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Miners pitch mixed results

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

After Tuesday’s 6-2 loss to Union, Park City baseball coach, Buster Schwab went over to the opposing coach and asked him what their secret was.

It seemed like it might be something in the water, because the Cougars were some of the tallest and strongest boys the Miners have faced in Region 10 competition.

"He [Union’s coach] said they are playing free and easy with no expectations," Schwab said.

Whether it’s that casual confidence or the strength-building demands of farm life, Union has found a way to put themselves atop the standings by winning game after game, and Tuesday was no different.

Still, the Miners were one of the few teams that have beaten the Cougars previously this season, so they were confident heading into the game.

The two teams were tied 1-1 heading into the fourth inning, when Union’s bats started to get hot. Some heavy hits and well-placed balls earned them three runs that the Miners could not answer in the bottom of the inning. The Cougars continued to score runs in the fifth and sixth innings. The Miners struggled with their hitting and did not score again until the end of the seventh.

"We hit the ball where their gloves were sitting," Schwab said. "Everything we hit was right at these guys."

Although the Miners only recorded five hits, they played well otherwise. They had only two errors, but the defense could simply not compete against the strength of the Cougars from the batters box. Brett Sanchez pitched the entire game without any glaring mistakes, but the Cougars were still able to convert.

"A few balls were in the right spot and they made us pay for them," Schwab said.

The Miners’ weren’t down for long, though, bouncing back the next day to beat county rival North Summit.

The Miners bats heated up, scoring nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to give them the easy 11-4 victory.

"The bats came alive for the first time in the season," Schwab said. "We usually don’t get nine hits in a whole game."

Buster also played a large bulk of his team in the win. Atlee Schwab, Ricky Malott and Christian Faulkner shared duties on the mound and a total of 15 different players got into the game. Faulkner, the closer, recorded his first-ever win in varsity competition. Four freshmen also made it into the lineup.

"It was a complete team effort," Schwab said.

Unfortunately, the North Summit win was a non-region game that will not help the Miners in the overall playoff picture. Schwab says that mathematically, the Miners are still in the hunt for a playoff berth, but will have to win the rest of their regular season games to get there. On the docket are Morgan and Uintah, and two games against a very strong Judge Memorial squad, which features the region’s No. 1 pitcher.

Schwab said the plan in Wednesday’s North Summit game was to build momentum for the Morgan home game scheduled for next Wednesday. The game will mark the first contest held on their home field, and will hopefully aid them in their quest to win in the rest of the region schedule.

"This is their home field. They want to play at home, so it’s exciting for them," Schwab said.

The Miners will host Uintah on Tuesday, May 2 at 3 p.m. On Thursday, they are tentatively scheduled to take on Judge in a make-up game at 3 p.m. at the St. Ann’s Sports Complex in Salt Lake.


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