RIVERTON — Copper Hills showed tremendous resolve rallying not once, but twice in Game 2 of its series with Riverton on Wednesday afternoon.
Overcoming a six-run deficit in the fourth inning, and then another two-run deficit in the fifth, Copper Hills pulled away in the sixth in a wild back-and-forth victory over Riverton, 14-11.
“A good ballgame against a couple of really good ballclubs,” said Copper Hills coach Joel Sundquist.
It was a game dominated by the bats, that is until Grizzlies closer Kyle Hoffman got the ball with a three-run lead in the bottom of the sixth.
He struck out four of the last six batters and only allowed one hit to slam the door on Riverton as his team bounced back from a Game 1 loss.
“He absolutely dominated, he controls what he’s trying to do. Real tough guy. He had a couple hits on the day too, overall he was just awesome,” said Sundquist.
Just like in Tuesday’s game, Copper Hills jumped to an early lead only to watch Riverton storm back in front. Unlike in Game 1 though, Sundquist’s team had a response.
“Yesterday the same thing happened and we folded, and today I challenged my guys a little bit and said we can’t abandon what we do best,” said Sundquist
That involves being patient in the batter’s box, which paid off in a six-run fourth, which helped Copper Hills tie the game 9-9 after trailing 9-3.
A two-run triple by Braden Campbell helped trim the lead to 9-5 with two out, and also forced a pitching change. After Tyler Wells and Cole Adams drew back-to-back walks off the reliever to load the bases, Copper Hills’ No. 8 hitter Jackson Laird singled in two runs followed by No. 9 hitter Carson Ladue tripling in two more, tying the game 9-9.
The inning before, both Laird and Ladue struck out and flew out with two runners in scoring position.
“Those are two senior captains who have battled and don’t give up, and that’s the MO of our club, they did a really good job today and I can’t tell you how proud I was to see those hits go,” said Sundquist.
As quickly as Riverton squandered the lead in the top of the fourth, it regained it in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI triple by Cooper Gray and a sacrifice fly by Nate Hamblin, stretching the lead back to 11-9.
Gray finished the game 3 for 4, while Parker Applegate also had a big day at the plate for Riverton going 3 for 3 with two doubles, two RBI and a walk.
Copper Hills wasn’t fazed about falling behind again. Hoffman, Chase Taylor and Campbell all singled in the fifth, the latter by Campbell tying the game 11-11.Comment on this story
In the sixth, Copper Hills’ bats continued to rake, providing plenty of run support for the closer Hoffman.
After Brayden Taylor, Hoffman and Cameron Ostmark led off the sixth with three straight singles, Chase Taylor singled in two runs for the 13-11 lead, followed by a sacrifice fly by Campbell pushing the cushion to 14-11.
Campbell finished the game going 2 for 3 with four RBI in five plate appearances.
With the win, Copper Hills improved to 6-2 in the Region 3 standings, while Riverton falls to 3-2 having played one less series.