SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A veteran team mixed with young talent. The Scottsdale Christian Academy baseball team knew it would be good this season. The Eagles soared to new heights when pitcher Ronan Kopp transferred in.
"Just trying to keep walks down and get strikeouts up and have fun," said Kopp.
"I mean he's a little bit of a Baby Huey, He's got the body of a 20-year-old, but he's still 16-years-old from the neck up," said Eagles Coach Tim Salmon.
Why did he choose to go to SCA after leaving Joy Christian?
"Well Coach Salmon was a big thing because I'm from California, so my favorite team is the Angels, so seeing that is really cool. They're the closest team and I just liked the school," said Kopp.
Tall, lanky, throwing fastballs in the low 90's, Kopp has led the Eagles to the state's number one 2A ranking. His numbers are so good, posting seven wins, no losses, one save, with over over a hundred strikeouts.
"Trying to do my best, gotta keep the velocity up, can't change it for the level of teams," said Kopp.
"I think he's been able to a dominate with his physical dominance," said Salmon.
The Eagles are so glad Kopp is on their side. Because last year, when he pitched for Joy, they couldn't beat him. He had three starts against SCA and RK won them all.
"Twice in the season, one time in playoffs, beat them all three times, which is fun," said Kopp.
Salmon was a big time hitter in his days with the Angels. So going back in time, if he faced Ronan when he was 16, who wins that battle?
"Honestly I don't know," said Kopp
"Well, I mean I was a good fastball hitter, but he has a great curve ball. If he knew the scouting report on me and if he threw all curve balls, he probably would have the upper hand," said Salmon.
We'll call it draw. Ronan is just as dangerous in the batter's box, hitting over five hundred. This year, he hit two grand slams in the same inning earlier in a blowout win over Veritas Prep.
A complete player that still has room to grow physically, Ronan has one more year before heading off to Arizona State.
"Being a junior is nice though because I have a great junior class here and all the under class man are great. It's going to be a great year next year," said Kopp.
"We're just scratching the surface, He's a diamond in the rough still I really believe. There is so much polishing that can take place with him. I think that's why he has such a high ceiling," said Salmon.