SOL National-BAL Defeats Chester County in Carpenter Cup Opener

The SOL National-Bicentennial squad defeated Chester County 9-4 in Carpenter Cup action on Wednesday. Photos provided courtesy of Keith Clemens Photography. Check back for a gallery of photos...CLICK HERE to go directly to the SOS Baseball Gallery.

By Scott Huff

Philadelphia – Pennsbury/Suburban One National Conference/Bicentennial League head coach Joe Pesci may look like a distinguished professor with his No. 2 pencil tucked behind his right ear – and indeed the head coach just might be that scholastic baseball genius.

Pesci – who has his District One champion Falcons in the PIAA state baseball championship game this Friday (Lubrano Park @ Penn State – 3:30 pm) against District 3 champion Dallastown – coached the SOL National/BAL to an opening round Carpenter Cup victory over Chester County by a 9-4 score.

And the success that the SOL National/BAL in this prestigious tournament is far from new.

“We have been in the final four the last three years, and we won in 2015,” said Pesci.  “For the players to get a chance to play in Citizens Bank Park is exciting, and the players know how strong this franchise has been.”

One player that has been with the program the last three seasons has been Council Rock South senior infielder Josh Kim.  Kim was part of the SOL/National Carpenter Cup tournament champs two seasons ago and was on the team the got to the ‘Bank’ last season before a semifinal loss.

“The players from both leagues have blended together to become a powerhouse,” said Kim, who will continue his baseball career at Villanova next year.  “Every year that I have played on this team has been great – you develop a real chemistry in a short time with players from the Bicentennial League that we don’t even know.

“And we had some bad blood during the season against the teams like Pennsbury and Neshaminy,” added Kim.  “But that bad blood become good blood when they become your teammates.” 

Kim – who batted leadoff - played the first five innings of the game and finished with a stat line that included being hit by a pitch, a single, a stolen base, and a run batted in.

Neshaminy junior Brian Nicolas – who batted second – played the first five innings and finished with a stat line that included safe on an error, a single and a run scored.

“I was just happy to be able to contribute to us winning the game,” said Nicolas, who will showcase his talents his senior season for the Redskins next year.  “When I joined the team this year everyone made us aware of how good this team has been in the past.

“This is a great group of guys to play with,” added Nicolas.  “We just hang out in practice and in the dugout and talk baseball.  It brings us all together.”

The roster of players is peppered with schools from mostly from Lower Bucks County.  That list includes Pennsbury, Neshaminy, Bensalem, Council Rock South, Council Rock North, William Tennent, Holy Ghost Prep, Devon Prep, New Hope-Solebury, Valley Forge Baptist, Plumstead Christian, MaST Charter, and Dock Mennonite Academy.

“I always say the thing that makes us good is our depth,” said Pesci.  “Both starting teams are going to be pretty even, but when we get later in the game, our depth of good players makes a real difference.

“This tournament is a good way for a lot of these players to get some exposure,” added Pesci.  “We were missing some of our rostered players today, but the five players that came to fill in were great.”

The missing players – who will be eligible to play in the second round Carpenter Cup game on Monday against Olympic-Colonial (9am @ the UYA Showcase Field) – were mostly players on Pesci’s district champion Pennsbury team that was at practice today in preparation for Friday’s state title game against Dallastown.  The list of excused no shows included Falcon standouts Vaughn Ward, Justin Massielo, Ryan McCarty, and Billy Bethel. Also missing – but still eligible – is standout Council Rock South lefty Zach Mayer (college visit).

“I really wanted to be at (Pennsbury) practice today, but it was also great to be here,” said Pesci.  “I wanted to be involved with this – and it was great to be able to do both. 

“The (Falcon) players, I’m sure, were able to chill a little at practice with me not there,” added Pesci.  “But we will leave (Thursday) at 11 am – get to State College – and be ready to play on Friday.”

“It’s great to have a team from our league represent the Suburban One in the championship game,” said Kim.  “I wish it was us – but I hope they win it all for the league.”

“I have been following them all through the playoffs,” said Nicolas.  “I really hope they can win it all – they deserve it.”

And in recent years the SOL National/BAL has deserved its Carpenter Cup title run as well.

Stay tuned.

EXTRA INNINGS:  After Chester County plated an unearned run in the top of the first, the SOL National-BAL scored a pair of runs in the top of the second. Matthew Carter (MaST Charter) drew a walk to lead off the inning, and Bensalem’s Scott Rooney was hit by a pitch. Brett Sternberg (Holy Ghost Prep) singled through the left side to plate a run, and the second run crossed the plate on Josh Kim’s single. In the third, CR South’s Evan Fisher singled, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a groundout to give the SOL National-BAL a 3-1 lead. Chester County knotted the score in the bottom of the fourth, but the SOL National-BAL took a lead it would not lose with two runs in the fifth. Nicolas singled to center and advanced to second out a groundout. Kasey Caras singled to right, and both runners scored on Carter’s two-run triple. Highlights of a three-run seventh that gave the SOL National-BAL an 8-4 lead were a double by Mark Seibert (Holy Ghost) and a two-run single by Holy Ghost Prep teammate Philip Stahl. In the eighth, the SOL National-BAL tacked on a run, thanks to singles by Truman’s Tyler Brasier and Dock Mennonite’s Nolan Bolton that set the stage for a sacrifice fly by Seibert. Plumstead Christian’s Brooke Hewitt earned the win. Neshaminy’s Kylve Rovny did not allow a hit in two shutout innings. Bensalem’s Nick Dean recorded the final two outs of the contest.

SOL NATIONAL-BICENTENNIAL 9

Player

AB

R

H

RBI

Josh Kim 3b

2

0

1

1

Nolan Bolton ph/3b

2

0

1

0

Brian Nicholas 2b

3

1

1

0

Tyler Wright cf

2

1

0

0

Evan Fisher 1b

3

1

1

0

Mark Seibert rf

1

1

1

1

Greg Delgado lf

2

0

0

0

John Crane 1b

2

0

0

0

Kasey Caras rf

3

1

1

1

Troy Obarowski 2b

1

1

0

0

Matthew Carter ss

2

1

1

2

Harold Landman

2

0

1

0

Scott Rooney c

2

1

0

0

Philip Stahl c

2

0

1

2

Brett Sternberg

1

0

1

1

Cory Joyce ph/ss

3

0

0

0

Jimmy Loftus dh

2

0

0

0

Tyler Brasier ph/dh

2

1

1

0

Daniel Sabath p

0

0

0

0

Brock Hewitt p

0

0

0

0

Kyle Rovny p

0

0

0

0

Matthew Benda p

0

0

0

0

Nick Dean p

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

37

9

11

8

CHESTER COUNTY 4

Nick Opalkowski c

3

1

0

0

Colt Narciso ss

2

0

0

0

Daniel DeBeneditto cf

3

0

0

0

Tim Becker 2b

2

0

0

0

Alex Stump ss

3

0

0

0

Eric Grintz c

2

0

0

0

Luke LeBeau 2b

1

1

1

1

Brendan O'Donnell c

2

0

0

0

Peter Giobetti 1b

2

0

0

0

Demetrio Rodriguez 1b

2

1

1

0

Kevin Wessels dh

2

0

0

0

Patrick Campbell dh

1

0

0

0

Conor Smith rf

2

1

1

1

Theron Schiling rf

1

0

0

0

Nathan Valenta lf

1

0

1

1

Quinn Danna lf

1

0

0

0

Owen Dougherty 3b

2

0

0

0

Connor Malloy 3b

1

0

1

0

Austin Odell p

0

0

0

0

Kevin Cushing p

0

0

0

0

Mike Hohlfeld p

0

0

0

0

Ben Christian p

0

0

0

0

Nick Samuelwicz p

0

0

0

0

Adam Grintz

0

0

0

0

Adam Smith p

0

0

0

0

TOTALS

33

4

5

3

SOL NATIONAL-Bicentennial          021 020 310   9-11-3

CHESTER COUNTY      100 201 000   4-5-3

E-SOL/BAL 3, Chester County 3. LOB-SOL/BAL 8, Chester Co 8.

2B-Mark Seibert, Luke LeBeau, Conor Smith. 3B-Matthew Carter.

SB-Josh Kim, Brett Sternberg, Demetrio Rodriguez, Theron Schilling.

SOL/BAL

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Daniel Sabath

3

1

1

0

0

2

Brock Hewitt (W)

2.2

3

3

2

3

3

Kyle Rovny

2

0

0

0

1

1

Matthew Benda

0.2

1

0

0

0

1

Nick Dean

0.2

0

0

0

0

0

CHESTER CO

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

Austin Odell

1

1

2

2

1

0

Kevin Cushing

1

1

0

0

0

0

Mike Hohlfeld

1

1

1

0

0

1

Ben Christian (L)

2

3

2

2

1

4

Nick Samuelwicz

1

0

0

0

0

1

Adam Grintz

1

2

3

0

1

1

Adam Smith

2

3

1

1

0

1