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Tri-Cape Carpenter Cup baseball team loaded with pitching talent

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By DAVE O’SULLIVAN Publisher If pitching wins championships, the Tri-Cape team has a pretty good shot at winning its first-ever Carpenter Cup title this year. The prestigious tournament has been held since 1986 and features more than 400 of the best high school baseball players from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. The semifinals and finals are held at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. Last year, the Tri-Cape team made a run to the semifinals and played at the Phillies’ ballpark before falling to Lehigh Valley. Tri-Cape’s first game in the 2014 tournament is Thursday at 4 p.m. against Philadelphia Catholic, and the Tri-Cape roster features some serious firepower on the mound. The pitching staff is so good that Ocean City’s Sean Mooney is listed as an infielder and Matt Ardente of Absegami and Kyle Cox of Millville both are listed as outfielders. They were three of the top pitchers in the Cape-Atlantic League. And there wasn’t even room for Mainland’s Matt Tepedino, who struck out 13 batters in the Group 3 semifinals and hit 95 mph on the radar gun in the Mustangs’ win over Hamilton. Holy Spirit senior Mike Di Ianni, who threw two no-hitters this season, is one of many outstanding pitchers the Tri-Cape team has at its disposal for the Carpenter Cup tournament, which begins Thursday. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O'Sullivan) Holy Spirit senior Mike Di Ianni, who threw two no-hitters this season, is one of many outstanding pitchers the Tri-Cape team has at its disposal for the Carpenter Cup tournament, which begins Thursday. (Glory Days Magazine photos/Dave O’Sullivan) “That tells you how deep (the pitching staff is). Tep is a very good pitcher. It kind of stinks that he didn’t make it, but that just shows how deep the pitching for Tri-Cape,” said Holy Spirit senior pitcher Mike Di Ianni. “We’re deep in pitching. It’s going to be pretty fun.” The pitching staff includes Delsea’s Bryan Dobzanski, a Louisville commit who also was drafted in the MLB amateur draft this year, John Murphy and Tyler Mondile of Gloucester Catholic, Denny Bentley of Williamstown, Denny Brady, a flame-thrower from Buena Regional, and Joe Gatto of St. Augustine, another MLB draft pick. Todd Henry, a junior shortstop at Egg Harbor Township, said he was impressed when he saw the pitching talent on this year’s roster. “I remember playing against them during the season and I know they are all good baseball players and they are really competitive,” Henry said. Henry will be joining a couple of other local position players on the roster, including outfielder Zach Newman of Cedar Creek and Kenny Merlock of Oakcrest. In all, the roster features 12 players from the Cape-Atlantic League. The Tri-Cape team is so loaded with pitching that Ocean City sophomore Sean Mooney, one of the best pitchers this season in the Cape-Atlantic League, is listed on the roster as an infielder. The Tri-Cape team is so loaded with pitching that Ocean City sophomore Sean Mooney, one of the best pitchers this season in the Cape-Atlantic League, is listed on the roster as an infielder. Di Ianni, who threw two no-hitters this season, and Henry said they were both surprised to be named to the roster, and for Di Ianni it will be a memorable way to end what has been a dream senior season. “It’s a dream come true, honestly. It’s one of the last things I expected out of this year, to be on the Carpenter Cup team. Knowing that I’m on the team feels great. It’s quite an honor,” Di Ianni said. “It’s a very big honor. I wasn’t really expecting to get picked for that since I’m a junior. I know last year they took a lot of seniors,” Henry said. “I know there will be a lot of good competition. I’ve been getting my work in and my mindset right so I can go out there and have a good showing.” Both players said they wouldn’t be surprised if they were a bit overwhelmed if Tri-Cape is able to advance to the semifinals and play where the Phillies play. “That would put a lot of icing on the cake for this year. It would be a dream come true to play at Citizens Bank Park. Watching the Phillies games on TV, I’ve been thinking lately, wow, I could possibly be pitching in this stadium,” Di Ianni said. Said Henry, “I’m looking forward to winning some games and playing in the Phillies stadium. That would be awesome. I would probably feel nervous, but then I’d get past that and just play my game.” Contact Dave O’Sullivan: sully@acglorydays.com; on Twitter @GDsullysays [adsense]

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