Falcon baseball falls short of expectations
The expectations were high this spring for the Salisbury baseball team, especially considering the amount of success this year’s group of players had last summer.
The Falcon legion team made it to regionals and was crowned the regular season champions of the Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League in 2017.
But this group of Falcons will be the first ones to tell you the team underachieved in 2018.
Salisbury finished .500 in the Colonial League, going 9-9 and missing out on the sixth and final league playoff spot by 2.5 games.
The Falcons (11-9 overall) did qualify for the district tournament, at the No. 5 seed, but their run was short-lived after being eliminated by No. 4 Palmerton, 3-2, in the Class 3A semifinals.
“It is disappointing that we didn’t live up to our own expectations,” said senior Joey Galantini. “But we had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories.
“I feel like we definitely fell short. We had some off-the-field issues that kind of plagued us. It caused us to switch up our defense and it was not as strong.”
Without one of their top pitchers for about half of the season, the Falcons struggled to remain consistent from the opening pitch to the final out.
Salisbury, after starting the Colonial League slate of their schedule at 2-1 and winning four of their first seven contests, continued swaying on the seesaw all spring. Five of Salisbury’s nine losses in league play were by three runs or less.
“One of our biggest issues was staying strong through the close games,” Galantini said. “We would have a big inning or put up some runs, and then we would go quiet while our opponents chipped away. We struggled with keeping our foot on the gas.”
Despite a somewhat disappointing season, the Falcons were able to earn a postseason berth after missing out on that accomplishment for the first time in years under head coach Mike Pochron in 2017. Salisbury just would have wished its season didn’t come to a close as quick as it had.
“My career at Salisbury was a blast,” Galantini said. “I was fortunate enough to earn a spot as a freshman and start all four years. I am going to miss the baseball, but most of all the long bus rides after wins, the wing nights and fishing trips. These guys are a blast to be around.”
Galantini led the team with a .344 batting average, 24 runs scored, six double and three homeruns. Colten Hagadus (.339 average, 23 runs, 15 RBIs), Ryan Miller (.323 average, 17 RBIs, 11 runs), Taylor Linn (.288 average, 17 RBIs, 12 runs) Quinn Warmkessel (.277 average, 12 RBIs, 12 runs) and Mark Wilson (.262 average, 10 RBIs) all batted over .250.
Galantini will continue his baseball career at Northampton Area Community College, a nationally ranked team heading into next season.