Winning close district playoff baseball games comes down to taking advantage of the opportunities presented.
North Schuylkill didn’t have as many opportunities as Salisbury last week in their District 11 Class 2A semifinal. But the Spartans made the most of the few they did get in beating the Falcons 2-1 in extra innings.
“We had a couple opportunities,” said Salisbury head coach Mike Pochron. “I guess we give their pitchers credit that they got out of the jams. They walked the first two batters of the game and they got out of that jam.
Large School Division
TEAM W - L
Reading 6 - 0
Whitehall 5 - 0
Phillipsburg 4 - 1
Allen 3 - 1
Parkland 3 - 1
Liberty 2 - 1
Becahi 3 - 2
Central Catholic 3 - 2
Emmaus 3 - 2
Quakertown 2 - 2
Southern Lehigh 2 - 2
Freedom 2 - 3
Easton 2 - 4
Bangor 1 - 2
Dieruff 1 - 4
Wilson West Lawn 1 - 5
Northampton 0 - 2
Nazareth 0 - 3
Pocono Mt. East 0 - 6
Small School Division
TEAM W - L
Lincoln Leadership 5 - 1
Faith Christian 4 - 1
Salisbury 4 - 1
At one point early in spring, the postseason seemed nearly out of reach for the Salisbury baseball team. But after a late-season hot streak got them into the district tournament, the Falcons opened with an outstanding performance in the first round, beating Minersville 3-2 thanks to a stellar performance from pitcher Chad Cooperman and his supporting cast.
The senior struck out 11 Battling Miners and scattered eight hits while walking just two, although his best play in the game might have been a simple base running tactic that helped his team go ahead 2-0 early in the game.
Emotions poured out of Lindsay Bauer after her final track meet of her high school career.
Her last goal of the 2016 season was to capture gold at the PIAA Track and Field Championships in one, if not both, of her jumping events. Those were the objectives Bauer set for herself after another dominant showing at leagues and districts.
If things panned out that allowed Mason Groff and John Yurconic to return to the state playoffs in doubles play, the goal was simple and straightforward.
“We knew coming into the year that our goal was gold,” Yurconic said. “As I said, it was gold or bust coming into the tournament.”
No one could have expected Salisbury’s softball season to end the way it did.
The Falcons had recently finished their best season in recent memory, going 14-6 overall and 11-6 in the Colonial League to earn their first league playoff berth since 2004.
Despite heading into their first District 11 playoff game as the No. 9 seed, Salisbury stepped onto the field against No. 8 seed Pine Grove last week feeling like the better team and looking like it for most of the Class 2A quarterfinal game on the Cardinals’ home field.
Lehigh freshman Katie Toman can recall her first pole vault attempt in college clear as day. It was like living a nightmare.
“My first time down the runway, I ran down and got my hand caught in my shirt, and I fell into the pit,” Toman said. “It was so terrible. My first couple of meets in indoor I was jumping like 10 feet, which I hadn’t jumped since sophomore or freshman year of high school.”
Doubts and question marks began to pop into her head. Why wasn’t she jumping the heights she was in high school? What was the issue with her technique?
There was a point midway through the season that Salisbury could have said goodbye to any hopes of qualifying for any postseason tournament. The Falcons, losers of six of their first eight games, endured an ugly five-game losing skid that put their postseason lives in severe jeopardy.
Instead of hiding or making excuses for that rough stretch, the Falcons’ turning point came in late April. Salisbury went on a season-defining eight-game winning streak that helped qualify the Falcons for their sixth straight district playoff appearance.
When asked how many district medals she now owns after adding two more from last week’s District 11 Track and Field Championships, Salisbury senior Lindsay Bauer couldn’t rattle off the exact number.
Just hours after earning the second of two gold medals at her final district meet, her focus shifted toward a medal she’s still chasing—a state gold. Bauer will have her opportunity to capture that this week at Shippensburg University.
Records are meant to be broken, even if they are your own. For Salisbury senior Lindsay Bauer, she now owns two Colonial League Meet records.
Bauer’s record-setting championship meet began on Tuesday when she broke the meet record in the high jump, a record she had already set in each of the two previous years. She jumped 18-5 3/4 on this year’s Day 1 at Whitehall High School’s Zephyrs Sports Complex to break her previous mark by half of an inch.