The Park City High School baseball team was supposed to play a doubleheader at Juan Diego on Tuesday and a single game at PCHS on Friday, but Mother Nature had other plans.
After Park City jumped out to a 2-1 lead in the first game Tuesday, snow forced the game to be suspended and the second game rescheduled for Friday. Due to continued snow in Park City on Friday, the games were resumed at Juan Diego, with the third game of the series rescheduled for May 5 at PCHS.
The Miners' 2-1 lead quickly evaporated when play resumed on Friday, eventually turning into a 6-2 loss to the Soaring Eagle. Josh Kirch led the Juan Diego comeback, knocking a home run over the wall to complete the victory.
"Juan Diego has a great club and has a lot of returning starters from last year's team," Park City coach Lou Green said.
But the day wasn't over yet for the Miners there was another game to play. Again, Kirch got the better of Park City, hitting two homers to spur the Soaring Eagle to an early 5-1 lead.
Then Green put senior Blake Morin on the mound in relief, and he silenced the Juan Diego bats while the offense chipped away at the deficit, eventually climbing all the way back and earning a narrow 6-5 win.
"Blake's done that for us all year," Green said. "I think he had eight strikeouts and no walks. He's not going to walk many guys and he's going to be in the strike zone."
With Morin keeping the Soaring Eagle bats under control, Chandler Anderson and Chandler Barkdull were able to spur the Park City comeback, with Anderson hitting two doubles and Barkdull adding another.
"Our hitters just kept chipping away," Green said. "I knew runs were going to start coming eventually because we hit several balls right off the barrel. That's baseball eventually some of those liners are going to drop in."
Park City is now 11-3 on the season, and starts Region 10 play with a 1-1 mark. Green said he'd like to see his team improve for the rest of the region season.
"I'm not a big fan of splitting doubleheaders," he said. "But I was really impressed with how our guys stuck with it after a tough first game. We settled down a little bit between games."
In a previous interview with The Park Record, Green called the Miners, who were then 10-2, "the most average 10-2 team in the state." He still stands by that comment saying the Miners have to play at maximum effort in order to stay successful.
"We just have no margin for error," he said. "Our kids understand that. We have to play our best baseball to be a good team. We've got to play error-free, walk-free baseball that's got to be our style."
He added that he'd like to see more even production from the batting order.
"Our 1-4 hitters Chandler Barkdull, Chandler Anderson, Blake Morin and Scott Stokes really kept us in the game [on Friday]," he said. "We just need to get that same production 1-9."
An early look at the teams in Region 10 would indicate that the May 5 game between Juan Diego and Park City could decide the region title. But, Green said, the Miners can't be focused on that just yet.
"We've got nine [region games] to win in a row right now," he said. "We'll worry about that May 5 game as soon as that May 2 game is over. Region baseball is a lot different it's playoff-style baseball. Every run matters. Our biggest concern right now is Uintah."
Park City was scheduled to host a doubleheader against Uintah on Tuesday (after this issue went to press). The Miners will be back in action on Friday at Uintah. They'll return home on Tuesday, April 15, for a Region 10 doubleheader against Morgan.