It was a torrid start for the Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup team Monday afternoon, as they torched Delaware South 11-3 in the opener of the 16-team tournament at Richie Ashburn Field in Philadelphia.
The Lehigh Valley blew things open with a four-run third inning, helping them take a 5-0 lead into the fourth, which only ballooned following a two-run double by Tyler Buskirk to help build a 7-0 lead for the Lehigh Valley.
In total, the Lehigh Valley pelted Delaware South's pitching, tallying 17 hits, scoring in six of nine innings, and getting all seven pitchers into the contest to move them into Friday's quarterfinals against Olympic/Colonial at 10:30 a.m., back at Ashburn Field.
"Any time you can get a win down here at this tournament, it's a good day," said manager Ted Plessl. "Bottom line is that if we don't win, you're done and our guys went out and played their game. That's what we told them before the game and we wanted them to just have fun."
Plessl hopes that mentality carries over to Friday's contest against Olympic/Colonial, which scored a 16-8 victory over National/Bicentennial. O/C is the most decorated team in the tournament, owning five titles in tournament history, but have only been 2-11 since 2002.
Meanwhile, the Lehigh Valley won its seventh-straight opener of the tournament and Buskirk (Pen Argyl) was a buzzkill for Delaware South, as he went 3-for-3, with three RBIs to lead the squad on the afternoon.
Tamaqua's Brett Kosciolek pitched a scoreless sixth inning for Lehigh Valley, striking out one. Pleasant Valley's Dan Hrebek batted leadoff and played shortstop. He went hitless, but stole a base.
"Our bats got going for us today," said Plessl. "I like our players to be gritty and we never want them to give up on an at bat or a play. They just keep playing the game and when you have a nine inning contest, that's what you have to do."
As mentioned, all seven Lehigh Valley pitchers got to the mound, as they held their counterparts to eight hits over nine innings. Walt Roland (Central Catholic) started the contest and threw two scoreless innings, while Parkland junior Gabe Mosser threw six pitches in the ninth to retire three-straight batters to close out the contest.
"We were able to get a big enough lead to get all our pitchers in and get them in these situations," said Plessl. "Now they've got their feet wet and it was a good opportunity for everyone to get involved."
If the Lehigh Valley wins on Friday, they'll play in next week's semifinals at Citizens Bank Park.