Whitehall-Coplay Press

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Baseball wins state playoff opener, 7-0

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

If it’s Juneio, it’s time for Bruneio.

Whitehall starting pitcher Alex Bruneio has simply been en fuego in his last two outings, one on the last day of May, the other on Monday against Daniel Boone. The southpaw has posted two victories in the postseason, his latest a shutout victory over the Blazers in the PIAA playoffs.

The senior has now tossed 14 innings in the postseason, allowing just one run on 10 hits, while striking out nine and only walking four. That includes a three-hitter against Daniel Boone in the opening round of the PIAA 5A playoffs.

With the 7-0 win, Whitehall will now play Upper Moreland (17-7), who defeated Archbishop Wood 2-0 to advance to the second round. The game is scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Spring-Ford.

Manager Shaun O’Boyle said that they had a pretty good report on the Blazers and Bruneio executed that game plan to perfection.

“We needed to keep them off balance with off-speed stuff and he did that,” said O’Boyle.

O’Boyle said that Bruneio had three pitches going and was able to get all three over the plate for strikes. It made the lefty virtually unhittable.

“You’re not going to beat him when he’s on like that,” said O’Boyle.

The Zephyrs bats have also come alive, coinciding with the outstanding pitching they’ve received over their last four games. They’ve scored 32 runs over that span.

“We’ve put a big focus on hitting the last couple of weeks and it’s paid off,” said O’Boyle.

He said that they worked really hard on their approach at the plate, stressing what to look for and when to look for it during the game. O’Boyle said being selective has been the key.

Bruneio helped his own cause with a triple in the first, driving in Matt Dobeck which turned out to be the game-winning RBI.

O’Boyle said that the Blazers must have done their own scouting since they pitched around Bruneio for most of the afternoon, determined not to let the senior beat them at the plate. However, they made that one mistake and Bruneio took advantage, rocketing the ball to the gap for a three-bagger.

The Zephs also got multiple hit performances from Zach Hamscher, Dobeck and Jake Paashaus.

Hamscher’s triple in the fifth gave him another RBI in the postseason. O’Boyle said that Hamscher is now the team leader in RBIs.

“He’s really come up big for us,” said O’Boyle. “He’s become one of our big guys with runners on base.”

The Zephs also got RBIs from John Kaintz and Jake Lisicky, giving them five different players who drove in runs.