Coplay set for playoffs
Coplay will be among the eight Lehigh Valley Senior Legion baseball teams vying for the league title when the playoffs get underway this Wednesday.
The double-elimination tournament may have a distinct favorite on paper with South Parkland sporting an undefeated 14-0 record, but Coplay could play spoiler once they take the field.
Coplay ended the regular season 5-9-1, finishing in the fifth spot in the standings. They head into the playoffs off a resounding 15-5 victory over Emmaus last Sunday.
In that game, Luke Gilbert delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth, breaking a 5-5 tie. It was part of an 11-run burst that gave them the 10-run win. A number of players collected multiple hits in the game, including Austin Miller, Connor Foster and Andrew Torres. Additionally, Zachary Bilder had a double and two RBIs, while Gilbert knocked in four runs in the win.
Ayden Dunbar leads the team in hitting this season (minimum 20 plate appearances) with a .367 average. Joe Lisicky is batting .333, while Foster and Mason Schlofer each sit at .250.
Action pauses for its annual all-star game where they’ll play the Schuylkill/Berks All-Stars at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading July 9. Representing Coplay will be Bilder, Jake Lisicky, Jake Paashaus and Foster.
When playoff action gets underway on Wednesday, which is after Press deadlines, Coplay will face the Carbon Monarchs who finished the season at 9-7.
Head coach Ed Foster said that they’ve playing solid middle defense with Foster and Miller at shortstop and second base, respectively. He said that they’re also getting strong play at first with Schlofer, who’s also shown his ability to put down a bunt in sacrifice situations, tying the game against Emmaus on one such occasion.
Foster also said their bats have started to come around recently.
“My players are driving through the ball, instead of looping under or over [the ball] trying for the fence,” said Foster. “The younger guys have adjusted to the faster speed of Legion ball; bottom line base hits win games.”
Foster said that their recent close games against South Parkland and the Carbon Monarchs show their potential. Both teams are among the top three in the league, and Coplay lost by one run to the Monarchs on July 5.