Saturday April 20, 2013

LEE -- Matt Koperniak may just be a freshman who doesn't say much, but he sure can swing the bat.

"It's crazy," he said. "I didn't think I'd ever be here. I thought I'd be playing JV, but I'm out here hitting good shots."

He had two nice ones for Hoosac Valley on Friday, racking up five RBI in one inning of an 11-2 victory over Lee at Maple Street field. He drove in two off a single early in the third. Later in the inning his bases-clearing double capped a nine-run inning.

"He has the nicest swing I've seen in a long time," said Hurricanes coach Bob Rivard. "We knew about him ahead of time. Everybody was telling me as he was coming up through the system, ‘Wait until you see this kid.' I've been told that about a lot of ballplayers. But he just doesn't make many mistakes."

Koperniak's bat blew open a game that had been tight through the first two innings. Hoosac took a 2-0 lead off just one hit, drawing five walks over the first two innings and putting runners in motion on the basepaths.

Starter Matt Consolati and reliever Heamon Williams got the Wildcats into more trouble in the third, combining for four more walks and a hit batsman. This time, the Hurricanes took advantage at the plate.

"I just couldn't find the zone," Consolati said. "I got to work on that. Throw a few pitches here and there until the next game. Hopefully come back fighting."

The Wildcats put runners on in every inning and had the bases loaded in the third before failing to score. John Graziano scored both of Lee's runs to cap off a 3-for-3 day.

"We didn't quit, even though it got a little out of hand there for a while," said Lee coach Chip Cummings. "That's key for us. Just don't stop playing."

Rivard hopes that's exactly what Koperniak keeps doing. If the rookie keeps playing like he did on Friday, the future is bright for the young Hurricanes.

"What was that, five RBI? That's awesome," Koperniak said. "I just went with a pitch and took it deep. I was feeling good."

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Hoosac Valley 11, Lee 2

Hoosac 119 000 0--11 10 0

Lee 000 101 0--2 7 0

Matt Braman (6), Austin Milesi and Jake Hall; Matt Consolati (2 1/3), Heamon Williams (1 2/3), Preston Webb and Webb, Williams. W -- Braman. L -- Consolati. 2B -- Hoosac 1 (Matt Koperniak); Lee 2 (John Graziano, Jake Simon).