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Valley hoped buck would be good luck

If Carpenter Cup head coach Ted Plessl and his team have their way, there will be a mounted deer head making appearances in Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park and FDR Park this week. The unfortunate buck has become a symbol of success for the team and makes an appearance in the later rounds of the Carpenter Cup, taking an honored place in the dugout to oversee all that is going on with the team.

Last season, the Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup baseball team staved off intense heat to fight its way to the semifinals at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. This season, the temperatures are supposed to be slightly more moderate, near perfect weather for deer.

This is the 36th season of Carpenter Cup baseball in Philadelphia and features scholastic players from the Lehigh Valley as they battle teams from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in a single elimination tournament. The semifinals will again be played at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday with the championship returning to FDR Park on Monday June 20.

This year’s team will be minus a few strong recruits as players from Liberty High School continued to chase a state championship and are slated to play Warwick Thursday at Penn State to decide which team is the best in the state. Players from Emmaus – Luke Deschenes and Tyler LePage – will be on the team as the Hornets were eliminated in the quarterfinal round of the state playoffs.

Other Lehigh Valley Press area players on the team are Bethlehem Catholic’s Chaise Albus, Parkland’s Blake Barthol, and Northwestern Lehigh’s Dylan Witkowski. Alternate players for the team include Northampton’s Matt Merced, Catasauqua’s John Pushkar, Whitehall’s Matt Rader and Salisbury’s Tim Schware.

Lehigh Valley opened against Burlington County but fell in the game. The winner faced the winner of the game between Jersey Shore and Philadelphia Catholic in the quarterfinals on Thursday.

The LV team was hoping to play Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park in the semifinals and return to FDR Park Monday for the championship game if they continued to win through each round.

Last season, Tri Cape downed Mercer County in the championship game to win the championship. Lehigh Valley has won the Carpenter Cup trophy three times with the most recent coming in 2011. They were also victorious in 1998 and 2001.

The games are attended by college scouts and serve as a showcase for young talent from around the area.

The Lehigh Valley Carpenter Cup softball team began play this week in Philadelphia.