Burlington County beats Suburban One to win Carpenter Cup

Posted: June 20, 2012

Two innings into the Carpenter Cup Classic, it was raining in more ways than one on the team from Burlington County.

The South Jersey squad started the tournament on a damp and dreary Tuesday morning in FDR Park. And the weather wasn't the only downer as Burlington County was behind Berks County by a 7-1 score in the middle of the second inning.

"We knew we had to turn it around fast," Moorestown senior pitcher Dan Schurer said.

Six days and 34 innings later, the sun was shining as Burlington County clinched the championship of the 27th annual showcase tournament with a 3-1 victory over Suburban One League American/Continental on Monday in Citizens Bank Park.

Schurer and juniors Pedro Perez and Jon Mackie, both of Holy Cross, combined to pitch a six-hitter with eight strikeouts to carry Burlington County to its third championship since 2006.

"When you've got a good pitching staff, you're going to go far," said Perez, a hard-throwing, righthander who set the tone for Burlington County's victory with three perfect innings.

Holy Cross senior Chris Burns was the hitting star for Burlington County, launching a two-run home run into the seats in left field in the sixth inning.

"It's the highlight of my career," Burns said of driving a 2-2 pitch over the 334-foot sign just inside the left-field foul pole.

Burns, a catcher who plans to play next year at Alvernia College, said he took his time on his trot around the bases in the Phillies' home park.

"I enjoyed every second of it," Burns said. "I think it was like a 15-second run."

Lenape senior Bobby Iospi drove in Burlington County's first run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Hatboro-Horsham senior Chris Hens drove in SOL's run with a single in the seventh.

After allowing seven runs in the first two innings of the tournament, Burlington County allowed just six runs in the final 34 innings. The South Jersey team got great work in the tourney from pitchers Schurer (seven innings, six hits, no runs), Mackie (six innings, five hits, one run), Lenape junior Kevin Milley (31/3 innings, one hit, one run), Seneca senior Greg Santora (two innings, no hits, no runs) and Cherokee senior Colin Perro (71/3 innings, eight hits, three runs).

Perez was a revelation. The junior had played shortstop in the first three games but was designated as a pitcher for the well-played final, which took just 2 hours, 1 minute.

Perez retired nine consecutive batters. He threw just 29 pitches, 19 for strikes. He struck out four.

"It was special, pitching on the same mound as the pros," Perez said.

Schurer worked three scoreless innings, allowing two hits. Mackie earned the save, pitching three innings and striking out the final hitter in the eighth and ninth.

"I wish I was still out there," Schurer said. "It's something I'll tell my grandkids about."

SOL American/Cont. 000 000 100 - 161

Burlington County 000 003 00x - 390

WP: Dan Schurer. LP: Zach Prendergast.

2B: SOL-Eddie Posavec; BC-Heath Fillmyer.

HR: BC-Chris Burns

Contact Phil Anastasia at 856-779-3223, panastasia@phillynews.com, or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

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