Late rally lifts Emmaus past Salisbury, 13-6
Following one of Salisbury's best offensive innings of the season, the Falcons held a 5-2 lead through four innings against Emmaus. All five of those runs came in the third frame.
But as quickly as the Falcons responded from an early 2-0 deficit, an explosion from the Hornets' bats in the final three innings resulted in Salisbury's 10th loss in 11 games. Emmaus (6-8) scored six runs in the fifth and a combined five more in the sixth and seventh to drop Salisbury, 13-6, on Monday evening at Salisbury High School.
"We let it landslide," head coach Chris Rapp said. "One bad thing happens and we started to hang our heads. I give Emmaus credit. They hit the ball where someone wasn't playing a few times. It comes down to wanting to continue to play."
The loss keeps the Falcons (3-12) in last place in the league with three games to play. In hopes of cracking the postseason, Salisbury must win two of its final three games, while West Allentown needs to go winless the rest of the way.
That won't be easy. After Tuesday's game against third-place Southern Lehigh, the Falcons face Emmaus again on Thursday and Northern Valley in Sunday's regular season finale.
With a week of games remaining, Rapp would like to see his team compete no matter where its stationed in the standings.
"Just play hard," Rapp said. "I think they let the bad things get them down too much, instead of just continuing and making it up on the next one."
Inconsistency has been a theme for the Falcons all season long. It was evident once again against the Hornets on both sides.
While a five-run third inning saw Salisbury bat around the lineup and collect three hits, two walks and a hit-by-pitch, the Falcons managed just three hits and a run in the other six frames.
Chris Bishop, Ariel Bonilla and Adam Ebner all reached base via walk or hit-by-pitch in the third to load the bases with no outs. CJ Tocci's single scored Bishop, and Jeff Trexler's two-run single put the Falcons ahead 3-2. Jonathan Benitez's groundout and Ryan Basta's single brought home two more runs.
"We normally have one good inning where we'll get some runs, if at all," Rapp said. "It's tough, too, because we're missing three guys because of vacation. That's not an excuse. Emmaus beat us, and we should have played better."
After a pop out to begin the top of the fifth, six consecutive Emmaus batters reached base during a six-run barrage. Austen Hartzell's two-run double cut the Falcons' deficit to 5-4, and the Hornets added four more runs to go back in front.
The Hornets batted around in both the fifth and sixth innings, tacking on three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Bishop started the game on the mound for the Falcons. Despite allowing two runs (one earned in the first three innings), he allowed a total of four hits through three innings. He pitched a four-pitch, one-two-three fourth inning and looked to have found his spot.
However, a fifth inning that saw Bishop allow two runs on two hits and two walks ultimately pushed Emmaus back in front for good.
"They got a hit here, they got one through there, and I think the fatigue started setting in," Rapp said. "He wasn't stretching as much, and he wasn't bending as much. He got the ball up, and any good hitter is going to hit the ball when you get it up."
Trexler finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs for the Falcons, while Ebner scored two runs and Basta recorded two singles and an RBI.
Thursday's game against Emmaus is set for 7 p.m. at Emmaus Community Park.