Delaware South eyes more success at Carpenter Cup

Dover’s Dominic Velazquez pitches against Cape Henlopen in the state tournament at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

The Delaware South squad is headed up to the Carpenter Cup in Philadelphia with something it hasn’t had in a while — some recent history to live up to.

After strong showings in back-to-back years, Delaware South gets its Carpenter Cup tournament underway today.

It will face Delaware County of Pennsylvania at 4 p.m. at Showcase Field Philadelphia’s FDR Park. If Delaware South wins, its next game will be at Ashburn Field in FDR Park on Monday at 2 p.m. against the winner of Burlington County (Pa.) vs. Chester County (Pa.).

The Delaware South team features players from the Henlopen Conference schools, plus St. Georges, Appoquinimink, Newark and Newark Charter.

The showcase tournament features high school players making up 16 teams from Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

The semifinals and finals will be played next Friday and Saturday at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Delaware South made it to Citizens Bank Park for the first time ever last year. It won a pair of games before falling to Delaware North in the semifinals.

Delaware South last won the tournament in 2000, when the semifinals and finals were played at the Phillies’ old Veterans Stadium.

Delaware South last faced Delaware County in the 2015 tournament. It fell 7-3 in the first round.

That marked the 10th year in a row Delaware South dropped its first round game, but things have turned around recently.

It won its opening round matchup in 2016 10-4 over Berks County (Pa.). Then last year it defeated the Philadelphia Catholic League in the first round 4-1 before knocking off Inter-AC (Pa.) 12-7 in the quarterfinals to clinch a spot at Citizens Bank Park.

This year the squad will be coach by Sussex Tech head coach G.L. Jefferson. Jefferson was last the head coach in 2016 when Delaware South broke its 10-year losing streak.

Corey Wyatt, Lake Forest’s head coach, is an assistant on this year’s squad a year after being the head coach who helped bring Delaware South to the semifinals. George Eilers (Polytech), Nick Brannan (Milford) and Billy Cunningham (Appoquinimink) are also back on the coaching staff from last year and are joined by St. Georges’ Jeff Rodgers.

Five players from last year’s semifinal roster are back for another year — Ethan Watkinson of Sussex Central, Kevin Buglio and Sean Kilby of Newark Charter plus Nate McVey and Aiden Riley of St. Georges. Riley is making his third appearance in the Carpenter Cup which is the most of any player on the roster.

Newcomers include Dom Velazquez and Alec Rodriguez of Dover, Tommy Pomatto of Caesar Rodney, Evan Harris of Polytech, Nathan McGray of Lake Forest, Chad Reichhold and Brock Hilligoss of Milford.

Jake Gelof of Cape Henlopen, Trevor Collins of Sussex Central, J.J. Killen and Jacob Anderson of Indian River, Connor Ellingsworth of Laurel and Grant Lamers of Sussex Tech complete the Sussex County portions of the squad.

The roster is rounded out by New Castle County school’s players Robert Shorts and Noah Finocchiaro of St. Georges, Nick Zegna of Newark, Joseph Davis, Mason Keene and Jarrett Weglarz of Appoquinimink plus Troy Matthews from Newark Charter.

DELAWARE SOUTH ROSTER

P-Dom Velazquez, Dover

P/DH-Noah Finocchiaro, St. Georges

P-Troy Matthews, Newark Charter

P-Joseph Davis, Appoquinimink

P-Brock Hilligoss, Milford

P-Chad Reichhold, Milford

P/2B-Trevor Collins, Sussex Central

P/2B-Robert Shorts, St. Georges

P/SS-Tommy Pomatto, Caesar Rodney

P/SS-Jarrett Weglarz, Appoquinimink

P/3B-Evan Harris, Polytech

C-Ethan Watkinson, Sussex Central

C-Conor Ellingsworth, Laurel

1B-J.J. Killen, Indian River

1B-Sean Kilby, Newark Charter

3B-Kevin Buglio, Newark Charter

INF-Nick Zegna, Newark

OF-Jacob Anderson, Indian River

OF-Aiden Riley, St. Georges

OF-Jakob Gelof, Cape Henlopen

OF-Mason Keene, Appoquinimink

OF-Alec Rodriguez, Dover

OF-Nathan McVey, St. Georges

DH-Grant Lamers, Sussex Tech

DH-Nathan McGray, Lake Forest

Reach staff writer Tim Mastro at tmastro@newszap.com

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