Catasauqua Press

Friday, November 24, 2017
 Copyright - Nancy Scholz                                          Copyright - Nancy Scholz
 Copyright - Nancy Scholz                                          Copyright - Nancy Scholz
 Copyright - Nancy Scholz                                          Copyright - Nancy Scholz

Lower Mac ends Coplay’s year

Thursday, July 13, 2017 by STEVE ANDRES Special to the Press in Sports

The Coplay Legion baseball season ended in the playoffs last week, capping a season that was marked by numerous games in a short amount of time.

Manager Jim Murphy knew it would be an uphill battle against Lower Macungie without his full complement of players. He said that he had just nine players for the July 6th game, but they did the best they could before succumbing to Lower Mac, 4-1.

That loss eliminated them from the postseason. Murphy said that the playoffs were broken down into a ten-team bracket with the first round becoming a single-elimination affair. The rest of the playoffs would then adhere to the double elimination format.

Coplay was able to knock out eight hits in the game, but couldn’t drive those base runners home.

Murphy said that it was a long year, punctuated by multiple doubleheaders that saw them play nearly consistently since their season began on June 16. He said that they only had one day off since their season ended on July 2. With Whitehall’s long postseason run in the PIAA playoffs, they were forced to play catch-up in the league once they took the field.

“That’s a lot of baseball in a short amount of time,” said Murphy who completed his second season as the skipper.

He didn’t want to put a heavy workload on pictures Alex Bruneio, Matt Dobeck and Zach Gilbert who pitched a lot of innings for Whitehall this season. That meant giving the ball to a wide variety of players to help balance the pitching chores.

Even with all those doubleheaders, they still managed to finish third, compiling a 10-6-1 record.

“It was a good year,” said Murphy. “The kids played really hard. They were just a fun team to coach.”

With the stress of that compacted schedule, he felt his players really responded well.

“For what they did, I was really proud of them,” said Murphy.

Murphy said that both Bruneio and Dobeck were vital to their success this season. Bruneio was named pitcher of the week this season, while Dobeck will be heading to the annual all-star game versus the Schuykill-Berks Legion Baseball League all-stars on July 11. Dobeck was selected as a pitcher.

“Both of them are outstanding kids who had great years,” said Murphy.

They had a lot of outstanding performances this season. Bruneio was first in the league in homers with two, and was second in runs, scoring 16. He batted .467 and knocked in nine runs this season.

Dobeck batted .371 and had eight RBIs. He also stole six bases, sharing the team lead with Jeison Peralta. Dobeck was also 1-0 on the mound with a 1.56 ERA.

Zach Hamscher led the team in hitting with a .571 average. He led the team in singles with 13 and knocked in eight runs.

Zachary Brodeur finished the season hitting .423, knocking in eight RBIs to tie for second on the team with four other players.

Coplay’s Zach attack also featured Zach Bilder who batted .344. He shared the team lead in RBIs with Bruneio, knocking in nine.

Austin Dreisbach also had a good year at the dish. He hit .353 this season.

Alejandro Monteverde batted .323 this season. He also knocked in eight runs this season.

Peralta batted .258 this season and swiped six bases for a share of team honors with Dobeck.

Murphy said that many of those players will be moving on and he foresees next year as a bit of a rebuilding season. Still, he’s excited about having the kids to coach again next year.

“We’ll see who all comes out,” said Murphy. “I’m sure they’ll play hard and we’ll have a lot of fun.”