Council Rock North makes quick work of Upper Dublin
UPPER DUBLIN >> Council Rock North’s first two batters of the game grounded out to first base and flied out to centerfield. That was the only resistance the Indians offense faced all day. The No. 6 seed scored in every inning and beat No. 3 Upper Dublin, 10-0 in six innings, in the District One Class AAAA quarterfinals Friday afternoon at Upper Dublin High School. The visiting Indians scored four runs in the first inning. two in the second and one in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth to build a 10-run lead against Upper Dublin and have the game stopped after six innings. North’s lineup totaled 13 hits and every batter either scored a run or knocked one in. “Our lineup is deep,” North coach Matt Schram said. “Our 6-7-8-9 guys, they could be 1-2-3-4 somewhere else — they’re good. Of course our top four guys are equally as good as well. We’re tough and we’re contagious. Once it gets going — here we go. That’s how we’ve been doing things.”
“Their consistency all the way throughout the game,” Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall pointed to as the difference. “Top to bottom, one through nine, that’s the best hitting team we faced all season. I’d be surprised to see many more that are better in the state. Really impressive.” Chase D’Arcangelo went 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored and Seth Leuz was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Ten runs was enough to stop the game short of seven innings because the Indians pitching blanked the Cardinals offense. Sophomore Gavin Ferrandino started and went four innings. He surrendered two hits and four walks while striking out three batters. “I was excited for him,” Schram said of his starting pitcher. “He and I talked earlier in the day today at school and I could just tell he had a good vision of what he was going to do. It’s kind of nice to throw for us because we have a good defense, we’ll score some runs for you — you just have to throw strikes. He did it.”
CJ Kilgarriff came on in relief and threw the final two innings. He walked and struck out two batters and didn’t give up a hit. Upper Dublin had a few scoring chances but never capitalized. At least one runner was left on base every inning and runners were stranded in scoring position in the second, third and fourth innings. “It felt like we were on base, if not in scoring position, every inning almost,” Wall said. “(Ferrandino) did a good job. He’s got a good fastball and he just got it by our bottom half of the order and we couldn’t keep the ball out of the air. The ground was nice and hard — it was perfect for hard ground balls, but we just couldn’t stay on top of it. We were getting underneath it and giving them easy outs. With a team like this, you have to challenge them.”
North clinched a spot in the state tournament with its win and will face No. 2 seed Downingtown West in the semifinals Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. “They have such a great, rich tradition there in baseball,” Schram said. “Nobody is surprised that they’re not only the number two seeded team, but they’re scoring a lot of runs. Tuesday’s game is going to be interesting — it’s going to be a battle. They’re a good team.”
Upper Dublin will return to action at home Tuesday when it tries to play its way back into the state tournament. “The only thing that’s change is we’re not top four in the district,” Wall told his team after the game. “We’re still playing for a state playoff spot. We’re still in control of our own destiny. We’re still going to be hosting next week.”
—- SUBURBANONE SPORTS REPORT —-
#6 Council Rock North 10, #3 Upper Dublin 0 (6 innings)
Considering the importance of the game and the quality of the opponent, Council Rock North played its best game of the season on Friday. The Indians pounded 13 hits, scored in every inning, and did not make an error. Their pitchers—sophomore Gavin Ferrandino and senior CJ Kilgarriff—combined for one Matt Hand outing. Ferrandino tossed four shutout innings and Kilgarriff two.
“It felt like we were back into the swing of things. The hitting became contagious. And everybody stayed within themselves,” North coach Matt Schram said. “Hitting balls to the middle of the field. Hitting it where it was pitched, not chasing pitches.”
Upper Dublin starter Conor McFadden had a nice season in the Suburban One League American Conference. But North was a bad matchup for the tall righty. McFadden pounds the strike zone with fastballs and changeups. When Schram told his players the scouting report on McFadden, they licked their chops like hungry dogs about to eat people food.
“We’re used to seeing curveballs and other off-speed pitches,” North senior Seth Leuz said. “To get a pitcher that throws consistent fastballs was a good thing.”
“First-pitch fastball is the easiest pitch in the at-bat to hit,” North senior Chase D’Arcangelo said. “And it was even easier because we knew every pitch was going to be around the zone. So we keyed in on that.”
McFadden retired the first two North batters of the game. But then Jared Schram and Matt Hand walked. Leuz singled to right center to make it 1-0. D’Arcangelo scorched the ball up the middle to load the bases. Tyler Nowmos rocked the ball to center to make it 3-0.
Leuz’s second RBI single—in the second—chased McFadden from the bump. He gave up six runs in 1.1 innings. D’Arcangelo said hey what’s up hello to McFadden’s reliever—Jason Greene—by hitting a sacrifice fly to center. North scored again off Greene in the third. Matt Shenot slammed the ball to left center as James Closser bolted home.
In the fourth, D’Arcangelo rocketed a fastball to the left field corner, scoring Hand. Jared Schram poked an RBI single to left in the fifth. Closser barreled a sacrifice fly to deep center in the sixth. That put North up 10-0 and the mercy rule into effect. Kilgarriff pitched a 1-2-4 bottom of the sixth. (Putting one guy on. Such a reliever move.) He struck out two batters on high fastballs. The righty has finished both of North’s district playoff games.
“CJ is a bulldog. An absolute bulldog,” Matt Schram said. He did not actually say this after Friday’s game. There was too much else to talk about. But he said it after every other Kilgarriff relief appearance. And I have not used it yet. So, at some point, Kilgarriff deserved to be recognized as a bulldog. Anyway, back to offense. Every player in North’s batting order either scored or drove in a run. Five players—Cavan Tully, Jared Schram, Hand, Leuz, and D’Arcangelo—reached base multiple times.
Leuz and D’Arcangelo went 6-for-7. Leuz, Nowmos, and D’Arcangelo had two RBIs. Cole Olshavsky—who pinch-runs for Jared Schram—scored two runs.
Ferrandino used his lively fastball to get out of jams. Upper Dublin left six men on base and was 0-for-7 with runners on. Five of those outs came on Ferrandino fastballs.
“I didn’t have great control but I battled through it,” he said. “Those balls were usually right at someone. I got lucky today.”
Not all of the balls were right at fielders. Hand, Nowmos, and D’Arcangelo made running catches in foul ground. Hand dove and extended his arm as far as biology would allow.
His performance at shortstop raised an interesting question. Is North better with Hand on the mound or at short?
“I think he’s the best shortstop in our league,” Matt Schram said. “He makes our team so good defensively, where we don’t have to strike guys out. Just execute pitches, ground balls, and let these guys make plays.”
When Hand plays short, Tully, also a strong fielder, plays second. North clinched a spot in the PIAA Class AAAA tournament for the second straight season. The Indians are two wins away from a second straight District One Class AAAA title. They have won seven consecutive district playoff games.
“Beating anybody by 10 runs on their field is a statement. And Upper Dublin is a well-coached team,” Matt Schram said. “It’s also a statement about our league.”
North won the SOL National. Upper Dublin won the SOL American.
The Flying Cardinals (14-6) have to win the four-team playback round to make the state tournament. The Indians (19-3) play No. 2 seed Downingtown West in a district semifinal on Tuesday.
Hand will start.
Council Rock North 4-2-1-1-1-1 10
Upper Dublin 0-0-0-0-0-0 0