Miners continue winning ways
Two batters into Thursday afternoon’s game at Southfield Park in Heber, it looked like it was going to be a long day on the mound for Park City High School sophomore Chandler Anderson.
The right-hander had walked the first Judge Memorial batter and then had given up a single to the second. He was struggling to find the strike zone, and appeared to be on the verge of handing the Bulldogs a big inning.
But then things changed. Anderson promptly picked off the runner on second. Then, on a double by Judge’s No. 3 hitter, right fielder Elliot Walton gunned down a Bulldog runner trying to advance to third.
Anderson got out of the inning unscathed en route to a 13-5 win, and wouldn’t give up a run until he allowed three in the top of the fourth inning.
"They had a chance to come out and jump on us," Park City coach Lou Green said. "I thought that (getting out of the jam) set the tone for us for the rest of the day."
In his first varsity start, Anderson said he had to make some quick adjustments to get his game on track.
"I was feeling nervous as ever," he said. "I usually don’t come in until the later innings. But I just threw the best I could. I knew I got myself in a little hole, but I got out of it."
The Bulldogs’ three-run fourth inning tied the game at three, but the Miners’ bats responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame, putting the game away for good.
Sophomore Scott Stokes, in his first game back from a broken thumb, took over for Anderson in the fifth inning. He’d allow two runs in his three innings of work.
But in the top of the sixth, with the Bulldogs threatening to score after loading the bases with no outs, Stokes struck out a batter and junior second baseman TJ Mayo made a nice stop to start a 4-6-3 double play, allowing the Miners to get out of the jam without allowing a run.
"That was great," Stokes said of the double play. "It was the biggest play of the day, by far. The great defense behind me really picked up our momentum."
Green was proud of his team for staying calm and making a big play.
"You get bases loaded, nobody out big league guys can’t even get out of that," he said. "(Mayo’s double play) was an unbelievable play, staying down on it like that and turning two."
Stokes added that his thumb wasn’t causing him any problems on the mound.
"It feels good," he said. "There was no pain. It’s healing well."
Two runs in the bottom of the fifth and five runs in the sixth gave the Miners their final tally of 13 runs.
Anderson also had a good day at the plate, finishing with two singles (one of which plated two runs), a sacrifice fly, and a triple.
"I was seeing the pitches well out of their hands," he said. "I was just trying to hit it to right-center like the coaches were telling me."
Sophomore Chandler Barkdull also had three RBI, senior Mark Trevino and sophomore Ian Moritz each added two RBI, and junior Griffin Churich added an RBI. Junior TJ Mayo stole home in the fourth inning and senior Tim Leary scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
Following a 23-6 win on Tuesday at Judge, the Miners had outscored the Bulldogs 36-11 in the two-game series, improving their record to 14-5 overall and 6-0 in Region 10 play.
Park City is schedule to play Juan Diego (5-1 in Region 10) at home on Monday afternoon, and again at Juan Diego on Wednesday, in games with major region title implications. Green said he’s expecting a tough battle from the Miners’ next opponent.
"I think they’re a lot like us," he said. "They’re more similar to us than anyone else we’ll play all year. I think it’s going to be the best two games of the year."
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The Miners ended up on the wrong side of a close game on senior night but are still fighting for playoff seeding.