Miners baseball suffers first region losses
The Park City High School varsity baseball team met its match against Juan Diego Catholic High School in a three-game series last week. The Miners went 1-2 against the Soaring Eagle, losing games on Wednesday, April 18 and Friday, April 20, then picking up a home win on Saturday, April 19.
The Miners were 9-0 in Region 11 until Wednesday’s game, which Juan Diego won 6-5 in eight innings.
Park City High School senior Sam Strader said the Miners had trouble scoring early in the game, and though they started pulling together late in the game, the Soaring Eagle’s batting picked up at a crucial time, scoring two runs at the bottom of the eighth to win by one.
The Miners’ five runs belied a rough game at bat for Park City High School, which struck out 14 times.
Dave Feasler, head coach of the Miners varsity team, said the team turned its batting around during Wednesday’s game, but still couldn’t get runs.
“I don’t like making excuses, but we got a little bit unlucky,” he said.
During Friday’s game, the Miners only struck out once, and had 10 hits compared with Juan Diego’s 11 hits and 7 strikeouts.
Feasler said the team batted well, but the ball didn’t fall how they hoped, and instead was snatched up by Juan Diego’s defense.
“It’s like, ‘Man, what do we do,’ because we’re playing really good,” he said. “We swung the bats really well, way better than on Wednesday.”
The Miners led 3-1 until the top of the sixth, when Juan Diego’s Jared Perry hit a home run to left field, bringing him and Lorenzo Soto home. A big triple in the same inning from Dawson Stiefel brought Rex Jones home and the Soaring Eagle took the lead 4-3.
In top of the seventh, Soto hit a double, bringing Soaring Eagle into the lead with Campbell Magrane and Mike Deninno running home.
By this time, senior pitcher Wyatt Hudgens had thrown 106 pitches, and had nearly reached the Utah High School Activities Association’s maximum allowed pitch count for a single game – 110.
Strader admits Hudgens was probably tired when he was taken off in the top of the seventh and replaced by Ryan Geffrey, who had eight pitches and struck out the last two Juan Diego batters.
“I mean, Wyatt pitched his butt off,” Strader said. “He gets through five and two thirds clean, and then they get a ground ball single through the middle. We miss one pitch – it ends up being a home run. But we can’t take anything away from what he did, because he competed against a good team and, yeah, we gave up a couple runs.”
Hudgens gave up six earned runs.
Saturday’s game was just the opposite. The Miners demolished Juan Diego 13-3, scoring six runs in the first two innings and seven in the fifth and sixth innings. There was no seventh, due to the league’s mercy rule.
The Miners collected 16 hits in total with Ben Agnew, Colton Thomson and Peyton Gross earning two RBIs apiece. On the mound, Sam Strader threw 94 pitches and 62 were strikes. He gave up six runs and one earned run in six innings.
Feasler described loss the day before by saying “They beat us, and that’s baseball, and baseball happens.”
Juan Diego likely felt the same way on Saturday.
The Miners will finish out the regular season with two more games against Bonneville (5-7 at publication), and three against Ogden (6-7).
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