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Miners prep for playoff run

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

After its 6-5 come-from-behind win against Judge Memorial Wednesday, the Park City High School baseball team is looking forward, and understandably so.

It’s win-or-go-home time for the Miners. It’s the playoffs.

Park City will meet Richfield this morning at 10 a.m. at Juan Diego High School in a first-round matchup in the 3A state playoffs.

As far as senior catcher Michael Gallagher is concerned, his team is 0-0.

"It’s the big time," he said. "We’ve just got to get hot at the right time. That’s what any team needs, is to get hot. We definitely have the talent to go all the way this year. We’re just looking to go far into the playoffs."

Head coach Lou Green, who used six different pitchers in the Miners’ regular-season finale against the Bulldogs, said he was pleased with the win, even though Park City blew a 5-3 lead in the top of the 7th inning.

"Nothing easy," he said. "It doesn’t seem like anything comes easy for this team. That’s a concern, but that’s also a good thing. They’ve learned how to play seven innings."

"I’d almost rather win in that fashion than a blowout."

Senior Skyler Barkdull, who started the game on the mound and pitched two scoreless innings before switching to shortstop, delivered the walk-off single to score fellow senior Robert Cashel from third base in the bottom of the 7th to give Park City the win.

When asked what the Miners need to do to catch fire in the playoffs, Gallagher said,

"We’ve got to swing the bats, for sure. The bats have been a little quiet lately."

Green said he wanted to use so many of his pitchers because, if his team is going to make a run in the playoffs, he wants every one of his arms to be ready.

Following Barkdull on the mound were Cashel, Gabe Cohen, Mark Trevino, Conner Howard and Gallagher.

The noticeable omission from that list is junior left-hander Conner Lagnese, who is still recovering from a separated throwing wrist after he collided with Barkdull last week against Carbon.

"He’s seen the trainer about every day this week and he said it’s getting better," Green said. "Hopefully he’ll be ready."

Added Green: "If he’s healthy, he’ll take game one."

Game one against the Wildcats will feature Park City against Richfield’s ace, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound lefty who Green says throws in the low-to-mid-80s.

"I think he’s about my size," Green said, laughing.

If Park City defeats Richfield, it will face two-time defending state champion Juan Diego in the second game Saturday. All the Miners need is to beat Richfield in order to advance to St. George for the state tournament next weekend.

With just one win, Park City would advance to the loser’s bracket where the road would be tough but still doable in the double-elimination tournament.

"The thing is, if we get into the loser’s bracket, we’ve got to win seven games Thursday, Friday and Saturday to win a state championship," Green said. "That’s the reason I pitched so many guys today is to get them ready for the state tournament.

"Chances are, next weekend, they’ll all be pitching."


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