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Falcons look to build on ‘22 season

Salisbury’s 2022 varsity baseball season was something of a wild ride. After a 4-1 start to the season, the Falcons struggled for a while to find wins and finished the regular season with a mark of 9-11.

While the record was not good enough to get into the Colonial League playoffs, they did qualify for a spot in districts, opening against Palmerton in the quarterfinal round. After taking an early lead the Falcons looked like they might knock off the tournament’s third seed, but the Bombers battled back with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with an 8-7 win.

This season, Salisbury hopes to improve on its 2022 record and have a better postseason run. The team will have to do that without ace Tim Schware, Hunter Rothrock, TJ Polaha, and Paul Spann. Schware finished with an ERA of 2.22 last season and Rothrock reached base with a hit or a walk in 20 of the Falcons’ last 21 games, finishing with an on-base percentage of .500 for the season.

Coach Justin Aungst still has some weapons at his disposal and young players who look to move into larger roles.

“There are a few returning players that will have key roles. One will be Jordan Tocci, who will do the bulk of the catching. Another is Thomas Lovelidge, who will be a guy at the top of our pitching rotation and lineup. Jacob Bucchin will anchor center field and the middle of our lineup,” said Aungst. “As for underclassmen, sophomore Caleb Gonzalez has really opened eyes this off season and looks like he could be our second basemen from day one. Sophomore Owen Fogel is an all-around athlete capable of playing multiple positions and could be able to throw quite a few innings for us this year.

“Nate Nunez, a freshman, is a possibility to contribute a significant amount right off the bat both in the middle infield and at the plate.”

Aungst is still watching the competition for right field to play out, with multiple players fighting for the spot in the lineup. He is also aware that you can never have enough pitching and is keeping his eyes open for other arms to help in 2023.

“This year, I think we are trending toward a balanced attack but then again, it’s hard to tell without seeing many game reps yet,” said Aungst.

Salisbury moves into the 3A classification this season after competing as a 2A team last season. The Falcons’ season opens Friday when they host Allen. They continue with a game at Dieruff on Saturday. Their Colonial League opener is on March 24 at Northwestern Lehigh.

PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Thomas Lovelidge will be one of the Falcons' top pitchers this season.
PRESS PHOTO BY NANCY SCHOLZ Senior Jordan Tocci will handle catching duties for the Falcon baseball team this season.
PRESS PHOTO BY LINDA ROTHROCK Jacob Bucchin will be the Falcons' centerfield this seaosn and hit in the middle of the batting order.