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Council Rock North getting hot at the right time

Win over sister school CR South was Indians’ fourth straight


Updated May 15, 2024: Council Rock North hasn’t fared as well in its last three contests, falling 3-1 to Suburban One League (SOL) Patriot Division leader Neshaminy May 9 and dropping its final two regular season contests at home – both by a 2-1 score – to Pennridge on Monday and Pennsbury on Tuesday.

As of Wednesday morning, North was 24th in the District One Class 6A standings. Just 24 teams earn the right to play in the District One tournament, which begins May 20.

Last year, Council Rock North earned a District One playoff berth after a late season spurt elevated the Indians in the rankings.

Leading opening round foe West Chester Henderson 3-0 heading into the last inning, it looked like the Rock might make it into round two. The Warriors cranked out four runs in the bottom of the frame however to walk off with a 4-3 triumph.

The Indians are hoping for a better outcome in 2024.

“I want to make a deep playoff run. Last year, we got cut short – we got walked off in our first playoff game,” stated senior co-captain Nick DiGiacomo. “This year, I’m hoping we can go deep.”

North has been up and down thus far, going 5-5 in its first 10 games.

Like last year, it seems like the Rock is getting hot at the right time. After defeating Truman 7-4 on the last day of last month, North blanked Bensalem twice before pulling off perhaps its most significant win of the season when the Indians outlasted sister school Council Rock South 5-4 May 7 on the Golden Hawks’ home field, pushing its record to 9-6, overall.

Indians right-hander Peyton Shaw recorded the win after allowing just one run on three hits in six innings pitched. Shaw struck out four batters while walking four. Preston Martin got the save after getting the last two outs, the first on a force at second base with the  sacks jammed then getting the final batter to take a called third strike with the tying run at third base.

“We knew our guy P-Mar had it in the bag,” said CR North senior Will Scibona. “He’s been electric all year.”

It was just the second time this season that North has come out ahead in a one-run ballgame. Half the Rock’s losses – four – have been decided by a single run.

“Those one-run games are primarily our mistakes – us shooting ourselves on the foot,” commented CR North head coach Matt Schram. “(It’s) either a throwing error or a base-running error.”

And some of those losses were the result of a lack of opportunistic hitting. That wasn’t the case May 7 at CR South. The Indians pushed four runs across the plate in the first three innings. With his team leading 4-1 with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Scibona, North’s leadoff hitter, crushed a ball over the left field fence for his first home run of the season.

After CR South pushed three runs across in the bottom of the frame, Scibona’s big hit turned out to be the difference in the ballgame.

“It felt good coming off the bat,” said Scibona. “It didn’t feel like a needed situation but it ended up being needed.”

Scibona finished the game hitting 2-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of runs scored. He was one of three runners crossing the plate in the third inning after reaching base on a single to center field. Batting third, shortstop Leor Kedar accounted for a run scored, an RBI and a double.

Batting cleanup, DiGiacomo scored a run after leading off the second inning with a single to short then knocked one in after hitting a fly ball to deep left field in the third. Designated hitter John Mulder gave the Indians their first lead when he slapped a two-out RBI single to center field in the top of the second inning.

“Leor has been pretty hot all year. Kyle Book as well. He was in the two spot today; he’s been hitting very well,” added DiGiacomo. “And the rest of our lineup, they just do their job. They get on, they move runners over and they get key hits.”

Including those back-to-back wins over Bensalem, a pair of games in which the Rock knocked 17 runs across the plate, this was North’s fourth straight triumph.

“It’s momentum – somehow or another something clicked,” stated Schram. “I didn’t do anything to get them hot; they just started to hit.”

Another big win recorded by the Rock was its 2-1 victory over Pennsbury April 8 at Diamond Nation.

“Pennsbury is always the team to beat so beating them was nice,” stated Schram. “Beating them gave us the confidence to say ‘OK, we can play with the big dogs.’”

As of Monday morning, North is ranked 17th in the District One Class 6A standings. Just 24 teams earn the right to play in the District One tournament, which begins May 20.

“It’s so close,” the coach commented, noting that “you can lose one game and drop down to 25.”

Council Rock North didn’t fare as well in its next contest, falling 3-1 to Suburban One League (SOL) Patriot Division leader Neshaminy May 9 at the Rock. The Indians have two games pending at home – May 13 vs. Pennridge and May 14 vs. Pennsbury.

“All we’re working on is trying to stay to the basics – playing clean and let the other team make more mistakes than us,” explained Schram. “In this last little run that we’ve been on, we are limiting our mistakes so we’ve been able to post up some wins.”

“We’re in every game; we know we have talent,” added DiGiacomo. “We know we’re good enough to compete with any team – Neshaminy – teams that are at the top of the SOL.

“We’ve taken them deep in every game.”

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