Nejad helps to lead Coplay to a victory
Conner Nejad made sure the Coplay Legion baseball team would climb back to .500, turning in a stellar performance on the mound and at the plate on Tuesday.
The Central Catholic product made his third appearance on the hill this season for Coplay, and the Lower Macungie hitters probably wished he’d taken a wrong turn on Chestnut Street since he didn’t allow a hit over his five innings of work.
He also did damage at the dish, going 2-3, including a deep drive to right for a double that drove in a run as part of their six-run fourth that put them up 10-0.
In just his second start this season, Nejad completely kept the Lower Macungie hitters off balance. Their lone run was scored on a walk, wild pitch, and sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth. That run kept the game from ending early via the 10-run rule, and that turn of events had greater implications for the fireballing Viking.
“I was upset,” said Nejad. “I was trying to get out of here; I have to get home; I have to let my dog out.”
He didn’t have to wait much longer to attend to Fido’s needs since Ryan Pavone banged a triple to bring in the decisive run in their half of the fifth to give them the 11-1 victory on a sun-drenched June evening at Sam Balliet Stadium.
With the win, Coplay is currently 7-7 and in the middle of the pack among the 10 teams in the Lehigh Valley Legion Baseball League.
Coplay strung together two big innings that netted 10 runs. In the fourth, the inning began with Zachary Hamscher reaching base with a scorching drive that reached the center field fence for a double. After a Zackary Hartman single, Nejad’s deep drive to left scored Hamscher with their fifth run.
Ben Hudak followed with a bloop single to right to keep the line moving. After Ryan Pavone was plunked by a pitch, the next batter, Andrew Martinez, delivered a bases-clearing double to put Coplay on the doorstep of the 10-run rule.
They kept hammering away no matter who Lower Mac put on the mound, demonstrating the potency of their offense.
That offensive production is something that’s beginning to take hold lately. Nejad believes if they swing the bats the way they’re capable of swinging them, there’s no telling how far they can go.
“When we’re hot, we can beat anybody,” said Nejad. “We’re just hoping to get hot at the right time.”
Currently, there are a number of hot hitters for Coplay. They have 10 players hitting .300 or better. That list includes, Zachary Bilder .387, Zachary Brodeur .333, Alex Bruneio .440, Owen Fischl .333, Robbie Lamm .467, Jake Lisicky .600, Joe Lisicky .400, Alberto Montanez .421, Conner Nejad .375, and Zach Hamscher .500.
Jake Lisicky leads the team with 11 RBIs, while Joe Lisicky and Bruneio are each tied with seven. Additionally, Hamscher and Bilder have each knocked in four runs.
It was recently revealed that the LVLBL has expanded its playoff format. All 10 teams are now eligible for the postseason. It will continue to be a double-elimination tourney, with no games scheduled for July 9 since it’s the annual Berks/Lehigh Legion All-Star Game.