Vintage Cooper: Crunick dominates on the mound, leads Wings to ICBL title

Cooper Crunick (top) hurled 6.2 innings of no-hit ball. Stephen Edgett (bottom left) beats the tag of Jorge Oropeza at third base. Justin Graham (bottom right) is safe at second. Santino Rosso covers the bag. (Photos: SUE KANE)

By JOHN LIKANJE

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – It has been a joy ride of a summer for Cooper Crunick. In early June, the 6-foot-1 right-hander lifted a sectional title block with his fellow Canandaigua teammates. Now, in late July, Crunick pitched another team to a title: the Wings to the 2019 Intercollegiate Baseball League championship.

“It’s been a fantastic summer,” Crunick said after the 2-0 victory over the Flyin’ Fish. “I couldn’t ask for two better teams. I knew that Canandaigua team had a lot of great guys and a lot of great baseball players. It’s been good to have a team that works hard and comes every day ready to battle.”

Crunick (Binghamton University) finished one out shy of his third no-hitter in two months. The former Canandaigua Brave hurled a no-no on May 22nd against Greece Athena and another 13 days later in a regional qualifier victory over Pittsford Sutherland. Before allowing his lone hit of the game, Crunick had retired 17 of the 20 batters he faced and struck out six through six innings of work.

“The change, the fastball, I commanded it finally some time this season and the slider and curveball,” Crunick said when explaining how he was in control of his entire arsenal. “It was being able to find the strike zone and keep hitters off balance.”

“Fastball inside, outside, curve, wherever he wanted to put it, he could put it there,” Colin Coykendall said about his battery mate. “A couple of changeups. Just working everything.”

 

 

Overall, the freshman pitcher gave up four walks and threw 103 pitches. Crunick induced seven outs both on the ground and in the air to earn the victory.

“Mentality was the biggest thing,” the 6-foot-1 right-hander said. “Going into tonight, I was trying to just lock in from the beginning, stay focused. Just playing relaxed.”

“Focusing on keeping his arm healthy, being ready to throw in a game in between innings,” Coykendall explained about assisting Crunick throughout the summer. “We talked a lot about efficiency. He was really efficient tonight. If you want to play Division One college ball and you’re efficient, you’re going to be successful.”

 

 

Stephen Edgett (St. John Fisher College) led the offense with a pair of singles, a ground-rule double and a run scored. The senior center fielder drove in Ryan Hill (Monroe Community College) and crossed the plate on a throwing error in a two-run opening frame for the Wings.

“With two strikes, just putting the ball in play and it happened a couple of times, so I’m happy with it,” Edgett said.

Thomas Pasquale (St. John Fisher College) and Frankie Santiago Colon (Finger Lakes Community College) both connected for a base knock and drew a walk. Shane Harisis (SUNY Brockport), Hill and Ben Martin (St. John Fisher College) all collected a hit in three plate appearances apiece. Coykendall (Monroe Community College) had a walk in his lone at-bat. Justin Graham (St. John Fisher College) came in relief with the bases loaded and got the last out to earn the save.

 

 

For the Flyin’ Fish, Zachary Carpin (Clarkson University) broke up Crunick’s no-hit bid with a single to center field to load the bases in an attempted seventh-inning rally. Anthony Mashewske (Keuka College) drew a pair of walks. Hayden Ewell (Southern New Hampshire) and Justin LoTemple (Alfred State College) both had a walk. Cody Cooper (Slippery Rock University) was hit by a pitch. Jaret Murray (Finger Lakes Community College) fanned five batters in three innings of relief.

 

 

The top-seeded Wings finished the ICBL season with a 15-9 record and a seven-game winning streak.

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