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Salisbury baseball seeks two more wins

Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Salisbury baseball team needs just two more wins to qualify for the postseason.

After Monday’s loss to Southern Lehigh, the Falcons (8-9 overall, 7-9 Colonial League) had three games remaining on their schedule and needed to win at least two of them to earn a place in the District 11 Class 3A playoffs.

Salisbury met Northwestern last Wednesday and still had a shot at the league playoffs before falling to the Tigers 13-1.

Salisbury committed four errors in the loss to Northwestern, including two in a six-run fourth inning that put the Tigers ahead 9-1.

“The league playoffs, today really hurts because [Northwestern is] right in front of us, but obviously districts is still in front of us,” said Falcon head coach Justin Aungst. “That’s what makes this so frustrating, coming out playing like this knowing that we have a chance in front of us. We have to take it day by day because that’s all we can do.”

Coming off wins over Allen and Northern Lehigh, Salisbury had some momentum when it took on the Tigers in a Falcon home game that was played at Southern Lehigh High School.

Northwestern opened the scoring in the second inning, but the Falcons answered with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Matt Nunez singled to start the Falcon third inning. He scored on a Jordan Tocci one-out single.

The Tigers put up two more runs in the third inning before their big fourth inning began with an error that allowed a no-out base runner.

Northwestern pounded out three singles, a double and benefitted from a walk and batter hit by a pitch in the inning to push its lead to 9-1 after the three innigs.

The Falcons tried to put together a rally late in the game.

In the bottom of the fourth, singles by Tim Schware and Tocci, who went 3-for-3 with an RBI in the game, put two runners on base with just one out. But Tiger pitcher Tanner Romig (5 IP, 6 hits, 4 Ks, 1 BB) got the next two batters out to escape from the jam.

The Falcons got one man on base in each of the last three innings, but didn’t score.

Northwestern added three insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning.

While the Falcons made defensive miscues and errors, the Tigers (13-7 overall; 13-5 Colonial League) played nearly flawless defense.

“We kind of let it spiral out of control and that’s been our problem all year,” said Aungst. “We put a game together where we play great defense and hit the ball well and then we come out the next day and it’s completely different.

“If we make defensive plays all year our whole season is different.”

Salisbury finishes its regular season schedule this week with games against Dieruff (5-13) on Tuesday, Catasauqua (6-13) on Wednesday and Notre Dame – Green Pond (15-3) on Thursday. Two wins will get Salisbury into the District 11 Class 3A playoffs. Anything less and their season ends this week.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Jordan Tocci went 3-for-3 in last Wednesday's game against Northwestern.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Matt Nunez scored the Falcons' only run in last week's loss to Northwestern.