Wreckers Baseball Defeats St. Joseph 5-4, Clinches FCIAC Playoff Berth

Wreckers Baseball Defeats St. Joseph 5-4, Clinches FCIAC Playoff Berth

Although Wreckers starter Jimmy Kopack ’12 had a rough start to the game, he redeemed himself by the sixth inning. The boys’ varsity baseball team defeated St. Joseph 5-4, and clinched an FCIAC playoff berth. | Photo by Ben Reiser ’13

On May 13, the Staples boys’ varsity baseball team defeated Trumbull’s St. Joseph High School 5-4, ensuring a spot in the playoffs, and bringing the team’s FCIAC record to 12-4.

It was tight at the beginning though, when starting pitcher Jimmy Kopack ’12 gave up a homerun to St. Joseph’s on his first pitch, and allowed another batter to score after that. However, the Wreckers brought hope back to the fans in the bottom of the first inning, when co-captain Tyler Jacobs ’11 hit a three-run homerun, putting the Wreckers back on top, 3-2.

The score remained the same until the bottom of the third inning, when infielder Colin McCarthy ’11 hit an RBI single to left field, bringing Mike Scott ’11 to home plate. Fans continued to cheer the team on when Bryan Terzian ’13 hit a single to third base, allowing McCarthy to score the fifth run of the game for the Wreckers.

At the top of the sixth inning, tensions ran high for Wreckers fans when St. Joseph hit an RBI triple, causing head coach Jack McFarland to replace Kopack with Terzian. However, after Terzian brought in another run and loaded the bases, McFarland replaced him with pitcher Rob Gau ’11. Gau saved the day for the Wreckers by getting two outs, and ending the inning with an unchanged score of 5-4.

With no runs scored by the Wreckers at the bottom of the sixth, fans rallied for Gau to bring Staples the victory at the top of the seventh. St. Joseph’s first two batters both hit directly to center field, yet both balls were caught by captain Ben Lipper ’11.

Gau gave up a base hit to the next batter, but came back to give the final batter a ground out to the second baseman, granting the Wreckers a 5-4 victory, and more importantly, an FCIAC playoff berth.

The Wreckers celebrated with red velvet cupcakes after the game, but some admitted that the win was not an easy feat—after all, St. Joseph entered the game with a 13-1 FCIAC record.

“It definitely was not easy beating the first team in the state,” Gau said.

On the same note, infielder Chris Lametta ’11 called it a “tough win.”

McFarland admitted that the game was tight, but is ultimately happy with the outcome.

“It was a great high school baseball game. The kids really answered the call,” McFarland said.

Kopack, who redeemed himself after a rough start in the first inning, claims he knew that the Wreckers could pull it out all along.

“The game definitely started off a little low, but I knew we had a great lineup and could come back—and we did,” Kopack said.

Captain Brendan Bernstein ’11 finds that the win brought back the “respect and confidence” that the team needed.

“St. Joseph’s has a great team, and we showed with that win that we can still beat any team in the state,” Bernstein said.

The Wreckers continue the season with their Senior Day game tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Norwich Free Academy at Staples Field.