Miners baseball strong in early-season tourney
Park City High School baseball coach Lou Green was worried about the Miners’ pitching staff heading into the season.
But, through the team’s first five games, the pitchers have held their own it’s the defense that’s now giving Green cause for concern.
Though the Miners improved to 4-1 on the season with three wins and a loss over the weekend at the Panther-Tiger Classic in Hurricane, Green would like to see his squad’s defense improve in a hurry.
"We didn’t pick the ball up and throw people out," he said. "We’re not playing really good defense. We’re preaching to the pitchers to let [opponents] put the ball in play. That’s how we play, but we’ve always had good defense behind our pitchers. We’ll get it figured out, but right now, it’s frustrating."
Despite the slew of errors committed by the Miners over the weekend, the offense and pitching staff did their parts, piling up a total of 40 runs while allowing only 18.
Park City started the weekend with a 9-6 win over Enterprise, with Scott Stokes picking up the victory.
"He started off a little rough, but he settled in around the third or fourth inning," Green said.
In Friday’s second game, the Miners earned a 14-5 win over host Hurricane, with Chandler Anderson picking up the win on the mound.
But, in both games on Friday, Park City found itself trailing.
"We were down 6-4 to Enterprise and 5-0 to Hurricane," Green said. "Halfway through each game, we started swinging the bats really well. Baseball’s a funny game that way."
Leading the charge at the plate was Anderson, who Green said has picked up right where he left off last season.
"Chandler Anderson was on a tear the entire weekend," he said. "I think he was 9-for-12 with a double, two triples and a home run. That’s as well as I’ve ever seen him swing the bat. He’s a tough out."
Combined with Chandler Barkdull, the Miners have a potent top of the order.
"When [Anderson]’s out there on the bases, he and Barkdull both, that puts a lot of stress on the other team," Green said. "They’ve both really led us at the plate."
Add in Blake Morin, and the top-three hitters for the Miners are getting the job done.
"Blake’s hitting in the two-hole for us and doing a great job," Green said. "Our 4-5-6 hitters, though, we’ve got to get more run production out of those guys."
In Saturday morning’s game, Park City earned its biggest win of the tourney, shutting out Richfield 11-0. Junior pitcher Maverick Berglund picked up the victory, much to his coach’s delight.
"He came out threw up six zeros for us," Green said. "That’s huge in tournament-style baseball. He was throwing strikes all day long. That was probably the most pleasant surprise of the tournament."
Unfortunately for the Miners, seven errors in a 7-6 loss to Pine View on Saturday afternoon prevented a perfect weekend.
The Miners are now 4-1 overall and play again on Wednesday afternoon at Murray. Green said he expects a better performance in the field.
"Defense will obviously be the key," he said. "We’ve got some young guys out there. We’ve got five or six guys in brand-new positions. We’re going to keep pounding away at situational defense and getting these guys in position to make plays. We’re going to have to get it figured out in the next three weeks [before Region 10 play starts]."
Wednesday’s game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
The Park City High School softball team is winning, and that’s news. It’s been close to a decade since they recorded a winning season.