WEST JORDAN — When Copper Hills senior Cody Brumley stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and his team clinging to a narrow two-run lead, he was praying for a fastball.
“I told (Copper Hills coach John) Morgan, ‘If I see a fastball first pitch, I’m hitting it,’” Brumley said after the game.
Hit it, did he ever.
Brumley tightly clenched his bat, dug his cleats deep into the dirt, took a precise swing, and sprinted to first base as if he were desperately trying to beat out a ground ball.
Just as Brumley was approaching the bag, he glanced toward his third-base coach for a signal and slowly began to realize that he sent that heater well over the towering 320-foot chain-link fence in left field, leading Copper Hills to an impressive 12-5 victory over Alta Wednesday afternoon.
“I really just wanted to go up there and do what I can. I just needed to do what I have been working on,” Brumley said of his late-game heroics. “I’ve just been trying to have that mindset that I can get on base at any time.”
Brumley had a monstrous night at the plate, as he finished 3 for 4 with a single, a double, a grand slam and five RBIs to power the Grizzlies in the win.
Copper Hills (11-7, 5-3) didn’t waste any time and was able to draw first blood in the top of the first inning when senior Tanner Johnson and Brumley each doubled to bring in two runs.
Alta (8-10, 2-6) came out in the top of the fourth and broke up starting pitcher Jordan Johnson’s no-hit bid by torching the ace for four runs on just three hits.
Johnson and reliever Zac Hoffman were terrific all night long, however, as they surrendered just seven hits to ensure the region victory.
“Zac came in and did a great job,” Morgan said of his senior pitcher. “He hasn’t pitched all year for us, so I thought he would be a little rusty, but he came in and did a fantastic job.”
That’s when the Grizzlies took over.
The Hoffman brothers (Zac and Trevor) got things rolling with back-to-back triples to knot up the score at 4-4.
Copper Hills then continued its rally in the home half of the fourth and sixth innings off RBI base knocks from Dominique Quintana (double), Cody Barkdull (single) and Brumley (grand slam) to seal the 12-5 victory.
With the win, Copper Hills moved into sole possession of second place in Region 3.
After battling Alta one more time and taking on West Jordan in a three-game series, the second-place Grizzlies will kick off a three-game series against the Region 3-leading Jordan Beetdiggers, where they will look to gain some ground in region play.
“You know, across the board we are just trying to gain a little respect out here and play good baseball,” Morgan said. “Jordan is a really great team, but we will just have to let the chips fall when we play ‘em. We’ll see what happens.”
Ryan Love is a full-time student at the University of Utah studying communications, and has been a part-time sportswriter and scoreboarder for the Deseret News since Oct. 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724