DRAPER Before the 2008 baseball season began, Juan Diego senior Jordan Cox came to coach Steve Cramblitt and asked for an opportunity.
"Jordan mainly just pitched for us last year," Cramblitt said. "But he came and asked if he could get some chances to hit. I told him that we would give him a chance to prove himself at the plate, and he has done just that. He has done a good job of not only pitching for us, but playing in the outfield and of course, hitting."
The move paid huge dividends on Friday as Cox, while playing as the designated hitter, led the offensive attack for the Soaring Eagle in their 11-6 win over Carbon. He was 2-for-2 with a two-RBI single, a sacrifice fly and a two-run home run accounting for five RBIs.
"I've never had that many RBIs in a game before," said Cox. "I don't even know if I did that back in little league, yet alone in a high school game. I felt really good and comfortable up there (at the plate), and I just saw the ball well and was able to put some good swings on it and hit it pretty hard. It felt really good to be able to help out the team that way."
While Cox was in a groove, Juan Diego pitcher, Caleb Olson, did not get off his regular start. Beau Rich doubled for Carbon to lead off the game. After a walk to Lance Deeter, Brandon Branch had an RBI single and Deeter later scored on an error. The Dinos added two more runs in the top of the fourth and jumped out to a 4-0 lead.
"Caleb has been really strong for us so far this year," said Cramblitt. "I am pretty sure those are the first runs he has allowed. He still did all right and settled down after that first inning."
Even with the four-run deficit, the Soaring Eagle did not panic. Cramblitt simply told the guys before they went to bat in the bottom of the fourth to relax and play their game and good things would happen.
Juan Diego scored five runs off five hits as Cox had two RBIs. Pat Fratto, Joe Glavin and Ben Velasquez all had one in the rally.
"We just tried to make sure we went up to the plate and had a good at-bat," Cox said. "We knew we could come back if we just played our game."
Carbon tied the game in the top of the fifth with a Ron Herrera solo-home run, but Juan Diego answered with four more runs in the bottom half. It was highlighted by Cox's two-run homer and Fratto picked up his second RBI."We want to just keep trying to get better every game, and if we do that then other good things will happen," said Cramblitt of the team's goals. "We would like to win the region and host a couple of playoff games, so we need to just keep playing our game."