Baseball falls to Saucon Valley
Even before the season, Salisbury head coach Mike Pochron was aware that solid defensive play would be key to the Falcons’ success. Thus far it’s been an up-and-down spring in that regard.
During Saturday’s game against Saucon Valley, Salisbury felt the effect of being on the wrong side of that pendulum. Four errors played a big part in helping the Panthers (9-3 in Colonial League) take an early lead and hold off the Falcons for a 6-4 win at Saucon Valley High School.
“Too many passed balls and wild pitches,” Pochron said. “We get guys in scoring position, and we still lose a 6-4 game. We should have been out of the one inning, but we throw the ball away at first base and that allows them to score. That’s the end of an inning there. Just sloppy play.”
Saucon Valley took control in the top of the third when the Panthers closed the inning with a run on a Falcon throwing error. That seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game.
The Panthers went ahead 5-1 in the fourth with some clutch hitting. After Jared Thatcher led off with a walk, he moved over to second base moments later on a wild pitch. Then Nick Steckel singled to left field, scoring Thatcher for a 4-1 advantage. Chris Smith singled two batters later to close out the frame and score Steckel.
“Well it’s been a struggle, and now we’re back to 6-6,” Pochron said. “What’s been the problem is we aren’t throwing strikes and we give up too many walks. And then the other teams, we’re letting them create innings. They got a lead-off man on in how many innings?”
Salisbury got a run back in the bottom half of the frame, but the Falcons ultimately left too many batters on base to end frames. Joey Galantini recorded RBI-singles to close out the fourth and sixth innings and Salisbury was within 6-3 going into the seventh.
And when the Falcons led off the seventh with a single and a hit by pitch, the future looked optimistic. However, the Falcons would only score one run, on a fielder’s choice from Ryan Miller, to make it a 6-4 deficit before a fly out to end the game.
“Like the last inning we led off, but I don’t know if we had a lead-off man on before that in any inning,” Pochron said. “That’s pretty much where we are at, and we lose a two-run game.
“We popped up with runners on second and third in one inning. Joe got a hit two other times, and that was a big one. But we need some timely hitting.”
The Falcons, who are without ace Andrew Sukanick, received innings from Quinn and Cole Warmkessel. Quinn was credited with the loss after pitching 3 2/3 innings and allowing four runs.
Salisbury responded with an 8-3 win over Catasauqua on Monday to open the week. They moved to 7-6 overall and 6-6 in Colonial League play with five games remaining. They are a game back of Notre Dame (Green Pond) in the race for the final Colonial League playoff berth.
Results from Tuesday’s game against Southern Lehigh were not available at time of press.
The Falcons have four home games left on their schedule. They host Palisades on Wednesday, Northwestern on Friday, Moravian Academy on Saturday and Northern Lehigh Monday night at ECTB Stadium. They travel to Southern Lehigh to finish the regular season Monday, May 9. They have a postponed nonleague game against Allen that has yet to be rescheduled.