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Catholic League wins a slugfest

In the first 23 years of the Carpenter Cup baseball tournament, a player had hit two home runs in a game four times.

In the first 23 years of the Carpenter Cup baseball tournament, a player had hit two home runs in a game four times.

Yesterday, the feat was accomplished twice in a launching pad of a quarterfinal triple-header at the University of Pennsylvania's Meiklejohn Stadium.

Neumann-Goretti first baseman Mark Donato hit two home runs, including one measured at 405 feet, to lead the Philadelphia Catholic League to an 11-9 win over Mercer County.

With the victory, the Catholic League will meet Suburban One National/Bicentennial Athletic League in Tuesday's 2 p.m. semifinal of this 16-team single elimination tournament at Citizens Bank Park.

In yesterday's third game, Tri-Cape catcher Juan Velazquez of Vineland also hit two home runs in a losing effort as the Suburban One League American and Continental defeated the Tri-Cape, 13-12, in 11 innings. Velazquez has three home runs in his two Carpenter Cup games this year.

"It's an honor to have done this, but I'm disappointed that we couldn't advance," said Velazquez, an Inquirer first-team all-South Jersey catcher who earlier this week committed to Kean University.

Donato is a junior who earned Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania honors at first base after batting .601 with four home runs.

He became the first player to homer twice in the same game since North Catholic's Stanley Orzechowski, also of the Philadelphia Catholic League, hit two on June 16, 2004, in a 7-3 win over Delaware South.

Donato went 1 for 3 with a single in the Catholic League's opening 9-2 win over Chester County.

"I wasn't satisfied with my performance that first game, so I took extra batting practice," Donato said.

Staying on the home-run theme, Christopher Dock junior catcher Ryan Seiz continued his Carpenter Cup power exhibition with a two-run home run in the eighth inning as Suburban One League National/Bicentennial Athletic League defeated Lehigh Valley, 5-4.

This was a rematch of last year's Carpenter Cup final, won by SOL/BAL on a walk-off home run by Seiz, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound switch hitter.

He also hit a home run in last year's semifinal win.

"I was getting a lot of pitches in the dirt and vowed that if I got a pitch in the strike zone, I would hammer it," Seiz said.

Finally, the win over South Jersey's Tri-Cape earned SOL American/Continental a trip to Tuesday's 10 a.m. semifinal at Citizens Bank Park against the winner of today's 10:30 a.m. game between Jersey Shore and Burlington County.

An RBI single by Methacton junior first baseman Mark Romano in the 11th inning broke the tie. Romano earlier hit a solo home run.

Catholic League 204 101 030 - 11 11 2

Mercer County 000 010 341 - 9 16 3

WP: Kevin Gillen. LP: Kyle Reed. 2B: CL-Albert Baur, Joey Armata, Kyle McCrossen; MC-Matt Chotkowski 2, Mark Kalokitis, Nick Zucchero. HR: CL-Mark Donato 2.

Lehigh Valley 100 030 000 - 4 8 4

SOL Nat/BAL 100 110 02x - 5 7 0

WP: Andrew Strenge. LP: Mike Glassic. HR: LV-Tyler Brong; SOL/BAL-Ryan Seiz.

SOL Amer/Cont 420 020 103 01 - 13 19 2

Tri-Cape 240 102 003 00 - 12 13 4

WP: Mike Bradstreet. LP: Adam Satanoff. 2B: SOL-Joe Mullin, Dylan Tice; T-Anthony Parker; 3B: SOL-Justin Davey. HR: T-Juan Velazquez 2; SOL-Mark Romano.