Sukanick fans 16 Bulldogs
Andrew Sukanick was without a doubt Salisbury’s top pitcher over the summer when he led the Falcon legion team to a regular season title and regional berth.
The Lehigh Valley endured yet another winter storm on the second day of April, but Sukanick is still pitching like he did last summer.
Sukanick, a senior, was dominant in Salisbury’s regular season opener last week against Northern Lehigh. In a 3-0 victory last Wednesday, Sukanick allowed just two hits and struck out 16 Bulldog batters.
“He had a great summer pitching for legion, so we’re expecting him to have a big year,” Sukanick said. “He got off to a great start. I can’t tell you I thought he was going to have 16 strikeouts, but I was expecting him to have a good game, certainly.”
Sukanick’s arm kept the Falcons in the game early until the offense gained some steam late in the contest. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, the Falcon senior ace continued his dominance. He wouldn’t need any more from his teammates in the batter’s box.
That didn’t mean the Falcons wouldn’t offer some insurance late. A run in each of the sixth and seventh innings gave Sukanick a 3-0 cushion that would never be threatened.
Joey Galantini went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a double, while brothers Cole (2-for-4 with a run scored) and Quinn Warmkessel (1-for-3 with a RBI) also produced key hits for the Falcons. Taylor Linn went 2-for-4 with a run and RBI in the victory.
“He [Sukanick] looked outstanding,” Pochron said. “He was overpowering. He was really the star of the game. We scored enough runs for him, but he was really the story. He controlled it.”
Two issues that Salisbury must improve on from a year ago if they figure to be successful are its defense and timely hitting. Pochron was pleased with the at-bats his team had in the opening game.
“We only had one strikeout, so we put the ball in play,” Pochron said. “We got five walks. I was happy overall with that.”
The defense, while not tested much against the Bulldogs, is expected to be much improved this spring as well.
“With him striking everyone out, defense wasn’t really a factor in this game,” Pochron said. “But certainly that’s what we need to do this year.”
Weather and field conditions have postponed numerous games already this season. Rain in the forecast earlier this week might make it tough to get in games this week as well.
The Falcons are scheduled to travel to Notre Dame (Green Pond) on Wednesday and Palmerton on Thursday. Game times are set for 4 p.m.