Sometimes, a team gets away with making a few mistakes and sometimes it doesn't.
Today at Abington, the Ghosts were the former and Council Rock North, the latter.
Despite making a few blunders early in the game that contributed to an early 2-run deficit, Abington eventually outpaced North, 5-3, after the Indians made a few base-running gaffes late in the Suburban One National League duel April 3 under cloudy skies behind Stephen A. Schwarzman football stadium.
"The little things are what lost the game for us today,' said Indians head coach Matt Schram. "We gave them outs and they capitalized on our mistakes.'
"They are not considered errors on the board, but base-running errors are detrimental to your team.
"That's why we lost today; we ran into outs.'
Trying to catch the Ghosts, the Rock desperately needed men on base. The last thing the trailing team needs is runners picked off the basepaths. And yet North had its last two runners picked off base in the last three innings, helping Abington to its first win of the season and sophomore righthander Greg Troyer to his first career victory on the mound.
"They're high school kids — they're going to make mistakes,' said Ghosts head coach Dave Torresani. "We had to take advantage and get the outs, which we did.'
In the end, Abington scored its five runs on just five hits — all singles — while the Indians mustered only three runs on seven hits. When North chased Ghosts starter Chris Clewell after just three innings, Troyer came in and 3-hit Rock the rest of the way.
"For two sophomore pitchers to pitch the way they did against a great team like Council Rock North is just amazing,' stated Torresani.
Yes, but the coach wasn't happy with the way his team was playing early in the game. Moments before North catcher Tyler Callender hit a two-run single to put the Indians on top 2-0 in the top of the third, Rock pulled off a successful double steal. Toressani was not happy that no one covered third base on the play and he let his team know it.
"We didn't exactly execute the way we need to and that might hurt us later on," said Torresani. "You always want to be teaching; that's the idea behind what we do here."
The Abington players must have been listening as the Ghosts erased Rock base-runners in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
"They made mistakes in the beginning but they cleaned it up,' stated Schram. "We turn around and we made mistakes and they won.'
In the fourth inning with one out and Indian outfielder Seth Leuz standing on third, Noah Hartwell hit a sharp grounder back to the mound. Troyer fielded the ball cleanly and threw Leuz out at home then catcher Nick Bein turned it into a double play, picking Hartwell off at second base.
In the fifth — after Abington tied things up at 2-all in the fourth and the Indians re-took the lead on Aden Tully's leadoff single, two stolen bases and a sac-fly by Dan Whitney — North pressured for more. Callender (2-for-3) hit a monster double over the head of Ghosts leftfielder Brett Gauglionona that could have easily been a triple had the Rock catcher not pulled a muscle heading to first base.
Abington extinguished the rally, however, catching Indians first baseman Brandon McIlwain in a rundown between first and second base.In the sixth, North third baseman JR Hicks was doubled off first base only a moment after Troyer recorded his only strikeout in the contest when he fanned Leuz.
Trailing 3-2 in the fifth, the Ghosts went ahead for good, scoring three runs on just two singles. The winning rally started off with Abington infielders Aiden Coyle and Aaron Rawdin getting to base on a hit batsman and a walk, respectively.
That was enough to chase Indians starter Matt Renck, who hit four batters in the contest.
With Bein up to bat, the Ghosts pulled off a successful double steal that scored Coyle to tie it. The game-winner came next.
With Abington infielder Matt McDonough batting, Rawdin came home on a passed ball. North reliever Nick Roda fanned McDonough for the second out but surrendered an RBI single to right fielder Brendan Gallagher (2-for-3) that pushed the score to its final.
Trailing 2-0, the Ghosts — after loading the sacks on singles by Bein, McDonough and Gallagher — claimed their first two runs in the home fourth when infielder Nick Torba drew a bases-loaded walk to cut the deficit in half. A sharp grounder back to the mound by DH Justin Stokes was then fielded cleanly by Renck, who threw out McDonough at home plate. The relay to first base struck Stokes on the arm however, allowing Gallagher to score the game-tying run.
Charged with the first two base-runners in the fifth, Renck took the loss for the Indians, who fall to 2-1, overall, 1-1 in the SOL National Conference. North registered previous wins over William Tennent (3-2) and Hatboro-Horsham (8-0).
With previous losses to Plymouth-Whitemarsh (11-4), Upper Dublin (4-2) and CR South (4-3), Abington pushes its way to 1-3 overall, 1-1 in the SOL National.
Abington 5, Council Rock North 3
(April 3 at Abington)
CR NORTH 002 010 0 — 3
ABINGTON 000 230 x — 5
WP—Greg Troyer: 1 R, 3 H, 2 W, 1K
LP—Matt Renck: 4 R, 3 H, 2 W, 5 K
RBI: CRN—Callender 2, Whitney; A—Gallagher, Torba, Stokes.
MULTIPLE HITS: CRN—Tully 2-for-4; Callender 2-for-3, 2B; A—Bein 2-for-3, Gallagher 2-for-3.