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Pat the Stat
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    Patrick "Pat the Stat" Gordon is one of our trusty statisticians/observers. He is not to be confused with Phillies slugger Pat "The Bat" Burrell. "Stat" is a 2000 North Catholic grad now studying journalism at Temple. He will report on occasional Falcons' games and maybe some others as well. He promises to provide balanced reports.
     You may contact Pat at GlassJAw49@aol.com
      His own site is here.

MAY 27
Judge 7, North Catholic 1
   Behind a stellar pitching performance by Joe Cione, the Father Judge Crusaders defeated the North Catholic Falcons 7-1 in Catholic League playoff action at LaSalle University on Monday.

  The loss ended a successful season for the Falcons as they finished the season with a 10-8 record and their first playoff appearance in eight years.
  At the outset, the Falcons starting lineup was missing some familiar faces as coach Tom Wenger benched seven players, five of whom were starters, for violating club rules during the Memorial Day weekend.  Two of the five starters benched were First Team All Catholic’s.  Four of the five players were seniors.
  The scoring began in the fourth as pitcher Mike Berretta reached on a double and scored on an error by Judge shortstop Chris Panas, giving the Falcons a 1-0 lead.
  Judge answered back with three runs in the fifth to take a 3-1 lead.  The key hit in the inning was an RBI double by Kevin McDevitt which just skimmed the third base bag before rolling into the left field corner.  McDevitt’s double knocked in Joe Sanford, who reached on an error and Dale Curry, who reached on a walk.
  After the fifth inning, Berretta's pitch count was approaching 100 so Shaun Gallagher was brought in as relief to suppress the charging Judge offense.
  Gallagher, a First Team All Catholic, finished the regular season with seven wins, 66 strikeouts, and a 1.61 ERA.  Two of Gallagher's seven wins came against Father Judge.
  Gallagher started the sixth by striking out Panas but quickly began to get knocked around, giving up a double to Cione, a walk to Ryan Carrelli, an RBI single to Sanford, and a two-run homerun to Curry.  When the damage was done, the Falcons found themselves trailing 7-1 and they could never bounce back.
  Cione got the win for Judge, going the distance while allowing just four hits while striking out two.
  Berretta got the loss for the Falcons, despite pitching impressively.  In five innings of work, Berretta allowed three runs, two of which were earned, six hits, three walks and six strikeouts.
  With the victory, Father Judge will face Conwell-Egan in the second round of the CL playoffs with the winner advancing to the semifinals to oppose LaSalle.
  "We played a flawless first five innings," said Wenger after the loss.  "Obviously no one likes to lose but you have to take your hats off to them, they gave us a good game.
  "I think we really sent a statement and showed people that we do have a future as a solid baseball program.  We need to work hard in the off season, keep the passion that got us here and play summer ball.
  "It was a magical ride this season but we will certainly be back here again next year."

MAY 20
La Salle 6, North Cath. 4
  Dan Waters allowed four runs in seven innings and struck out nine
Tuesday afternoon as the LaSalle Explorers defeated North Catholic, 6-4.
With the loss, the Falcons record dropped to 10-7 on the season.

  Jim Harkins had two hits, including an RBI single, and scored two runs
for LaSalle.

  The loss was the second in a row for the Falcons, who are now fighting
to keep the second seed in the Northern Division.

  On the day, Waters gave up eight hits while walking two.
  The Falcons jumped on Waters’ early, with Danny Paluch and Stan
Orzechowski each scoring in the first, giving North an early 2-0 lead.

  LaSalle battled back and capitalized on early control problems by
Falcons starter Shaun Gallagher (7-2), tying the game at two with
Harkins scoring on an RBI single by Nick Brechbill. In the inning,
Gallagher gave up a walk and a single while hitting two batters.

  In the second for North, Mike Karpovich singled and advanced to second
on a fielders-choice off the bat of Brian Wehrman. Karpovich eventually
scored on an RBI single by Chris Wenger to give the Falcons a 3-2 lead.

  The Falcons carried their 3-2 lead into the fifth before tacking on
another run as Paluch tripled and scored on a Craig Kubis RBI single.

  Trailing 4-2 in the home fifth, the Explorers bats erupted for thee runs
to take a 5-4 lead. Andrew Carnevale, Kevin McLoughlin, and Harkins
each collected an RBI in the inning with the big blast being a triple by

  LaSalle added an insurance run in the sixth as Tom Galen scored on an
RBI single by pinch-hitter Dave Achey.

  On the day, the Falcons 6-thru-9 hitters went a combined 1-for-11. The
lone hit being a single by Karpovich in the second.

  On a positive note for the Falcons, Stan Orzechowski went 2-for-2 on the
day with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. With the performance,
Orzechowski raised his team high batting average to .475. Orezechowski
also leads the team in steals with 12 and is tied with Craig Kubis as
the team’s RBI leader with 14.

  Gallagher went the distance for the Falcons but got the loss. On the
day, Gallagher allowed five earned runs, one walk, two hit-batters, and
eight hits while striking out four.

  With the win, LaSalle clinched the Northern Division title and a top
seed in the Catholic League playoffs which begin next week.

MAY 19
McDevitt 6, North 5
   Brian Mitros singled home the winning run in the eighth inning as the
McDevitt Lancers beat North Catholic on Tuesday, 6-5. With the loss,
the Falcons dropped to 10-7 on the season and will face an uphill battle
to clinch a top seed in the Catholic League playoffs which begin next

  For McDevitt, Rob Dougherty opened the eighth with a single off Falcons
starter Mike Berretta (1-3) and moved to second via a sacrifice bunt by
Brian Fisher.

  Mitros then slapped a single to right field and Dougherty scored while
plowing into Falcons catcher, Mike Karpovich.

  Immediately the Falcon coaching staff argued the run, claiming Dougherty
violated the "slide or surrender" rule which states a runner must either
slide or accept a tag-out, but is not allowed to run into the catcher.

  After a short debate, the home-plate umpire ultimately ruled in favor of
the Lancers, stating that since Karpovich did not have possession of the
ball and was flanking home-plate, the runner did not violate the rule
and was deemed safe.

  Karpovich had no chance on the play as the throw from right field was
cutoff by Berretta. Berretta, who was standing in between the mound and
home-plate, threw a dart to the right of Karpovich. Just as Berretta
released the ball, Dougherty plowed into Karpovich. Luckily for the
Falcons, Karpovich escaped the collision unscathed. After the game
there was some question as to whether Berretta should have cut the throw.

  "I said let it go," said Karpovich after the game. "I guess he didn’t
hear me."

  Berretta disagreed with Karpovich and simply said he didn’t hear

  "I don’t know what happened, three guys are saying different things
about the play," said an angered coach Wenger after the game. "We made
the last mistake today and it really cost us."

  Bob Mitros went the distance for McDevitt, allowing eight hits while
striking out one to claim the victory.

  For North, Berretta hit a sacrifice fly to center in the home-seventh,
scoring Danny Paluch, tying the game at 5. The Falcons bats fell silent
in the extra frame.

  Berretta went the distance for the Falcons, giving up five earned runs
while striking out eight, scattering 10 hits and four walks .

  "Walks really hurt us today," said coach Wenger after the loss. "Every
time we walked someone they scored, you can’t win ballgames like that."

  Offensively for the Falcons, Stan Orzechowski went 3-for-4 with a double
and a stolen base.

  The Lancers took a 1-0 lead in the second with Tim Myers scoring on a
single by Dougherty.

  North answered back in the third with Paluch scoring on a sacrifice fly
to left field by Berretta, tying the game at 1.

  The Lancers answered with two more runs in the fourth, as Myers clubbed
an RBI single to left field scoring Andrew Kovach and Steve Norris,
giving McDevitt a 3-1 lead.

  With the win, the Lancers kept their outside hopes of making the
Catholic League playoffs alive.

MAY 15
North 4, Judge 2
  Shaun Gallagher bounced back from just two days rest to lead the
Falcons over Father Judge, 4-2. With the win, the Falcons
improved their record to 10-5 on the season and clinched a playoff
berth, the team's first in eight years.

  In the win for North, Chris Wenger went 2-for-3 with two RBI, raising
his average to .366 on the season. Brian Wehrman also had a huge day at
the plate for North, going 2-for-3 with a triple while scoring two of
the Falcons four runs.

  Shaun Gallagher went the distance again for North and picked up the win,
improving his record to 7-1 on the season. On the day, Gallagher
collected seven strikeouts while allowing just four hits.

  Jim Glowienka got the loss for Judge, giving up four hits and two runs
in four-plus innings of work. With the loss, Judge’s record dropped to
8-7 on the season.

  "Today was the best I felt in a while," said Gallagher after the
victory. "Everything was working for me and I think I was throwing the
best I've thrown all year. I had excellent velocity and my curve had
some real good motion on it."

  With North holding a 4-1 lead in the sixth inning, Gallagher fought his
way out of a bases-loaded one-out jam, allowing just one run to score
which came on a bases-loaded walk to Eric Blade. "I never really felt
like I was in trouble," said Gallagher. "I knew if I could get ahead of
(Steve) Sellers and (Kevin) McDevitt I'd be fine." Gallagher struck out
Sellers and got McDevitt to ground out to end the threat and the inning.

  With a severely depleted pitching staff, Falcons coach Tom Wenger was
originally going to start Jack Walker against Judge to give Gallagher
some time to rest his arm.

  Walker, an untested sophomore, has pitched just two innings this season
and has walked three while giving up two runs.

  Wenger's strategy sounded reasonable considering the fact that Gallagher
has started eight of the Falcons 15 games, including a 8-2 win over
Cardinal Dougherty just three days earlier where Gallagher threw five
innings and 83 pitches.

  Ultimately, Gallagher realized the impact a win over Judge could have on
the Falcons chances at making the playoffs and possibly winning the
divisional crown.

  "I called coach Wenger late last night," said Gallagher. "I told him I
want the ball today."

  Against Judge, Gallagher finished the game with a pitch count of 106 and
is likely to pitch against LaSalle (10-5) on Tuesday.

  "The game against LaSalle will be huge," said Wenger. "It's going to be
our best against their best and it could be for the divisional crown."

  North defeated LaSalle in the team's previous meeting, 3-0.
  Currently, North and LaSalle are both sitting atop the Catholic League's
Northern Division at 10-5.

   Aside from the game against LaSalle, North will finish up the regular
season hosting McDevitt (6-8) and Carroll (12-3) while LaSalle visits
Wood (4-10) and hosts St. Joes Prep (6-8).

  "We haven't done anything yet," said Wenger. "But we certainly feel
that we have enough to win right now."

North Cath. 9, Judge 2
  Shaun Gallagher and the North Catholic Falcons pushed their winning
streak to four on Wednesday as they defeated Father Judge, 9-2. With
the win, the Falcons improved their record to 7-4 on the season and took
sole possession of first place in the Catholic League Northern Division.

  Gallagher hurled his sixth complete game of the season for the Falcons,
striking out 10 while giving up just two runs. The win pushed
Gallagher's personal record to 5-1 on the season. Gallagher also helped
himself at the plate, slugging an inside-the-park two-run homer in the

  The Falcons' bats manufactured 12 hits on the day. Danny Paluch led the
team with four, including a triple and two RBI. Also for the Falcons,
Stan Orzechowski clobbered his third home run of the season and Chris
Wenger contributed three hits in the winning effort.

  Joe Cione got the loss for Judge, lasting just three innings while
giving up six hits and five runs, four of which were earned.

  "We have to continue to take care of business," said Falcons coach Tom
Wenger after the victory. "Now that we have first place all to
ourselves, we can't give it up."

  Father Judge will look for revenge on Thursday as the Falcons pay a
visit to close out the season series.

***Falcons season statistics can be found on my website,

Falcons Remaining Schedule
(Due to recent rain-outs, the schedule has been modified quite a bit)

5/9 @ Conwell - Egan
5/12 Dougherty
5/14 @ Wood
5/15 @ Judge
5/19 McDevitt
5/20 @ LaSalle
?/?? O'Hara

North 4, Ryan 3
   It has been nearly eight years since the North Catholic Falcons were last perched atop the Northern Division of the Philadelphia Catholic League.  Now, with just eight regular season games remaining, the Falcons find themselves in a three-way tie for first place.
      Shaun Gallagher (4-1) again went the distance for North, striking out four while allowing just five hits, as the Falcons defeated Archbishop Ryan, 4-3.  With the win, the Falcons have won three straight and have won four of their last five, improving their record to 6-4 on the season.
      North took an early 3-1 lead thanks to an RBI double by Stan Orzechowski and an RBI single by Mike Berretta.  Ryan fought back and tied the game in the fifth inning, scoring two runs on an RBI single by Joe Kline.
      North broke the tie in the seventh on an RBI single by Chris Wenger.  Timmy Wallace, playing in his first Varsity game, scored the winning run.  
      On the day, Wallace added a base hit and two stolen bases to his newly written Varsity resume.  Wallace also looked solid defensively, chalking up three assists.
      "This kid looks like a player," said Falcons assistant coach, Brian McDevitt.  "He looks solid."
      Wallace was promoted due to the injury of 3B/P Craig Kubis.  
      Kubis, who was batting .357 with 4 RBI, broke the growth plate in his left hand over the weekend and is said to be out for 4-6 weeks.   
      "I hope to be back before the season is over," said Kubis.  "The doctor said in two weeks the cast can come off, I guess we will see from there."
      The loss of Kubis will certainly hurt an already depleted pitching staff as just days earlier Robby Thompson was cut from the team for violating club rules.     
      While with the team, Thompson was 1-1 with an ERA of 3.43 and 14 strikeouts in just over 16 innings of work.
      Fortunately for North, the lack of pitching depth has yet to catch up with them as the team has won four of their last five and are on a mission to make the Catholic League playoffs for the first time under third year head coach, Tom Wenger.
      "We have been taking a businessman approach to things," said Wenger after the Falcons win against Ryan.  "We can't control what other teams do but we are doing what we have to do to get where we want to go."
      Wenger's words can be translated as follows:  If the Falcons continue at their current pace and finish the season with a record of 10-8 or 11-7, a playoff spot will be a certainty.
      "We have shown a lot of battle all season long and our pitching has been phenomenal," explains Wenger.  "We have to stay on course though, because in our division especially, two losses could make the difference between being in first place or being in fifth place."
      Wenger is correct; the Northern Division race is extremely tight.  North, Father Judge, and LaSalle all currently are holding a piece of first place while Egan, McDevitt, and Ryan all find themselves one game out of the division lead.
      The remaining schedule for the Falcons seems tough.  With eight games remaining, seven games will be played against divisional rivals, including two against Father Judge and the final game of the season at LaSalle.  In the mix, North will play host to Southern Division powerhouse, Cardinal O'Hara (8-3).   
      In a recent interview with Daniel Moynihan of the Northeast Times, when asked about the possibility of the Falcons making the playoffs, staff ace Shaun Gallagher exuded confidence.  "We'll get there, definitely, without a doubt."
     With his 4-1 record, 1.00 ERA, and 37 strikeouts in 35 innings, Gallagher will definitely be the one to lead the Falcons to the promised land.   
      The promised land that the North Catholic baseball program hasn't seen in eight long years.

North Cath. 3, La Salle 0
   Shaun Gallagher went the distance, striking out eight while giving up
just four hits, as the North Catholic Falcons defeated the LaSalle
Explorers, 3-0. With the victory, the Falcons improved to 4-4 on the

  The Falcons jumped on LaSalle ace, Dan Waters early. Craig Kubis scored
in the second inning off of a Brett Bryan fielders-choice, giving the
Falcons an early, 1-0 lead.

  The Falcons added two more runs in the fifth inning, thanks to two
costly throwing errors by Waters.

  Danny Paluch led off the fifth with a walk, Stan Orzechowski followed
with a bullet back to Waters on the mound. Waters made an excellent
grab and threw to second base, attempting to begin a double-play.
Waters' throw sailed to the left of second-base and everyone was safe.

   With runners on first and second and no out, Mike Karpovich laid a bunt
down the first-base line. Waters again fielded the ball cleanly but
hurried his throw to first and sailed it down the right-field line.
Paluch scored on the error and gave the Falcons a 2-0 lead.

  Runners still remained on first and second until a balk was called on
Waters, forcing Karpovich to second and Orzechowski to third.

  Mike Berretta then hit a grounder to second, scoring Orzechowski and
putting the Falcons up 3-0, ultimately sealing the victory.

  Although Dan Waters got the loss for the Explorers, he pitched
masterfully. In six innings of work, Waters struck out seven while
giving up just three hits.

   The win was the Falcons first over LaSalle in three years.
   With the win, Shaun Gallagher improved his record to 3-1 on the season
and lowered his ERA to a ridiculously low, 0.50 on the season.
Gallagher has 33 strikeouts and has hurled four complete games this

  La Salle will look for revenge on May 20th when the Falcons visit to
close out the season series.

McDevitt 12, North Cath. 11
   In my four years of covering Falcons baseball I've learned that when
North Catholic and Bishop McDevitt hook up for a baseball game, expect
the unexpected.

   Robby Thompson started the game for the Falcons but failed to get out of
the third inning as the McDevitt Lancers defeated the North Catholic
Falcons in a good ol' Catholic League slugfest, 12-11. With the loss,
the Falcons dropped their record to 3-4 on the season.

   The Falcons jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, thanks in part to two
errors by the McDevitt infield. The Lancers answered back in the third
inning, scoring seven runs on seven hits. The key hit in the inning was
an RBI triple by Anthony Kunz. Mike Loftus added an RBI double and a
stolen base.

   For the Falcons, Mike Berretta came in for relief of Thompson in the
third and walked the first batter he faced before getting Rob Dougherty
to ground into a 4-6-3 doubleplay.

   McDevitt scored two more runs in the fourth, increasing their lead to
9-5. The Falcons answered back in the fifth as Mike Karpovich picked up
an RBI on a sacrifice fly and Mike Berretta smashed a double into the
leftfield gap, picking up an RBI of his own inching the Falcons closer,

  In the fifth inning, two Falcons errors and a double by Steve Norris
allowed McDevitt to again jump on the scoreboard with three more runs,
increasing their lead to 12-7.

  The Falcons failed to have a runner reach base in the sixth and headed
into the seventh inning, trailing by five.

  Craig Kubis led the seventh inning off for the Falcons with a single,
Danny Paluch followed with a single of his own. Sean Cahill walked Stan
Orzechowski to load the bases. Mike Karpovich stepped up to the plate
and hit a dribbler back to the mound, Cahill overthrew firstbase and
Kubis scored as did Paluch, cutting the Lancers lead to 12-9.

  Mike Berretta singled, scoring Orzechowski and drawing the Falcons to
within two, 12-10. Brian Wehrman was then hit by a pitch, bringing up
Brett Bryan. With the bases loaded, down by two, Bryan hit a dribbler
to secondbase, allowing Karpovich to score and bringing the Falcons to
within one, 12-11.

  Brian Pasternak, a late inning substitute, struck out, making the second
out of the inning and leaving the game on the shoulders of Chris Wenger.

  Wenger worked a hitters count before popping a ball up that looked to
have enough air to drop behind second base, and surely enough to allow
Berretta to score from third to tie the game. Unfortunately for the
Falcons, Brian Mitros made an outstanding leaping grab, sealing the win
for McDevitt.

  Cahill got the win for the Lancers. Rob Dougherty got the save.
  Robby Thompson (1-1) got the loss for the Falcons.
  "We didn't die, we kept with them and didn't quit" said Coach Wenger
after the loss. "We showed a lot of character."

  The two teams combined for 24 hits on the day.

Roman 12, North 8
   Falcons starter SR. RHP. Brian Wehrman (0-1) struggled mightily,
pitching just three innings while allowing three hits and four runs as
Roman Catholic defeated North Catholic, 12-8. The loss dropped the
Falcons record to 2-3 on the season.

  For Roman, Jim McKeaney went 3-for-4 and drove in four runs. Chris
Corkery added a pair of hits and three RBI.

   Pat Dunn picked up the win for Roman, striking out six while allowing
nine hits and six earned-runs. Dunn also helped his own cause with the
bat, scoring twice while going 1-for-3 with a home run.

   For the Falcons, JR. Stan Orzechowski hit his second home run of the
season, scored three runs and drove in two. SR. John Paffen added two
hits and four RBI in the loosing effort.

   Thus far, pitching has been the Falcons strength. Except for the loss
to Roman, the Falcons pitchers have been excellent. "Pitching has been
absolutely phenomenal," said Wenger. "It's our hitting that is letting
us down."

   Wenger is right, the Falcons' bats have been almost nonexistent this
season. Although the team is averaging seven runs per game, the offense
is only producing four of the seven runs.

Conwell-Egan 5, North 4 (10 inn.)
   The North Catholic Falcons dropped a ten-inning epic at the hands of the
Conwell-Egan Eagles, 5-4. The loss dropped the Falcons record to 2-2 on
the season.

   Robby Thompson pitched extremely well for the Falcons, going seven
strong innings while striking out four and allowing just one earned run.
"Thompson was exceptional today," said Falcons head coach, Tom Wenger.

   The Falcons took an early 1-0 lead thanks to an RBI single off the bat
of Mike Berretta but the Eagles came back and scored a run of their own
in the second inning, tying the game at 1-1. Egan then added three more
in the fourth inning to take a 4-1 lead

   Trailing 4-1 in the seventh, three straight doubles by Shaun Gallagher,
Danny Paluch, and Craig Kubis got the Falcons two runs and brought the
Falcons to within one, trailing 4-3.

   With the Falcons trailing 4-3 with a runner on secondbase and no outs,
Todd Puzycki came in for relief of Egan starter, Chris David.

   Puzycki got two quick outs before giving up an RBI single to
Berretta. Kubis scored on the play and tied the game at 4-4. Puzycki
went on to get Wehrman to pop-out to end the inning and the
Falcons threat.

   The game remained tied until the tenth inning when the Eagles Tim
Carroll singled home Chris Gnida on a ball that took a wicked bounce in
the infield and hit the face of Falcons second baseman Billy Weissinger.
The ball caromed off of Weissinger's face and carried into right field.

   Right-fielder Brian Pasternak was caught out of position and had no play
as the winning run scored. "I was going over to back up Weissinger,"
said Pasternak. "Once the ball hit him it took a wild bounce to the
right and I just wasn't expecting it."

   Weissinger remained on the ground for several minutes and was dazed when
he returned to the bench. Luckily, he was not seriously injured.

   The Falcons had numerous chances to win the contest, but failed whenever
the opportunity presented itself. "We had opportunities all day long,"
said coach Wenger. "We kept giving them back and if you don't take
advantage of chances this is how things turn out."

   The Falcons will look for revenge on May 6th when they visit
Conwell-Egan to close out the season series.

Ryan 4, North 3
  Archbishop Ryan scored four runs on just three hits to defeat the North
Catholic Falcons, 4-3. The loss evened the Falcons record to 1-1 on the

   Despite pitching well, Shaun Gallagher (0-1) got the loss for the
Falcons. In seven innings of work, Gallagher struck out seven while
giving up four runs, only one of which was earned.

   "We had something going every inning," Falcons assistant coach, Eddie
Quitmeyer said. "We just couldn't capitalize."

   Craig Kubis drove in Mike Karpovich in the second-inning on an RBI
single, giving the Falcons an early 1-0 lead. Ryan did one
better in the bottom-half of the inning, scoring two runs on a Falcons
throwing error.

   North battled back and tied the game up in third with Chris Wenger
scoring on an RBI single by the Falcons' catcher, Karpovich. Ryan again
answered with two unearned runs in the bottom half of the fourth and
held on to defeat the Falcons.

   For North, Stan Orzechowski homered and Karpovich added two hits in
the loosing effort.

   "Orzechowski's homer was a bomb," said Quitmeyer.
  Fran Schick got the win for the Raiders, striking five while allowing
just seven hits.

North Cath. 5, Dougherty 0
   SR. RHP. Shaun Gallagher hurled a complete game
one-hitter while striking out 10, as the North Catholic Falcons defeated
the Cardinal Dougherty Cardinals, 5-0. With the win, the Falcons
improved to 2-1 on the season.
   Gallagher (1-1) completely mastered the Dougherty lineup,
sitting down 13 batters in-a-row at one point. "I felt good out
there," said Gallagher. "Everything was working for me." Cardinal
Dougherty's lone hit came in the sixth inning off of the bat of
shortstop Andrew Meyers.
   Gallagher and the Falcons defense prevented Cardinal Dougherty
from having a base-runner advance past second base. Dougherty's lone
offensive threat came in the sixth inning, but it was squelched thanks
to a 1-6-3 double play.
   The Falcons jumped on the scoreboard in the second inning, with
Craig Kubis scoring on a Mike Berretta double into the right field gap.
The Falcons added another run in the third thanks to a Ed Jaskowiak
fielders-choice, boosting the lead to 2-0. North added three more runs
in the seventh to close out the victory.
   Offensively, Mike Berretta led the Falcons, going 2-for-3
with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base.
   Dan Metague got the loss for Dougherty, hurling six-plus innings,
striking out seven while walking five. Of the five runs Metague
allowed, only two were earned. The loss knocked Cardinal Dougherty

to 0-3 on the season.

North 13, West 1
  SR. RHP. Robby Thompson hurled a complete game and JR. CF. Stan
Orzechowski collected three hits along with three runs to help push the North
Catholic Falcons over the West Catholic Burrs, 13 - 1, in the league opener
for both teams.

    Thompson (1-0) looked strong on the mound for the Falcons, striking out
10 while giving up only one run to get the victory, his first at the Varsity level.

    Orzechowski, who batted leadoff last season, batted third in the lineup
and led an offensive attack that scored 10 runs within the first three
innings. Substituted for in the fifth inning during a mass lineup change,
Orzechowski went 3 for 4 with a triple, three runs scored, and two RBI.

    Also for the Falcons offense, SR. 1B. Brian Wehrman had an excellent day
at the plate, going 2 for 2 with a double and a triple, along with 2 RBI and
one run scored. SR. C. Mike Karpovich also had an RBI double for the Falcons
and SR. SS. Danny Paluch went 2 for 3 with three stolen bases and two RBI.

    JR. LHP. Kevin Gardner received the loss for the Burrs. In just four
innings of work, Gardner gave up nine hits, three walks, and ten runs, eight
of which were earned.

    SO. RHP. Steven Roman led the Burrs offense, going 3 for 3 with a double
and a stolen base. Roman also looked strong in relief for West Catholic,
going three innings while walking one and allowing just one earned run.

    The victory was Tom Wenger's first against a Southern Division opponent
in his three-year tenure as the Falcons Head Coach.

    "It was an excellent, all around effort," said Wenger. "We need a few more
wins like this."

  Spring is finally here, and with it comes another season of North Catholic

baseball.  The team faltered last season, posting a 4 - 14 record while
placing last in the Northern Division of the Catholic League.
  To add pain to insult, gone are sluggers Mike Piotrowicz and Brian Hannan
Also gone are senior leaders Tom Wenger and Steve Cross.  So what exactly can
the fans of North Catholic baseball look forward to this season?
  Well, the team will be sporting some stylish new uniforms along with fitted
  Excited yet?  Didn't think so.
  The real reason to be excited is because the 4 - 14 mark that the Falcons
posted a year ago is gone and third year Head coach Tom Wenger (8 - 28) has a
new crop of young, resilient ballplayers ready to challenge the top teams of
the Catholic League.
  More good news for Falcons fans is that SR. SS. Danny Paluch will be returning
to build on his 2002 campaign.  As a Second Team All-Catholic selection last
season, Paluch (.412, 3 HR, 12 RBI) led the Falcons in most offensive
categories and was quite strong defensively.  Along with everything else,
Paluch played the role of team captain perfectly and will do likewise this
  Leading the pitching staff this season will be SR. RHP. Shaun Gallagher
Gallagher posted a 1 - 3 record last season but was undoubtedly the Falcons
ace, hurling 29 innings, compiling a 4.34 ERA and striking out 19.  Gallagher
has excellent control and outstanding pitching abilities but must work on his
composure while on the mound.
  Gallagher will also have to make up for the departure of SR. RHP. Justin
Etsell who will not be playing this season.   Last season Etsell struggled
mightily, but was a workhorse for the staff, starting six games while hurling
32 innings of work.  If Gallagher can succeed and help carry a young pitching
staff this season he will undoubtedly be a legitimate All-Catholic candidate.
  Underclassmen pitchers Craig Kubis and Mike Berretta will also have to step up
in order for the Falcons pitching staff to succeed.
  Returning behind the plate for the Falcons this season will be SR. Mike
Karpovich.  Karpovich (.356, 9 RBI) got off to a slow start offensively last
year before hitting all cylinders during the second half of the season. 
Karpovich has progressed nicely from year-to-year and should be a legitimate
All-Catholic candidate this season if he handles the Falcons inexperienced
pitching staff well and builds on his offensive numbers of a season ago.
Perhaps the most surprising player of the 2002 campaign was JR. CF. Stan
Orzechowski.  Orzechowski led the team in stolen bases with 15 while batting a
dazzling .357 and slugging a .464.  Defensively, Orzechowski is certainly one
of the best outfielders in the Catholic League, possessing amazing speed,
range and arm strength.
  Overall, the Falcons are a talented team but extremely young.   Although the
pitching staff has plenty of depth, it lacks Varsity experience.  Offensively,
the top of the lineup looks solid with Paluch, Karpovich, and Orzechowski, but
again, the lack of Varsity experience will hurt the Falcons in the early
  Although I see the Falcons improving on their 4 - 14 mark, I see a team that
will struggle to go 8 - 8 and a team that will suffer through a lot of growing
  Be patient this season and expect a slight upgrade in Falcon land, but not
much more.