Scrolling Headlines:

UMass women’s track and field takes first, men fourth at Joe Donahue Games -

January 20, 2018

Sanzo: UMass’ game vs. St. Louis is a sign of what it is without its grit -

January 20, 2018

UMass men’s basketball gets blown out by Saint Louis, 66-47 -

January 20, 2018

UMass hockey shuts down No. 8 Northeastern with 3-0 win -

January 19, 2018

Matt Murray hands Northeastern its first shutout of the season -

January 19, 2018

Minutewomen stunned by last-second free throw -

January 19, 2018

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Peter Copa leading Minutemen offense

Hitting a baseball is considered by many to be one of the hardest feats in sports. When one considers how little time one has to react to a pitch, how good one’s swing must be what kind of pitch the pitcher could hurl one’s way and all the other mental and physical factors that take place during an at-bat, it would seem incredibly difficult to get a base hit, never mind a home run, in any higher level of play.

Senior Peter Copa, however, had little trouble hitting in the recent three-game series for the Massachusetts baseball team.

Copa, who plays both third and first bases for the Minutemen (9-14, 3-3 Atlantic 10), saw great success at the plate against the Flyers (16-16, 4-2 A-10). He went 8-for-12 on the weekend, with three extra-base hits – a triple and two homeruns, one of which was a grand slam. Copa was also hit by a pitch, earned a walk, had seven runs batted in and reached home safely four times.

With his average continuing to climb throughout the course of the season (an impressive .359, the second-highest on the team), Copa attributes much of his success at the plate to minor adjustments in his approach to opposing pitchers.

“I have been able to see the ball well for most of the year,” said Copa. “With that, I just make little adjustments, stay inside the ball, stay back, and get into a hitter’s count.

“I mean, I am just trying to hit fastballs and get ahead in the count. Sometimes you hit it well, and you do not get on base, while other times you do not hit it that well and still get on base. I struggled a little bit in the beginning of the year, so I am trying to pick it up here in the second half by seeing pitches more, getting use to it, and being comfortable in the batter’s box.”

Throughout the weekend series, the Flyers’ pitching could not find a comfortable rhythm on the mound when facing Copa. Though they were able to hold him 0-for-3 on Sunday with a walk and two strikeouts, opposing pitchers could not keep Copa from making good contact at the plate for the majority of his at-bats. Copa, however, was patient finding pitches he knew he could turn into hits.

“[This weekend] I saw a lot of curveballs, so I decided to lay off of those,” said Copa. “First fastball I saw, I swung at it. Same thing in my first at-bat [on Sunday], [the pitcher] was throwing me breaking balls, so I sat on them, and in my third at-bat, he threw me a fastball and I made good contact on it.”

Though the Minutemen could only walk away with a 1-2 record against their A-10 opponents over the weekend, Copa’s success at the plate is one of many positives for the ball club to build off of.

After all, good hitting is contagious and with players like Copa doing as well as he is, the Minutemen appear to be headed in the right direction at the plate.

David Martin can be reached at dmmartin@student.umass.edu.

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