Council Rock North went scoreless through four innings against Neshaminy, scratched out two runs in both the fifth and sixth, and triumphed on a pair of home runs in its last at-bat.
"The makeup of this year's team is completely different," C.R. North coach Matt Schram said. "We are never down and out in any game. That's our motto, to keep fighting no matter the score."
No. 9 batter C.J. Donofry surprisingly smacked a two-out, two-run homer over the fence in dead left field to lift the visiting Indians past the Redskins, 7-5, Tuesday in chilly and windy Langhorne.
"I would probably tell you that's the first home run in C.J.'s life," Schram said with a laugh. The 6-foot, 150-pound centerfielder said soon afterward that he had homered as a sixth grader for the Council Rock Newtown Little League team.
Donofry went deep on a 2-1 fastball. "The pitch was middle in, and I was just looking to barrel up and put one in the gap," he said. "I got a good hold of it."
Twice erasing a two-run deficit, C.R. North improved to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in Suburban One League National Conference play.
Last year, when Donofry filled in as a pinch-runner and occasional batter, Schram's group went a disappointing 9-11 overall and fell to neighboring Council Rock South, 10-2, in the first round of the PIAA District 1 Class 6A playoffs.
"We didn't have a lot of leadership," Schram said. "And a big thing was, we didn't compete hard enough game in and game out."
Trailing the Redskins (4-3, 2-2) by 2-0 in the fifth, the visitors evened things with a pair of unearned runs. Carson Shane delivered a two-out, two-run double to right-center. The backstop led off the seventh with a homer to center.
Sophomore lefthander Matt Roda started for C.R. North and lasted four innings. Ryan Stalker came in from left field and went the rest of the way, allowing three hits and the same number of runs, to gain the victory.
Donofry is thinking of attending college at St. Joseph's or Scranton and majoring in secondary education. Another option is enlisting in the Army. "It's been a dream of mine to serve the country ever since I can remember," the 18-year-old said.
Council Rock North 000 022 3 – 7 8 1
Neshaminy 110 021 0 – 5 6 3
WP: Ryan Stalker. LP: Cory Joyce.
2B: CRN-Griffin Peterson, Carson Shane; N-Matt Yauger, Dalton Turner.
3B: CRN; Cavan Tully.
HR: CRN-Shane, C.J. Donofry; N-Brian Nicolas.