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Salisbury's LVL losing skid reaches four games

Facing a 1-0 deficit against Northern Valley on Saturday, Salisbury had the bases loaded in the fifth inning with no outs.

At least one run seemed to be on the way. Even two looked like a possibility with the end of their lineup coming up to the plate. Instead the Falcons were left stranded with another scoreless inning.

That's how parts of this year's Lehigh Valley Legion season have gone for Salisbury.

After that half of the fifth inning, Northern Valley took control in the bottom of the frame. Three Charger hits and two of six Falcon errors on the day resulted in four runs in the fifth inning, leading Northern Valley to a 5-1 victory over Salisbury at Northern Lehigh High School.

That defeat began Salisbury's weekend with a second-consecutive loss. After losses to North Parkland and Lower Mac on Sunday and Monday, respectively, the Falcons have now dropped six of their last seven contests.

"It wasn't the case earlier in the season, but it seems to be in the last week and a half that when we get down we stay down," said manager Chris Rapp. "All three of our wins, we have come back to win the game. We were down at some point in the game. It seems like we lost a little bit of that fight right now."

Scoring has been an issue for the Falcons in recent games. In their last three contests, against Northern Valley, North Parkland (20-1) and Lower Mac (10-0), the Falcons have scored just one run.

Just when the Falcons seemed to gain momentum against Northern Valley with that bases-loaded opportunity, it went away just as quickly with a stike out and a double play that ended the threat.

"As far as hitting goes, it's contagious," Rapp said. "It just happened to be that game. Lately we're not hitting the ball.

"It's not for a lack of effort as far as hitting goes. The kids are trying to hit, [but] they are just falling into some bad habits. We're trying to work with them each game."

Northern Valley didn't squander the opportunity.

After Dante Salerno led off with a double, starting pitcher Ben Cordova, who allowed three hits in seven innings, lined a double to left field to boost the Chargers' lead to 2-0. Jordan Storm then singled, and Cordova came around to score on a Falcon outfield error. Storm later scored in the inning on another error, and Josh Williamson's groundout scored pinch runner Taylor Breininger to make it 5-0.

"If we put anything together and score a couple of runs, and we go up 3-2 or tie it 2-2, it might be a different outcome," Rapp said.

The Chargers led 1-0 in the first inning in large part to three Falcon errors to begin the game.

Starter Chris Bishop pitched a complete game, and despite just two of those runs being earned, he picked up his second loss of the season.

"In his two losses, he has given up eight runs and only three of them have been earned," Rapp said.

"It just tells you the kind of luck he's had. And the kind of luck we've had as a team, not just Chris [Bishop], but all of our pitchers."

The Falcons host Emmaus on Thursday at 6 p.m.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Chris Bishop pitched a complete game Saturday against Northern Valley. But six errors and a lack of Salisbury offense led to a 5-1 loss.