Ronan Kopp committed last December to Arizona State as a pitcher.
But the 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior left-hander is hoping to convince ASU coach Tracy Smith that he can be a hitter for him, as well.
On Thursday night, in a 2A baseball rout of Veritas Prep (Phoenix) at Scottsdale Christian (Ariz.), the left-handed hitting Kopp showed his offensive abilities, hitting two grand slams — in the same inning.
He had a chance to hit a third grand slam with the bases loaded in the same inning, but he walked.
In all, Kopp, who plays first base when he doesn’t pitch, got up four times with the bases loaded.
“He crushed them,” said SCA coach Tim Salmon, a former long-time major league right fielder for the Angels. “He’s a talented player. Last night was a perfect storm. You saw the situation happen. I was telling guys in the dugout, ‘You better pay attention. This could be something you’ve never seen.’ Sure enough.”
Final score: Scottsdale Christian 30, Phoenix Veritas 0.
Kopp transferred in from Glendale Joy Christian this year. Because Joy Christian ended its membership with the Arizona Interscholastic Association and moved into the Canyon Athletic Association, Kopp was immediately eligible to play baseball this season.
Salmon said that Kopp’s fastball has topped out at 90 mph, and he consistently throws it between 86 and 88.
He is 4-0 with a no-hitter, a 0.56 ERA with 52 strikeouts in 25 innings for the 13-1 Eagles, who are the No. 2-ranked team in 2A, behind two-time defending state champion Phoenix Christian, according to the AIA rankings powered by MaxPreps. Phoenix Veritas is 4-9 on the season.
Kopp is hitting .500 (17 for 34).
“We had a conversation with Tracy about Ronan wanting to bat and pitch,” said Tom Kopp, Ronan’s dad.
Salmon believes Kopp could do that.
“He’s got all the tools to be a fantastic hitter, too,” Salmon said. “He loves hitting.”