Del. South tops Pa. team in Carpenter Cup opener

PHILADELPHIA — For the last 10 years, the dream of playing at Citizens Bank Park has vanished quickly for the players on the Delaware South’s Carpenter Cup team.

But this year, it’s still alive and the downstaters are one game away from competing on the field of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Led by Colin Bergh’s four RBIs, Delaware South knocked off Berks County (Pa.) in the opening round of the Carpenter Cup, 10-4, on Tuesday afternoon at Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park in Philadelphia.

Delaware South will face the Philadelphia Catholic League on Friday at 10:30 a.m. also in FDR Park. The final two rounds are at Citizens Bank Park, scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, and Friday, June 24.

Tuesday was the first time the Delaware South squad had won a Carpenter Cup game since 2006.

“We’re definitely finally representing what Delaware South baseball is actually about,” said Bergh, a recent graduate of Sussex Tech who has signed with Villanova University.

Sussex Tech’s G.L. Jefferson is the head coach for Delaware South and credited an increased commitment to the tournament for the victory. The South had more players come out than usual, helped in part by the addition of Appoquinimink and St. Georges to the player pool, and was also able to scrimmage against the Delaware North team in preparation.

“It’s always been a struggle for us to get the best players out.” Jefferson said. “This year I really truly feel like there was a greater emphasis on the Carpenter Cup in general for Delaware high school baseball. … I’m just happy for the kids. They played really well. For the longest time I feel like we haven’t represented Delaware baseball the way it should be represented in the South but today was a great day.”

Bergh finished 3-for-3 with a double and a pair of two-RBI singles. Jared Gillis, a Smyrna product who will play for Delaware State University next year, scored twice and drove in one run.

Delaware South pounded out 15 hits after having just four a year ago in a first-round defeat.

“It’s amazing,” Gillis said. “Last year we didn’t swing the bats like we did today. … I think a lot of people see that we have potential to win the whole thing this year. We want to make it to Citizens (Bank), that’s the goal.”

Meanwhile Delaware South held Berks County to one-hit in the first eight innings before Berks County rallied for three runs in the ninth.

Appoquinimink’s Ryan Steckline surrendered an early run on a RBI-groundout in the first but settled down to pitch three hitless innings. Delmar’s Jimmy Adkins kept Berks County off the board for the next three, Cape Henlopen’s David Erickson struck out four in two scoreless innings and Smyrna’s John Barkley struck out two in the ninth,

“It was lights out,” Jefferson said. “I get to see those kids against me in the regular season and it was good to be in the same dugout with those kids. They came out and dominated.”

Delaware South took the lead in the bottom of the third when Polytech’s Carter Chasanov knocked a single up the middle. He then scored the tying run on a grounder by Gillis that also was able find the same hole over second base.

Bergh then scored Gillis and Seaford’s Justin Gary’s on another seeing-eye single up the middle on a two-strike pitch. Bergh’s second two-RBI single that scored Gillis and Caesar Rodney’s Quintin Ivy also came with two strikes on him.

“I just wanted to shorten up, put it in play hard and hopefully it would find a hole,” Bergh said. “That’s what I did and it worked out.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of that kid,” Jefferson said.

Ivy, who is signed for George Washington University, went 2-for-3 and scored a pair of runs with a stolen base. Smyrna’s Ryan Seymour, another Delaware State commit, contributed a double which plated a run in the fifth inning.

Sussex Tech’s Kyle Lux and Appoquinimink’s John Weglarz had a RBI-single and RBI-double respectively while Milford’s Ethan Hurd singled and scored on a wild pitch.

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