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Council Rock North stunned in walk-off win by Wissahickon


Both teams scored the same number of runs in regulation.

Both teams loaded the bases in the extra inning and both teams scored in that frame.

Only one squad went home the victor and that was the host, No. 9 seed Wissahickon, which trailed visiting Council Rock North in the top of every inning though not in the final score, which favored the Trojans 6-5.

The No. 24 Indians had just retaken the lead, 5-4, in the top of the frame on Jude Hamilton’s RBI sac-fly to center field. Now Hamilton was on the hill in the bottom of the eighth with two outs, a runner on second base and facing back-to-back batters who were down to their last strike.

However, both Wissahickon outfielder Brayden Ryan and catcher Josh Stonesifer managed to draw walks on full counts, setting the table for Trojans’ third baseman Mark Selverian. With two strikes, the junior infielder belted a ball to deep left-center field for a walk-off two-run single that was perhaps Selverian’s longest single of his career and his only walk-off hit in a District One playoff to date.

“I put a lot of hard work into my swing,” explained Selverian, Wissahickon’s No. 8 hitter. “I know it has shown every time I’ve been up to bat this season but that swing was good and I’m really happy it happened when it did.”

This was the second consecutive season that Rock North got walked off in a District One tournament opener though the team entered this contest determined to prevent history from repeating itself.

“Our goal was to challenge them, make contact and make them make the plays, move runners and do what we can to get into scoring position,” stated CR North head coach Matt Schram. “It was just one of those games; it didn’t fall the way we wanted it to.

“Kudos to them; they’re an energized team who does all the little things,” he added. “As soon as they get a runner on base, they get moving and they put the pressure on.”

Council Rock came into the playoff suffering three consecutive losses, the last two of the regular season by identical 2-1 scores. The Indians stranded 11 runners in the loss to the Trojans, compared to just four left on base by Wissahickon.

“We’ve lost four in a row,” stated Schram. “We had 18 (left on base) in the last three games (of the regular season) so that’s 29 runners left on base in the last four games – that’s a lot.”

Council Rock knew its bats weren’t clicking leading into the postseason so that was a point of focus as the team prepped for the D1 opener.

The Indians wasted no time in this one. North sent eight batters to the plate in the top of the first inning and scored three runs on three hits, none bigger than a two-run double down the right field line off the bat of second baseman Will Seiler.

“We just had a ton of energy in the first inning,” said Seiler. “We were ready to jump on their pitcher and put up runs.”

Five of the 11 runners stranded by Rock North came in the final two frames in this one. In the seventh, Seiler grounded to short to end the inning with runners on first and second. Then right fielder Nick DiGiacomo popped up to short to end the eighth with the sacks jammed.

“That’s been one of our problems all year – leaving runners on base,” said Seiler. “... If we knocked them in, we would have won the game.”

With the bases loaded in the first inning, shortstop Preston Martin put the Indians on the board first with an RBI single to right field.

Seiler's double made it 3-0 and North loaded the sacks in the fourth with no outs yet came away with just a single run on Peyton Shaw’s groundout to second base.

In the bottom of the first, Wissahickon got a run back on a double steal then another on pitcher Adam Hajdak’s sac-fly to center. After Rock went up 4-2, the Trojans again made it a one-run game on Justin Miller’s RBI single in the fifth. Miller also served up an RBI single in the seventh that sent the game to extras.

The starting pitcher for the Rock in this one, Shaw limited the Trojans to just three runs on four hits with four strikeouts and a lone walk in five innings of work. Senior John Mulder came on in the sixth and held the home team scoreless for an inning then getting two outs in the seventh before being lifted in favor of Hamilton.

“We put it all out there; we just came up short at the end,” said Seiler. It’s tough to see the seniors go “but we’ll be back next season,” he added.

The seniors for the Rock include the entire outfield in this game including Leor Kedar, Will Scibona and DiGiacomo as well as catcher Charlie Halikman, Jack Ploppert, Jake Ruple and Mulder.

The entire infield returns however including Martin at short, Hamilton at third base and Joe Rizzo at first. Returning pitchers include Shaw, Seiler, Martin and Hamilton.

“I think we’ll be pretty dominant next season; the pitching staff is going to be the same,” explained Seiler. “We have some young kids on the team who are really good and I think they can step up in a big way.”

“From an experience standpoint, this is priceless,” added Schram. “They got valuable information, valuable experience. Even the guys who weren’t in there, they saw it as well.

“Hopefully, that will carry over into next season.”

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