner of Monday's second game between Lehigh Valley and Delaware South.

The title game will be Tuesday June 25 at Citizens Bank Park.

Gonzalez blasted a two-run HR just to the right of the scoreboard in centerfield as OC sent 10 batters to the plate in scoring six runs in the fifth.

"He had thrown me a high fastball," Gonzalez said of Suburban One pitcher Tyler Scheuer. "I was expecting a curveball and I jumped on it."

Gonzalez also had RBI singles in the first and fourth.

Eastern senior second baseman Nick Tierno reached base three times with a pair of singles and two runs and Eastern junior centerfielder Tom Flacco delivered an RBI triple and scored on Gonzalez' single as OC jumped to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first.

OC rapped 15 hits but also took advantage of nine SOL One errors.

Eastern senior Steve Priolo got the win. Priolo pitched two innings, allowing a solo home run. He faced just seven batters.

Sterling junior Donovan Casey and Washington Township junior Mark Scarpa each pitched three innings.

Bishop Eustace junior Devin Smeltzer pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out two. Smeltzer threw an 88 mph fastball for the final strike of the game, accoding to a scout's radar gun.

Smeltzer is leaving Tuesday to attend an 8-day tryout for USA baseball in Cary, N.C.

"Unfortunately, I won't be able to play any more with these guys," Smeltzer said of his OC teammates.

OC was missing two players as Bishop Eustace senior Zac Gallen has begun summer classes at North Carolina and Washington Township senior Shaine Hughes was ill.

Bishop Eustace coach Sam Tropiano said the OC would add two players for Friday's game, likely Camden Catholic pitcher Colan Miller and Eastern pitcher Alex Bussison.

OC is the most decorated team in the history of the tournament, having won five titles. No other franchise has won more than three.

OC's five titles came in a nine-year stretch between 1989-1997.

In recent years, the franchise has struggled with a 2-11 record since 2002. From 2002-2009, OC lost eight first-round games in a row.

And last year's team lost a lopsided game to South Jersey rivals Tri-Cape.

"After last year, we wanted to show what kind of team we have," Gonzalez said.

OC 401 106 301 -- 16 15 3

SOL One 010 034 000 -- 8 11 9

WP: Steve Priolo. LP: Brandon Garrett.

2B: SOL-Vinnie Case, Josh Sharik.

3B: OC-Tom Flacco.

HR: OC-Jon Gonzalez; SOL-Tyler Callender.

Contact Phil Anastasia at Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.