COUNCIL ROCK SOUTH 3, COUNCIL ROCK NORTH 2
With first place in the Suburban One League National Conference on the line, Council Rock South turned back neighboring rival Council Rock North, 3-2, in a heated matchup Tuesday afternoon in Holland.
There was plenty of chirping from both benches. "It's more than a rivalry," South senior third baseman Jake Nevin said. "This game is for bragging rights. It means so much to both teams."
Golden Hawks senior righthander Greg Paprocki went the distance, allowing four hits and walking none. "He's the ace of our staff, Nevin said. "As long as he throws strikes and he's making people hit the ball, we're going to be behind him."
Aided by three North errors, South went in front, 2-0, in the third inning. Shortstop Will Facenda (leadoff single to left-center field) scored on a fielding gaffe and Nevin came home on a throwing miscue.
In the fourth, second baseman Nick Ponente's single to right plated outfielder Nick Fabiano (leadoff walk) and gave the hosts a 3-0 advantage.
Paprocki, a La Salle University commit, held the Indians scoreless on three hits through six innings. With a fastball clocked in the mid-80-mp.h. range, he struck out four.
Said South coach Ted Kirner: "North is a very good hitting team. Greg got us out of some jams, picked up his teammates."
The Indians threatened in their final-at bat, closing the gap to one with the aid of two errors. With baserunners on first and second, Paprocki clinched the victory by inducing a groundout to third base.
South, which managed four hits, improved to 6-1 overall and 4-1 in National Conference; North slipped to 6-3 and 4-3.
For the Indians, senior side-armer Matt Renck, a Pittsburgh commit who took over for sophomore Brandon McIlwain in the beginning of the fourth, gave up two hits (single, double) while suffering the loss.
In the third, Facenda singled and advanced to second on an error. Ponente's left-side sacrifice bunt moved Facenda to third, and Facenda scored when Nevin's grounder to shortstop was misplayed.
For North, senior catcher and Delaware commit Tyler Callender went 2 for 3 from the cleanup spot. McIlwain (left-side single in the third) and second baseman Matt Hand (single to left to start the fourth) accounted for the Indians' other hits.
The Indians were missing the services of infielder Aden Tully, who was sidelined by an injury.
Paprocki, who doubles as an outfielder and bats seventh, is expected to concentrate on pitching at La Salle.
Council Rock North 000 000 2-2 4 2
Council Rock South 002 100 X-3 4 3