Delaware South advances at Carpenter Cup with 8-6 win over Delaware County, Pa.

PHILADELPHIA — Year after year Delaware South would exit I-95 onto Broad Street in Philadelphia, make a left turn into FDR Park and that would be it for its Carpenter Cup experience.

Finally, last year, Delaware South got to make that right turn from Broad Street into Citizens Bank Park.

Now it is one more game away from doing it again.

Aiden Riley hit a go-ahead triple in the eighth inning as Delaware South edged Delaware County (Pa.) 8-6 in the opening round of the Carpenter Cup high school baseball showcase tournament on Friday afternoon.

Delaware South will play Burlington County (N.J.) on Monday at 2 p.m. in the quarterfinals at Ashburn Field in FDR Park. The winner will go to the semifinals on Friday hosted at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Delaware South made it to the semifinals in last year’s tournament. After a streak of 10 tournaments in a row with a first-round exit, Delaware South has won its first round matchup each of the last three seasons.

“It’s huge and it says a lot about the time, energy and effort that Delaware has put into this tournament behind the scenes,” said Sussex Tech coach G.L. Jefferson, the head coach of Delaware South this year.

“People like Mr. Bob Coburn and Tom Beddow and what they’ve done to try to represent Delaware. We’re getting the best talent to come out and it speaks volumes about the talent in Delaware. For so many years I felt like we came up and didn’t put our best product on the field. Now we’re playing quality ball.”

Delaware South is made up of players from all Henlopen Conference schools plus St. Georges, Appoquinimink, Newark and Newark Charter.
Riley, from St. Georges, scored the tying run in the seventh before knocking in the game-winning run in the eighth.

With Delaware South down 6-5 in the seventh, Riley worked a leadoff walk. Indian River’s J.J. Killen then launched a double down the right field line as Riley came all the way around to score the tying run.

Robert Shorts (St. Georges) led off the eighth with a base-hit up the middle. Alec Rodriguez (Dover) walked to put two men on as Riley came to the plate with two outs.

Riley smacked a long fly off the 370-feet marker in right-center for a triple and the two go-ahead runs on the first pitch he saw in his at-bat.

“The pitcher threw a lot of curveballs the inning before and I was just waiting on a get-me-over curveball,” Riley said. “I didn’t think it was going far at first but yeah it went pretty far.”

Polytech’s Evan Harris made sure the two-run lead held up.

He pitched the final two innings and struck out five. He worked around a one-out walk in the ninth, getting a groundout and a strikeout for the final two outs of the game.

He struck out the side in the eighth to escape a jam with runners on the corners and one out.

Dom Velazquez of Dover started and went three innings of the mound for Delaware South. He finished with three strikeouts. Brock Hilligoss (Milford) and Noah Finocchiaro (St. Georges) pitched two innings apiece in middle relief.

Delaware South got five of its runs during a five-run fourth inning where it batted around.

Connor Ellingsworth (Laurel) started the scoring with a RBI double. Grant Lamers (Sussex Tech) tied the game at 2-2 with a single.

Jacob Anderson (Indian River) gave Delaware South its first lead of the day with a sacrifice fly. Nathan McVey (St. Georges) then capped the inning with two-RBI double.

“It’s really fun because everyone has the same aspirations to play at the next level,” Haris said. “It’s really fun to play with everyone else. We’ve been representing Delaware South really well.”

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