Tyler Callender's senior year at Council Rock North had barely begun when a serious foot injury cut short his football season. Then, for precautionary reasons, he chose not to rejoin the wrestling squad.
The up side to that was Callender's being fresh, mentally and physically, for the start of baseball.
"Before, it took him time to get in the swing of things," Indians coach Matt Schram said. "This year, he hit the ground running. That's been beneficial for us."
Thursday afternoon, a well-rested Callender went 3 for 5 with four RBIs to help spark C.R. North to an 11-3 romp at Neshaminy in a key Suburban One League National Conference game.
"It was definitely tough sitting out for as long as I did," the 6-foot, 220-pound catcher said. "But I feel great now. I'm more relaxed than I was in the past."
Callender produced an RBI single through the middle in a three-run first inning, delivered an RBI double down the third-base line in the fifth, and added an RBI single to left field in the seventh.
The 18-year-old from Ivyland, who knocked in another run with a fourth-inning groundout, is batting .590 (23 for 39) with 14 RBIs.
Schram handed the pitch-calling duties over to the Delaware recruit this year.
"I was thankful for the opportunity," Callender said. "It allows us to get the tempo going and keep the pitcher in a good rhythm."
The Indians (10-4, 8-4 conference) totaled 13 hits against the Redskins. They touched senior ace Cole Creighton, a lefthander who arrived with a 4-2 record and a 1.81 ERA, for five hits in their first at-bat.
Also key in building a 6-0 advantage were first baseman Brandon McIlwain (3 for 4, two doubles, home run), designated hitter Cole German (2 for 4, two RBIs), and shortstop Aden Tully (three runs). Third baseman J.R. Hicks also homered.
C.R. North senior righthander Matt Weir yielded five hits in as many innings.
"He challenged a real good hitting team," Schram said.
Callender was a running back and defensive end in football. On the mat, at 220 pounds, he placed fourth in the Class AAA state tournament as a junior. Baseball will be his focus at Delaware.
"He's the quarterback on the field, a captain, leads by example," Schram said. "He's our catalyst."
Neshaminy, taking a hit in its bid for a district playoff berth, dropped to 9-8 and 8-6.
C.R. North 301 221 2 - 11 13 1
Neshaminy 000 200 1 - 3 6 3
WP: Matt Weir. LP: Cole Creighton. 2B: CRN-Brandon McIlwain 2, Tyler Callender, Matt Hand; N-Sean Udris. HR: CRN-McIlwain, J.R. Hicks; N-Udris.