Monday's opening of the 25th annual Carpenter Cup Baseball Classic will have a distinct South Jersey flavor.
The first two rounds of the high school all-star tournament will be staged at Ashburn Field in Philadelphia's FDR Park, not far from Citizens Bank Park.
Monday's opening day will see all four New Jersey teams in action. The 9 a.m. opener has the Olympic/Colonial against the Tri-Cape, followed by the 12:30 p.m. matchup of defending Carpenter Cup champion Burlington County against Delaware South.
In Monday's 4 p.m. game, Jersey Shore, featuring players from Monmouth and Ocean County, takes on Delaware North.
Citizens Bank Park will host the semifinals of the 16-team, single-elimination tournament on June 28, with the final at 10 a.m. on June 29.
Burlington County has seven players returning from last year's champion – Seneca junior righthander Kevin Comer, Lenape catcher Jamie Kunz-Mulholland, Cherokee senor outfielder Tyler Powell, Cinnaminson senior catcher Matt Cann (who is injured), Holy Cross junior catcher Mark Zagunis, Seneca senior lefthander James Coughlin and Shawnee senior first baseman Eric Sellitto.
"It was a great run last year, and hopefully we can win two games and get back to Citizens Bank Park," said Zagunis, an Inquirer first-team all-South Jersey selection who batted .587 with 12 home runs and 50 RBIs. "It was really cool playing there last year, knowing that is the place where the pros play."