Split decision | ParkRecord.com

Split decision

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

The Miners finally did it. The Park City High School baseball team finally beat longtime rival and defending state champion, Judge, 4-3, to move into first place in the region. On the other hand, Judge also won a game in the doubleheader at Kearns High School Saturday.

The Bulldogs won the first game 6-1, in a situation where Park City had only two hits and five errors that quickly became runs for the Bulldogs.

"We eliminate the mistakes and we could have won it," said Park City head coach Howard Hoyt. "We knew we couldn’t make mistakes and we let it happen."

Blame a fair amount of it on the Bulldogs’ Keenyn Walker, who pitched a strong game that made it hard for the Miners to score. He also used his blazing speed on the bases to score.

"They are so potent and Keenyn is so fast," said Hoyt.

Even in the loss, Park City’s starting pitcher, Marshall Crawford, still had a good day, going the distance and throwing out a number of tough pitches.

Recommended Stories For You

"I just went out and did it," he said. "The first thing was to get Keenyn out of the way, and after that, I just threw."

"Marshall pitched his tail off," said Park City assistant coach Matt Strader.

Luckily, the Miners recovered quickly.

In the second game they found their hitting rhythm, collecting nine hits. the fourth inning, they led the Bulldogs 4-1 with Judge’s only run coming on a home run from pro prospect AJ Carman.

"We hit the ball well," Hoyt said.

Midway through the game, the Bulldogs were able to get two unearned runs, one on a Park City error and the other on an interference call on Scott Neuenschwander as a Bulldog player was preparing to round third base and head home.

"We tried to give the game away with errors in the late innings," Strader said.

But the strong pitching of Dakota Matherly and some strong defensive play by Adam Whitney managed to keep the Bulldogs from scoring and gave the Miners the one-run victory.

"Dakota threw the game of his life," Hoyt said.

Matherly, a junior, said he was nervous pitching against one of the toughest teams in the state, but remained composed and kept the Bulldogs guessing.

"At any given time, they’re gonna hurt you," Matherly said. "Like AJ taking the home run. This whole team could hurt you."

He said that all along the Miners knew they were capable of beating Judge, which helped them to the win, even with a few mistakes.

"We were nervous, but we went in knowing we could do it."

And now Matherly has the distinguished honor of being the winning pitcher against a team that has eluded the Miners for years.

"I was overjoyed," Matherly said, " the fact that we finally did it. I felt like it was Game 7 of the World Series."

Crawford and Matherly will have a chance to prove themselves again Friday when they travel to play Union in a doubleheader beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Hoyt said that the errors will need to get cleaned up as the region championships creep closer, or Judge will quickly reclaim its place at the top.

"The guys who made the errors, I don’t want them to move on," he said. "Hopefully we can eliminate some of those."

The Miners will face the Bulldogs one more time in the regular season on May 2.