Bountiful’s 3-1 victory in Game 1 of its Super Regional matchup with rival Woods Cross wasn’t the flashiest of games. It required plenty of defense and a whole lot of remarkable pitching for the Redhawks to come out on top.

But in Friday afternoon’s Game 2 showdown, as the Redhawks looked to close the series out, they brought out the bats — a whole lot of bats.

Notching 16 hits for the game, the Bountiful Redhawks eliminated the seventh-seeded Wildcats on the road by a score of 18-8 to advance into the bracket play stage of the 5A state tournament. 

Though his team had to grind to get runs on the board on Thursday, Bountiful head coach Clark Stringfellow wasn’t surprised by his team’s ability to pile on runs in Game 2 because he’s seen them swing in practice. 

“Our guys just believed in themselves,” Stringfellow said. “We take batting practice every day off a machine throwing 85 mph, and as coaches we just sit back, watch them and are amazed with how talented and gifted they are. They have the ability to go out and rip it hard, and we saw that today.”

After throwing 11 strikeouts and no walks across seven innings in Thursday’s victory, senior Truman Duryea found other ways to tremendously impact the game away from the mound on Friday, going 4-for-5 as a hitter, with two home runs and eight RBIs.

“I don’t know if it’s about my performances as much as it is about my teammates getting on (base) and letting me do what I can at the plate,” Duryea said. “It’s just a team game and you can’t win it with one player. I could hit five home runs every game and we could still lose, so it’s a team game for sure.”

Seven different Bountiful players recorded an RBI on Friday after only two managed to bat a run in on Thursday.

Through just over two innings, however, it looked as though the Redhawks may have been in store for another grind-it-out kind of game, as Woods Cross pitcher Blake Stanger had seven strikeouts and no hits allowed.

On the other side of the ball, Wildcats’ senior Taylor Ayala smashed a solo home run for Woods Cross’ first at bat. 

Trailing by a run and having virtually no hitting success by the time the third inning rolled around, Stringfellow said the Redhawks didn’t have any panic in them whatsoever. 

“We just trusted our instincts and trusted the process we’d put in place. … We knew that if we stayed patient and didn’t chase pitches, it would come to us,” Stringfellow said.

Duryea got Bountiful on the board early in the third with a two-run RBI double after Kaisan Averett and Drew Bowles were walked, and Dallin Maxwell followed up the hit with an RBI single on the next at bat to give the Redhawks a 3-1 lead.

RBI singles from Stanger and Micah Mortensen helped Woods Cross equalize the score at three by the end of the third inning.

Though they managed to get some momentum built in the third, it was the fourth inning where the fireworks began to ignite for the Redhawks.

Highlighted by a three-run home run from TJ Dahlke and a two-run homer from Duryea, the Redhawks scored a blistering 12 runs in the fourth inning to take a 15-3 lead and ​​blow the game wide open. 

“Our team builds off each other,” Duryea said. “When one person gets a hit, we usually get a chain of hits. Stanger was dicing us up the first couple innings, so all we needed was that one (hit) to go off and open it up a little bit, and then the runs just kept coming and we kept rolling.”

Woods Cross managed to score four runs in the bottom of the fourth, but the vibe around the diamond was that it had fallen in too deep of a hole. 

After Bountiful scored three more runs in the top of the sixth inning to take an 18-7 lead, the Wildcats needed to score at least two runs to keep the game from a mercy rule ending, and needed a miracle if it hoped to pull off the comeback.

An RBI single from Dylan Williams proved to be the last run of Woods Cross’ season, as relief pitcher ​​​​Tavis Danner threw a strikeout for the final out in his lone inning of pitching, ending the game with an 18-8 scoreline. 

Cole McSwain pitched five hard innings for the Redhawks before giving way to Danner, prompting Stringfellow to praise the senior for the guts he showed as he helped his team close out their rivals — who Bountiful has now beaten 4 out of 5 times this season. 

The series victory over the Wildcats showed that the Redhawks can win games in multiple ways, something that’s valuable in the playoffs.

“We’re super adaptable,” Duryea said. “Whether we need a shut down game with good pitching, or a game where we score freaking 20 runs — or whatever we scored today — I think having that adaptability is good because you never know what you’re going to get the next day.”

Both Stringfellow and Duryea said they were excited for what the bracket play holds, both adding that they think that their team — which entered the tournament arguably playing its best ball of the season despite getting the No. 10 seed — could be primed for a deep run. 

“It’s incredibly hard to get to the final eight (teams remaining),” Stringfellow said. “I really thought we were a top eight seed, but we weren’t so we can’t cry about it and we’ve got to just go make it happen. … We’re just going to continue to play like we always play.”