Fullerton and Coplay enjoying life together
Playing together for the first time, the Fullerton-Coplay Lehigh Valley Connie Mack entry couldn't have asked for a better transition.
With the two communities combining their efforts for the first time in league history, Fullerton- Coplay has been among the top of the league standings all season.
They began the week with an overall 11-3-1 mark, staying on the heels of first place Pocono Mountain East.
"Combining the teams was important for the development of the kids as they progress together through the high school program," said Randy Ziminsky, who is a first-year coach along with Mike Bruneio, Matt Crum, Ron Heilman, and Brian Gilbert. "Overall, we have a fairly young team. There is a good mix of talent and grade levels as we have six sophomores, six freshmen, four eighth graders and one junior."
Ziminsky noted that his team has been on a recent five game winning streak, highlighting wins over Nazareth 6-2 and Pocono Mountain East 4-1.
He credited a true team effort as an integral part of his team's consistency.
"Everyone has really contributed," he said. "We have come together as the season has progressed. Pitching and defense have been the strength. Timely hitting and moving runners has also been big."
The majority of pitching has been handled by Alex Bruneio, Bryce Crum, Zach Gilbert, Matt Dobeck and Zach Hamscher. DJ Laky, Pat Ruggeri and Matt Ziminsky have also pitched in key situations. Crum and Jarrod Miller recently represented the team in the All-Star game.
"We have a deep and talented staff," noted Ziminsky. "Zach Gilbert and Bryce Crum combined for the win over Nazareth. Zach held them at bay for four innings only allowing two runs and Bryce pitched the last three shutout innings to close it down.
"Matt Ziminsky went six innings against previously unbeaten (Pocono Mountain East), only allowing one run and Matt Dobeck closed it in the seventh."
Offensively, Ziminsky has noted the contributions of Bruneio, Crum, Dobeck, RJ Figueroa, and AJ Brosious.
"Bruneio has hit for both average and power and has had several key hits for us," said Ziminsky. "Crum has emerged as a team leader and has been great in center field with his speed and arm. Dobeck has also been solid defensively, and Brosious has been hot with his bat lately."
Ziminsky also has been pleased with the efforts of Miller, Paul Helman, Jacob Hess, Zach Hamscher, and Hunter Kern.
"Miller has also emerged as a team leader for us," he said. "Helman has caught the majority of innings for us. Hess has played a solid third base, and Hamscher has done whatever we have asked and played a number of positions for us. Kern was hurt early in the season and has come on to play a solid first base."
Ziminsky also noted the contributions of underclassmen Roby Lamm, Killian Mailanders, Patrick Ruggieri, and Shane Beyer. Overall, it has been a series of different contributors every night.
"Those guys have done a nice job for us and have filled in when we have needed them," said Ziminsky. "It really has been a true team effort and we're looking forward to keeping it going."