Pitchers power Olympic Colonial to Carpenter Cup win

Paul VI righthander Will Gambino pitches his final high school game in the Olympic Colonial’s 8-3 win over Mercer County in Carpenter Cup.

Three pitchers times three innings.

That was the winning formula for Olympic Colonial in Wednesday’s first-round game of the 33rd annual Carpenter Cup Classic baseball tournament.

Will Gambino of Paul VI, Eric Cartafalsa of Washington Township and Jacob Small of Haddonfield each worked three strong innings to power Olympic Colonial to an 8-3 victory over Mercer County at the Urban Youth Academy Showcase Field in FDR Park.

“It made it easy,” said Gambino, a Kentucky recruit who started the game. “Just playing for a team like this, it makes you want to do your best out there.”

Olympic Colonial advanced to face the winner of Wednesday’s second game between Tri-Cape and Philadelphia Catholic in Monday morning’s quarterfinals, back at UYA Showcase Field.

The semifinals and finals are set for June 22 and June 23 at Citizens Bank Park.

Olympic Colonial rapped 13 hits, including six for extra bases.

Sky Duff of Bishop Eustace, Ryan Teschko of Gateway, John Cristino of Haddonfield, Matt Karpousis of Eastern and Jackson Green of Haddon Township each delivered a triple.

“I kept yelling, ‘Take three,’ ” said Olympic Colonial first-base coach Doug Richardson, the head coach at Haddon Township.

Duff tripled and scored on Bishop Eustace teammate Matt Orlando’s ground out in the first.

Teschko, who was 3-for-3, delivered a two-run triple in the third with another run crossing on an infield error.

Washington Township’s Lorenzo Morello rapped an RBI double in the fourth.

Olympic Colonial added two runs in the fifth as Cristino laced an RBI triple, then scored on a sacrifice fly by Cherry Hill West’s Jack Owens.

The winners added an insurance run in the eighth as Green tripled and scored on an RBI single by Bishop Eustace’s Chase Conklin, who was 2-for-2.

That was more than enough run support for the three senior righthanders.

Small closed the game with three scoreless innings. He struck out three.

Camera icon Marc Narducci/Staff photographer
Jacob Small of Haddonfield worked the final three innings of Olympic Colonial’s 8-3 win over Mercer County.

“It’s a huge privilege to be on this team,” Small said. “You’ve got such good players behind you. You know they are going to the plays.”

Cartafalsa, a late addition to the team, worked the middle three innings. He struck out the side in the fourth and allowed one run on two hits.

Cartafalsa was added to the team when Eastern outfielder Jack Herman declined to play because of his plans to sign with the Pirates.

Camera icon Marc Narducci/Staff photographer
Washington Township’s Eric Cartafalsa struck out four in three innings for Olympic Colonial.

“I got a text from my coach on Saturday,” Cartafalsa said. “It was an honor to be added. I was so excited to be part of this team.”

Gambino asked to start because he knew the game would be his only appearance in this tournament. He leaves Saturday for Lexington, where he will attend the University of Kentucky on a baseball scholarship.

He has orientation Monday and Tuesday and starts class on Wednesday.

“I knew this was going to be my last hurrah in high school,” Gambino said.

Gambino allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits. He struck out two.

“I felt great out there,” Gambino said. “I’m really good friends with so many of these guys. It was great to be out there for the last time with my boys.”

Gambino’s days with the Olympic Colonial are over. But he believes the team’s tournament run is just beginning.

“These guys are going to the ‘Park,’” Gambino said of the Phillies’ home field.

Olympic Colonial 103120001 – 8 13 2

Mercer County     101001000 – 3  7  1

WP: Will Gambino. LP: Teddy Durbin.

2B: OC-Lorenzo Morello. MC-Andy Blake, Brady Plunkett.

3B: OC-Sky Duff, Ryan Teschko, John Cristino, Matt Karpousis, Jackson Green. MC-Ian Muni.