June 20, 2019
By: Erica Rose
Forty-seven kids came out in hopes of making the twenty-five-man roster for the Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup this year. Of those twenty-five, eighteen of them were first-year participants. But that didn’t mean the guys lacked experience or talent and it showed in this year's showcase. The Carpenter Cup is a 16-team tri-state showcase tournament, and in recent years, Lehigh Valley hasn’t had too much success, falling in the first round three out of the last five years. This year, the team was determined to make a change.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t kind to the guys and in the end neither was the final result, but it was still an experience the players will never forget. The team qualified for the semifinals for the first time since 2013, and was awarded with the opportunity to play their final two games at Citizen Bank Park – home of the Philadelphia Phillies. It took some time for them to let it all sink in, as they thought of all the amazing talent that has taken the field. The guys admitted it was a little surreal standing in the same position as many of their role models. Getting to this point wasn’t easy for the team. Lehigh Valley had a heck of a run, overcoming deficits in two of their games (including the semifinal), and an hour rain delay in the semis, but Tuesday morning’s championship game was a different story.
Ironically the team was facing Burlington County, the same team they played in the championship back in 2011 when they won it all. This time they wouldn’t be so lucky. Trailing 4-2 into the 9th inning the guys could not pull off another comeback. As a result the guys were denied their 4th title and first since 2011. But, it does not take away the memories the guys made on and off the field. It is not impossible for this team to be back here next year either. Six of their seven pitchers are able to return to the team next summer.