Fullerton Connie Mack set for playoffs
Finishing their season on some high notes, Fullerton is confident it can maintain its momentum in the upcoming Lehigh Valley Connie Mack (LVCM) playoffs.
Fullerton finished with an overall 13-5-1 record and secured a third-place finish in the league. They opened the best-of-three playoff series against Northern Valley late this week. They won their last two games of the regular season, but dropped the previous two games that supposedly cost them a shot at the league title.
"We did finish on a positive note," said manager Randy Ziminsky. "But our two late losses did hurt us. One bad inning in each of those games hurt us. Still, it was a very competitive league this year as we were one of seven teams with 13 or more wins."
Ziminsky stated that his team fell behind 7-0 in both defeats to Lehigh Township and Northern Valley.
"We battled back against Lehigh Township before we lost a 9-8 game," added Ziminsky. "We also fought back against Northern Lehigh and had the tying run at the plate before we lost 8-4.
"Our kids are very resilient and they didn't hang their heads when they were down. They played hard no matter what the score was. Quit was not in their vocabulary."
Fullerton did rebound with a win over Stroudsburg in which RJ Figueroa and Matt Dobeck each banged out three hits. Alex Bruneio, Paul Helman, Bryce Crum, Jarrod Miller, and DJ Laky all had two hits apiece.
In their finale against South Parkland, Zach Hamscher had three hits and Hunter Kern and Pat Ruggeri each had a pair of hits. Zack Gilbert pitched five strong innings before he gave way to Dobeck over the final two innings.
Bruneio, Crum and Miller recently represented Fullerton in the LVCM All-Star game.
"Down the stretch, we had complete team efforts as someone different came up with big hits," added Ziminsky. "We had big contributions to make a difference."
Ziminsky also credited the assistance of his assistant, Tony, who has been a constant in the program.
"Tony has some challenges, but he has been a big help to me and the team," noted Ziminsky. "He knows the ins and outs of the park. He comes to all the meetings and keeps a pitch count for all the pitchers. If I need something done before, during or after our games, he is always there to help out with the multitude of tasks."
Ziminsky is confident his team can continue their success in the postseason.
"We have worked hard all season," he said. "We got behind against Northern Valley and we came up short during the season. Now, we have a chance to get it back."