PCHS baseball: Small-ball style helping Miners
Things are going well for the Park City baseball team.
With Tuesday’s 2-1 nail-biting win at Payson, the Miners improved to 3-0 this season following the path set by head coach Lou Green: pitch well, play sound defense and get timely hits.
"I feel like our guys work harder than anyone in the state," Green said. "To start 3-0, I don’t know if I was expecting it to happen the way we’ve done it, but I definitely expected to start 3-0. I expect to win every single game we play. I don’t ever expect to go out and come out on the bottom."
Knowing full well it’d take a village rather than a couple stars this season, the Miners are delivering on nearly ever front three games into the season.
Green called the 2-1 victory over Payson "the most exciting win of my head-coaching career." He said the blustery day brought 30-mile-per-hour winds straight in from center field. Nevertheless, it was Park City’s best outing from the plate this season as the Miners busted out 10 hits.
With the score knotted up at 1-1 heading into the top of the 7th inning, Park City’s Cole Tan led off with an infield single. When a ball got past the Payson catcher, Tan advanced to second base. Sophomore TJ Mayo stepped to the plate and delivered, in Green’s words, "a picture-perfect bunt down the third-base line." Tan advanced to third.
Then in stepped freshman catcher Chandler Barkdull. Green called for a squeeze bunt, and Barkdull and Tan executed it. Park City took a 2-1 lead.
"The kid had never bunted in his career and to execute a great squeeze bunt in the top of 7th is amazing," Green said. "I don’t like to squeeze bunt. I’m only going to squeeze bunt to win."
Junior right-hander and shortstop Mark Trevino closed the door on the Lions in the bottom of the seventh to earn the save.
While almost every Miner has contributed to the 3-0 start, it’s been senior left-handed starting pitcher Conner Lagnese who has showcased a penchant for dominating opposing batters. In Park City’s 3-1 victory over 4A Orem last Thursday, Lagnese went the distance and allowed just two hits, one walk and no earned runs. He allowed just five baserunners, and two were due to errors committed in the field.
On Tuesday, Lagnese pitched six solid innings, allowing one run and just two hits against Payson. In the last two games, he’s given up a combined four hits and one run, something Green said has been phenomenal.
"Lagnese pitched his ass off once again," he said. "I think he could go out there and win with one pitch. He’s a big-league style competitor."
In the victory over Payson, Green also said a few vital players broke out of mini-slumps as senior first baseman Brae Dilley went 3-for-3, with a double and two singles, while Nate Stanley and Trevino each had two hits.
"A lot of close, emotional, nip-and-tuck-type games," Green said.
The Miners head south to St. George this weekend to face two impressive 3A teams in Pine View today at 11:30 a.m. and Morgan later today at 3 p.m.
"We’re going to see two good teams down there," he said. "But we’re about three hits away from being 0-3. You keep things in perspective, and we know we’ve got a lot of work to do.
"We’re definitely pleased we won. But as soon as we stepped off the bus after Payson, I told the guys, ‘I’m already thinking about the next game, I’ve got to let this one go.’ Good wins are good wins, but they don’t mean anything if you lose the next one."
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