The Carpenter Cup quarterfinal between Jersey Shore and Burlington County was postponed for the second time in the tournament on Saturday because of the relentless rain. It’s the only quarterfinal that has yet to be played after having been rained out on Thursday and now today, and it is now tentatively scheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. at Meiklejohn Stadium at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Carpenter Cup organizers have allowed teams to expand their rosters to 30 players to allow each team to bring in five more alternates, which have yet to be decided for the Jersey Shore squad. Jersey Shore may lobby to play a possible double-header on Tuesday where they will just play the semifinal game after the quarterfinal if they win. They are now running into conflicts with graduation practice for the seniors.
Former St. Rose star Anthony Ranaudo had to wait out a two-hour-plus rain delay of his own on Friday for LSU, but he helped beat Arkansas 14-5 with seven scoreless innnings on just 77 pitches in the College World Series. LSU is now in the CWS finals for the first time since 2000 and Ranaudo will pitch again on either Tuesday or Wednesday against Texas. The finals start on Monday.
I watched some of the game before going outside to enjoy the few hours of sunshine that Mother Nature decided to give us in the midst of this London gloom, and the quote from LSU head coach Paul Mainieri was right on – Ranaudo had great downward action on his fastball. In high school, he had a tendency to get up in the zone because he is so tall (6-7), but his mechanics looked great on Friday and he kept the ball down. When he does that, he is very tough. Plus, he is a bulldog competitor. He pitched St. Rose to the Non-Public B title as a sophomore, taking the ball in every big game and delivering, so he is not afraid of any challenge. If he continues on the course he’s on, his bank account is going to be very swollen a year from now. Maybe my Mets will take him, develop him into a stud front-of-the-rotation starter and trade him to the Tampa Bay Rays for some deadbeat around the trading deadline in a panic move.
In a random aside, how much baseball talent has Jackson been producing lately? Kevin Needham is going to St. John’s, junior third baseman Bryan Soloman is a surefire Division I player, pitcher/shortstop Pete Kelich is going to Division I Bryant University, and Ranaudo is a Jackson resident who went to St. Rose. They are just pumping out talent over there.