Cowboys halt Miners’ playoff run
The Park City High School baseball team’s season ended just like it began with a close loss to Grantsville.
This last time, the Miners met up with the Cowboys on Thursday in the second round of the 3A playoffs, where a 4-7 loss meant the end of the season.
The Miners started the game off on a strong note, with Parker Morin, Alex Thomas and Austen Molinaro all scoring runs and then holding Grantville scoreless. This seemed to bode well for the Miners. In past games, the team had struggled when allowing the other team score in the first inning without scoring themselves.
"If we score in the first inning, our winning percentage is .800," Hoyt said.
But the Cowboys started scoring in the next inning with two runs and then scored again in the fourth.
In the meantime, the Miners had trouble putting more runs on the board.
"Producing runs takes a little luck and a little help from those guys [Grantsville]," Hoyt said.
In the games leading up to the Grantsville contest, Park City head coach Howard Hoyt had worried about the team’s tendency to leave guys on base at the end of innings and it seems to plague Park City again Thursday.
"We left almost 10 guys on," Hoyt said.
The Miners were able to keep Grantville close until the top of the seventh inning, when the Cowboys scored three runs with two outs. The Miners put themselves in position to score again in the bottom of the seventh, but again left two runners on base at the end of the inning.
Defensively, the Miners were hampered by errors in the field that gave the Cowboys’ opportunities to score.
Hoyt said that he knew the Cowboys were beatable and didn’t worry, even when the Miners were down four runs, hoping that Park City would be able to execute offensively and defensively.
"One run didn’t bother me. Two didn’t bother me. Even four didn’t seem insurmountable," he said.
Hoyt said that the pressure of a second-round playoff game likely had something to do with the Miners’ execution problems.
"Our kids play 10 times better when they are loose playing baseball rather than making baseball."
Park City assistant coach Terry Phillips said that next season the coaching staff will try to work on the fundamentals more to avoid the errors and missed opportunities that cost Park City the game.
Despite the disappointment of losing, Hoyt is optimistic about next year, with a number of sophomores working their way into the varsity lineup this year. Sophomore Dakota Matherly was the closer on the mound and Les Ashwood, also a sophomore, got two hits in the game.
"There’s no huge difference between our seniors and our sophomores," Phillips said. "We’ve got young guys competing with guys that shave at lunch."
Another bright spot was the announcement that senior Greg Method was awarded the honor of Academic All-State by the Utah High School Activities Association. He will be honored before the 3A championship game on Saturday morning at Utah Valley State College.
Two people indicated in interviews they are considering mounting campaigns for the Park City Council, a signal the City Hall election could attract an intriguing slate of candidates in a year when the majority of the five seats are on the ballot.