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Falcons compete in LV Tourney

Salisbury would have had a very senior-oriented baseball team this spring.

Had the season not been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Falcons would have as many as 10 senior on this year’s varsity team.

All 10 were on the roster for last week’s St. Luke’s Lehigh Valley Baseball Tournament. Despite an 0-3 performance in the event, those seniors were happy to get the chance to play a few games with players who have been teammates for a long time.

“Playing with these guys the past 10 years of our lives and then having our final year together ripped away from us, it hurt,” said Salisbury pitcher Colin Weiss, a three-year varsity player. “It was the last time playing together. I’m glad we got to play in this tournament.”

The 32-team tournament was held to give high school players a chance to get a few games in after their season was. The event was organized by DeSales assistant coach Dan Villanti. It was not sanctioned by the PIAA, District 11 or any school districts.

Salisbury drew a difficult pool and dropped its first two games against Northwestern and eventual champ Emmaus at Limeport last Monday, the opening day of the event.

After rain delayed most of Tuesday games, the Falcons returned to Limeport to try and salvage a win against Colonial League rival Saucon Valley. The Panthers pulled out the win with a big sixth inning for a 9-3 win.

Neither team led by more than a run in the back-and-forth game last week.

Salisbury went right to work when Ernesto Fermin led off the game with a single and scored on Colin Weiss’s two-out single.

Saucon Valley knotted the score with a pair of hits in the second inning, but Weiss pitched out of a two-on, one out jam to keep the score at 1-1 after one inning.

The Panthers took their first lead on a hit and an error in the third inning, but Salisbury responded in the top of the fourth.

Senoir Matthew Haas led of the Falcons’ fourth inning with a single to deep right field, but was thrown out trying to stretch into a double. Weiss followed with a single and Josh Negron walked before Zach Arner drove in both baserunners with a double to right field.

The Panther used to hits, an error and a sacrifice fly to bring in a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and take a 4-3 lead. They added five runs in the seventh for the 9-3 final.

“Overall, as a team, we lacked depth but both games came out pretty close,” said Fermin, another three-year varsity player. “We came out here with high hopes. We had tough games, but I think we all played as hard as we could.”

The Falcons opened the tournament with a 15-1 loss to Northwestern and a 10-3 loss to Emmaus.

“We did have a tough a pool,” said Salisbury head coach Justin Aungst. “[Monday] the first few innings of both games we competed well. Our pitchers threw well. Tim [Schware] threw well and Quinn [Warmkessel] threw well and Colin [Weiss] threw well today. Our defense let us down the other day. Northwestern is a good team too, not taking anything away from them, but the wheels started to fall off a bit.”

Emmaus went on to face Parkland in this Monday’s championship game at Coca-Cola Park with the Hornets coming out on top.

While the Hornets walked off with the trophy, all the players were winners after getting to play some baseball despite losing their 2020 varsity season.

“Our group chat instantly lit up,” Fermin said of hearing the news back in June that the tournament was a go. “Everybody was psyched. We had a tough schedule, but everybody just wanted to come out here and play.

“I think everybody was expecting something to happen and they made something happen so I think everyone was super appreciative of it. It was great. Just super stoked to be out here.”

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Colin Weiss pitched a solid game against Saucon Valley while also picking up a pair of hits, driving in a run and scoring once.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ First baseman Tim Schware (above) stretches to make a play during the St. Luke's Lehigh Valley Baseball Tournament. Colin Weiss (left) pitched a solid game against Saucon Valley while also picking up a pair of hits, driving in a run and scoring once.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Salisbury's Hunter Rothrock puts a tag on a Saucon Valley player caught in a run down while teammate Josh Negron keeps watch of other baserunners.