American-Continental Rallies for Carpenter Cup Win

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PHILADELPHIA – Kyle McLaughlin didn’t get all of a Dom DePasquale pitch, but the Central Bucks South senior got enough to leg out an infield single that drove in the go-ahead run in Monday’s SOL American-Continental squad’s Carpenter Cup opener against Olympic Colonial.
“I didn’t get much of it,” McLaughlin said. “It was a little, slow ground ball, and I knew I could beat it out.”
McLaughlin’s hit put the SOL on top 4-3 in the fifth inning, and the next batter – Quakertown’s Jayson Rathjens - took some of the suspense of out the game when he ripped a three-run home run to right field, giving the SOL a 7-3 lead on its way to a 10-7 win at the University of Penn’s Meiklejohn Stadium.
“It’s fun,” McLaughlin said. “We know everyone is good from both leagues, and it’s fun to play with everyone and get to know each other.”
Hatboro-Horsham coach Pete Moore, the head coach of the SOL, acknowledged that participating in the Carpenter Cup is a special privilege.
“This is a tremendous experience as a player and a great experience as a coach,” said Moore, whose team rallied from an early 3-0 deficit for the win. “Working with these kids with this much talent – this is a good group of kids.
“It’s nice to see them come back from an early hole – it builds some character, and it brings the team together. When you have a mix of all-stars, kids that don’t know each other that well yet – it’s a way for them to bond by coming from behind to get a win like this.”
 The SOL welcomed the return of Methacton to its ranks as the former SOL squad – which joined the PAC-10 this year - had four players on the roster.
 “It was weird,” Methacton senior Todd Rubendall said. “I didn’t expect to be on this team at the beginning of the season since we switched leagues, but it’s great.
“I know some of the guys and the coaches. I’m glad to be on this team.”
The SOL was certainly glad to have Rubendall on board. The senior shortstop, who hit out the leadoff spot when he entered the game after four innings, was a perfect 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs.
Rubendall had an RBI double in the SOL’s six-run uprising in the fifth inning that erased a 3-1 deficit. It came on the heels of a one-out single by Methacton teammate Nick Sun and made it a one-run game.
“After Nick got that hit, we had the confidence,” Rubendall said. “After that, we were swinging the bat, finding the right pitches.             
“That’s how baseball works. When one guy gets us started, everybody else seems to follow.”
One out later, Methacton’s Mark Romano drew a walk, and that set the stage for Pennridge’s Ray Puskar, whose line drive single to right plated Rubendall with the tying run.
“It was a (good) experience to be playing in a game like this, especially with kids from all different areas of the Suburban One,” Puskar said. “When we came together as a team and got some timely hits and good pitching, it was a really nice thing.
“There’s some pressure, but it’s actually more fun. This is kids from all over the area, and we know what we’re capable of.”
McLaughlin’s infield single put the SOL on top 4-3, and when Rathjens lofted a home run to right field, the SOL led 7-3 and never looked back.
The SOL added a single run in the sixth when Rubendall, who singled and stole second, scored on Upper Moreland sophomore Dave McInerney’s a two-out single to left.
In the seventh, Puskar, who was safe on an error and stole both second and third, scored on a groundout by Rathjens to put the SOL on top 9-3. Olympic Colonial got one of those runs back in the top of the eighth, but the SOL, thanks to an RBI double by Rubendall, answered with a run in the bottom of the frame.
Olympic  Colonial plated three runs in the ninth, benefitting from a pair of SOL errors, but it was too little too late.
“It’s a good time getting to play with the guys we played with last year in the Carpenter Cup,” Sun said. “When you sit out the first four innings, you get to watch the other guys play and have chance to talk to the guys in the dugout. I’m not used to it, but it was a good time.”
Sun came up with the defensive play of the game in the top of the fifth when he tracked down a ball in the left center field gap that had extra-bases written all over it.
“Coming in, we were behind, and I was trying to help out my pitcher with a runner on base,” Sun said. “The real goal there was to knock the ball down – not give up the double.”
“That’s huge,” Moore said of Sun’s defensive play. “It can change the momentum. He’s a heck of an athlete, a heck of a hitter.
“It looked like the ball may have come back on him a little more than he expected, but he made a really nice play, and then he hits the ball hard to get the offense going, and we kind of rolled from there.”
The pitcher at the time of Sun’s spectacular catch – Souderton’s Keith Moyer – ended up working two scoreless innings and earned the win. He worked a one-two-three third and allowed only a lead-off walk in the fifth.
“It was a lot of fun,” Moyer said. “The team knows how to have fun in the dugout – it’s a bunch of characters, but we know when we step on the field we have (work) to do.
“The main thing is to help your team win and get to Citizen’s Bank.”
The SOL American-Continental squad returns to action on Thursday, 9 a.m., when it will face Tri-Cape – a 3-2 winner over Delaware North in an opening round game. The winner of that game will advance to Citizens Bank Park next week.
EXTRA INNINGS: After spotting Olympic Colonial a 3-0 lead in the second, the SOL got one of those back in the bottom of the inning when Central Bucks East’s Tim Wessel roped a double into right field that plated Upper Dublin’s Rob Swartz, who reached first on catcher’s interference – one of six errors by the Olympic Colonial squad…. The state champion North Penn Knights had four players on the SOL roster, but with graduation scheduled for Tuesday night, they made an early-inning appearance and then headed back to school. Mike Bradstreet tossed a scoreless third, and Justin Davey had a one-out double in the first…Hatboro’s Matt Schoettle and Quakertown’s Kurt Roberts both worked scores innings for the SOL.
Olympic Colonial:  Sam Slutsky cf 3 0 0 0; Miles Bailey cf 2 0 1 1; Jim Yezzo lf 3 0 1 0; Ryan Calhoun lf 1 2 0 0; Nick Favatella ss 2 0 0 0; Chris Davis ph/ss 3 0 2 1; Bob Applegate 1b 2 0 0 0; Andrew Mucerino ph/1b 3 0 2 2; Jeremy Cruz dh 2 1 1 0; Nick Caputi ph/dh 3 0 0 0; Greg Brodzinski c 2 0 0 0; Louis Nieves ph/c 2 0 0 0; Matt Speckman 2b 2 1 1 0; Pedro Sanchez 2b 2 1 0 0; Casey Grimes rf 1 1 1 3; John Garozzo rf 1 1 0 0; Mike McGee 3b 2 0 0 0; Tom Dyer 3b 2 0 0 0; Ryan Martin p 0 0 0 0; Rolando Gautier p 0 0 0 0; Dom DePasquale p 0 0 0 0; Pat D’Ascenzo p 0 0 0 0; Joe Jankowski p 0 0 0 0. TOTALS 38 7 9 7.
SOL American/Continental: Brett Saverio 2b 2 0 0 0; Todd Rubendall ss 3 2 3 2; Justin Davey cf 2 0 1 0; Dave McInerney c 3 0 1 1; Robbie Zinsmeister ss 2 0 0 0; Mark Romano 1b 2 1 0 0; Matt Albaugh c 2 0 0 0; Ray Puskar 3b 2 2 1 1; Joe Mullin 1b 2 0 1 0; Kyle McLaughlin rf 2 1 1 1; Rob Swartz dh 1 1 0 0; Jayson Rathjens dh 2 1 1 4; James O’Toole lf 2 0 0 0; Shawn Leo cf 2 0 0 0; Tim Wessel rf 1 0 1 1; Dylan Tice 2b 2 1 0 0; Jordan Hofferman 3b 1 0 0 0; Nick Sun lf 3 1 1 0; Nick Hinkson p 0 0 0 0; Mike Bradstreet p 0 0 0 0; Keith Moyer p 0 0 0 0; Matt Schoettle p 0 0 0 0; Kurt Roberts p 0 0 0 0; Matt Hollenbeck p 0 0 0 0; Jordan Carter p 0 0 0 0. TOTALS 36 10 11 10.
Olympic Colonial               030 000 013 7-9-5
SOL American/Continental          010 061 11x 10-11-3
E-OC 6, SOL 3. LOB-OC 7, SOL 5. 2B-Yezzo, Rubendall 2, Davey, Wessel. HR-Grimes, Rathjens.
                IP            H             R             ER           BB           SO
Olympic Colonial
Martin 3              3              1              0              0              3
Gautier 1              0              0              0              2              3
DePasquale (L) 2              7              7              7              1              2
D’Ascenzo           1              0              1              0              0              0
Jankowski           1              1              1              1              0              1
SOL American/Continental
Hinkson                2              3              3              3              0              2
Bradstreet          2              1              0              0              0              1
Moyer 1              0              0              0              1              0
Schoettle             1              0              0              0              0              1
Roberts                1              0              0              0              0              1              3
Hollenback          1              2              1              1              1              2             
Carter   1              3              3              0              1              2