OREM Despite a frustrating preseason, the Mountain View Bruins are finally living up to their early expectations in region play.
With Wednesday's 12-7 thumping of the Springville Red Devils, the Bruins are now right where many picked them to be a couple of months ago alone atop the Region 7 baseball standings.
The victory puts Mountain View at 5-0 in league play, a game ahead of both Springville and Orem which have 4-1 marks. The Red Devils and Tigers face off on Friday, while the Bruins travel to Tooele.
"We've taken care of some things since (the preseason) and we feel like we're now ready to play," Bruins coach Chris Cooper said.
In Springville's four previous Region 7 games the Red Devils had given up a total of seven runs. But the Bruins were able to produce a dozen on Wednesday by touching Springville's pitching for 14 hits. Mountain View was especially effective at extending innings, scoring eight of its runs with two outs.
"That just means we're doing a good job of putting the ball in play," Cooper said. "A couple of our guys pounded the ball, but there's no question that we were mainly just fortunate to find some holes today."
The Bruins were routed by Springville in an early preseason game in St. George, but the difference Wednesday was not falling behind big early and being able to stay aggressive with steals, bunts and hit-and-runs.
The Red Devils went up 1-0 in the first when Jeff Boyd led off with a single and scored on a two-out slap single to right by Corey MacMurdo. But Mountain View jumped ahead 2-1 in the third on a two-out RBI triple to deep center by Mark Garrett and a follow-up RBI single to center by Tanner Young.
With the lead, the Bruins had a masterpiece offensive inning in the fourth by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs on eight hits two of which came on bunts and one on a hit-and-run and a sacrifice fly.
Grayson West knocked in the first run with an RBI bloop single to center, followed by a two-run bad-hop single by Kyle Kendall and a sacrifice fly by Garrett. With two outs in the frame, Young added an RBI single, Sam Roden an RBI double and Caleb Loveland an RBI single.
"When you get that momentum it seems like things start falling for you," Cooper said.
Trailing 9-1, Springville rallied with five in the fifth to keep the game interesting. The first scored on MacMurdo's deep sacrifice fly to right, a second scored on a throwing error, with Brandon Miller and Colton Ramon each driving one home with a two-out hit. A wild pitch allowed another run home which cut Mountain View's lead to 9-6.
However, the Bruins responded with three insurance runs in the sixth to regain control of the game. Loveland had an RBI double in the frame and Travis Jackman added an RBI single. The Bruins' final run scored on a dropped line drive to first."We made some errors (six in total) but that's going to happen on a cold day like this, but I thought we really came ready to play today," Cooper said.