Veteran coaches square off in Berks Baseball League playoffs for 1st time

Justin Freese and Brian Kopetsky, two of the longest-tenured head coaches in the Berks Baseball League, have squared off at minimum after every period given that 1999, Kopetsky’s initial at Muhlenberg.

They have never coached against every other in the BCIAA playoffs.

That is established to change Monday night time when the next-seeded Muhls (17-2) meet third-seeded Exeter (15-5) in the next video game of a semifinal doubleheader at FirstEnergy Stadium.

“I take into account Justin a friend,” Kopetsky mentioned. “You are inclined to know people’s tendencies and how they like to enjoy the match when you’ve coached in opposition to them for a very long time.

“I’d like to think we have a fairly superior e-book on them and he’d say the very same matter about us.”

In the very first video game, No. 8 seed Oley Valley (12-7) will try out for a second straight upset about a Berks I crew when it faces No. 5 seed Wilson (9-9) at 4:15 p.m.

The semifinal winners will progress to the championship match Wednesday night at 6:05 at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Kopetsky and the Muhls are seeking their next league title in the last four yrs. Freese, who grew to become head mentor in 1994, and the Eagles are pursuing their initial championship.

Head coach Justin Freese and Exeter are looking for their first Berks Baseball League championship. (BILL UHRICH ??


“Brian and I are not going to dictate what comes about in the activity the players are,” Freese stated. “There are some factors he’s performed more than the yrs that I’ve told my fellas about. We know every other’s tendencies.”

The teams fulfilled for the 1st time this season April 29 when Muhlenberg rolled earlier Exeter 11-2 at Laureldale with the enable of 5 faults by the Eagles.

Jacob Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with two doubles and 4 RBIs for the Muhls that night time and Luis Beato was 2-for-3 and scored a few operates. Brad Coley and Dalton Follweiler blended on a two-hitter and struck out 13.

“From our aspect, there is an benefit due to the fact we went out and handled business,” Kopetsky mentioned. “It was possibly a single of the most complete video games we performed in the course of the frequent year.

“But when you are taking part in properly like Exeter is and that game is sitting there, it could supply added motivation for them. It is a double-edged sword.”

The Eagles have won 5 straight given that that reduction, together with a 16-10, 9-inning victory about beforehand unbeaten Gov. Mifflin and a 6-3 victory above Berks III Hamburg in the quarterfinals.

“We did not participate in a specially superior sport that evening,” Freese mentioned of the reduction to the Muhls. “Things have adjusted a tiny little bit since that match. It may have been a turnaround to our season. That is likely to be a motivating factor, understanding we received defeat rather excellent the last time we played them.”

Senior correct-hander Luke Weller (1-2) is in line to get the begin for Exeter. He’s the Eagles’ prime hitter with a .508 regular, 18 operates scored and 27 RBIs.

Following Coley threw 95 pitches in a 9-4 quarterfinal get over Kutztown, Kopetsky could go with Sean Levan, Cam Burr, Follweiler or a person else. Beato is the Muhls’ most risky hitter with a .460 typical, 21 operates scored and 17 RBIs.

In the initially sport, Oley Valley hopes to go on momentum from its gorgeous 6-1 earn around No. 1 seed Gov. Mifflin in the quarterfinals. The Lynx also appear to be to be peaking at the appropriate time, profitable five of their final 6. They’re looking for their to start with title because 2013.

“They’re quite free,” 1st-year Oley mentor Jeff Pinder claimed. “We’re obtaining enjoyable. We like acquiring collectively and getting collectively. We just sat all-around and talked for 10 or 15 minutes about random things. They are just a bunch of free young children who appreciate the match of baseball.”

The Lynx had only 5 hits towards Mifflin, such as a two-run single by Ty Yerger. They took gain of four Mustangs errors and acquired a six-hitter from Luke Macdonald.

“They set the ball in play on offense,” Wilson coach Sal Raccuglia stated. “Their hitters get every thing out of an at-bat. That has a large amount to do with Pinder and how he performed the activity.”

Raccuglia and Pinder know just about every other really very well. Pinder, at Boyertown, and Raccuglia, at Muhlenberg, played in opposition to every single other in Legion ball. Pinder served as a Kutztown College assistant mentor for Chris Blum, one particular of Raccuglia’s friends.

The Bulldogs and the Lynx are assembly in the semifinals for the 2nd straight yr following Wilson won 9-3 final year.

With Cole Leaman unavailable to pitch for now, Raccuglia options to begin sophomore lefty Matt VanOstenbridge, who’s 3-2 with two saves, a sub-1.00 Period and 49 strikeouts in 27.1 innings.

Rueben Livingston qualified prospects the Wilson offense with a .422 ordinary, 8 doubles, a person triple, a few home operates and 15 RBIs. The Bulldogs are trying to find their third championship considering the fact that 2017.

“We occasionally eliminate our concentration within an inning or a video game,” Raccuglia reported. “That’s been plaguing us all yr. We have harped on remaining concentrated each individual pitch and every single at bat and being dialed in. If we execute, we can perform with any person.”