Salisbury beats Lower Mac to reach Legion championship
Salisbury beat Lower Macungie last Tuesday to advance to the Lehigh Valley Legion semifinals against North Parkland.
No. 2 seed Lower Mac squandered 10 runners on base, and top-seeded Salisbury capitalized on those wasted opportunities. The Falcons used a six-run fourth inning to pull away from Lower Mac and end its season last Tuesday, 8-1, in the Lehigh Valley Legion playoffs.
“We faced [Andrew] Sukanick and he’s their ace,” Lower Mac manager Jeff Smith said. “It’s not like we didn’t get guys on base. We killed ourselves with some mistakes tonight—passed balls and errors. You can’t do that against Salisbury. They’re the No. 1 seed for a reason.”
The most glaring missed opportunity came in the third inning. With Salisbury holding a 2-0 lead after the first inning, Lower Mac had a prime chance to take the lead in the third.
Ryan Kasye led off with a double and scored when Vincent Viola reached base on a Falcon error in the next at-bat. Brandon Robinson and Adam LeMaster each singled, loading the bases with no outs.
But Sukanick got out of the jam and left Lower Mac searching for answers. Sukanick got both Gunnar Schichtl and Bryan Horton to strike out, and Shane Martrich’s groundout got Salisbury out of the jam with minimal damage.
Lower Mac only had one more runner in scoring position the rest of the game. Brendan Schaaf was stationed on second base with one out in the fourth inning when Kasye was hit by a pitch to take first base. But Sukanick got Viola to ground out into a double play to end the frame.
Then Salisbury’s offense exploded in the bottom half of the fourth. After Bladimill Gautreaux doubled to start it off, a Lower Mac error helped Cole Warmkessel reach base and score Gautreaux. Taylor Linn then singled to score Warmkessel and push Salisbury’s lead to 4-1. Linn and Joey Galantini scored on passed balls.
Nino Encarnacion singled later in the inning to scored Ryan Miller. Kevin Cruz would later cross home on a balk to make it an 8-1 lead.