Miners recognized on all-state teams
PCHS baseball team produce one of its best seasons ever
August 1, 2017
The Park City High School boys' baseball team for the 2017 season that ended in late May was the best the program has ever seen.
The Miners finished the year with a program-record 22 wins and a third-place finish in the UHSAA 3A state playoffs, the team's highest finish ever. On top of that, Park City's season included a couple of walk-off victories, a no-hitter and a Region 10 title.
In turn, the Miners were honored for their achievements. In June, the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune released their all-state teams, in which five Park City players — the highest amount for the program so far — were selected.
"It was a year of firsts," head coach Dave Feasler said. "The overall wins record. The first time staying in the winner’s bracket. The first time playing on the second Saturday of the tournament. And the best overall finish in state [for the program]. Adding to the list, having the highest number of all-state recognitions was great for our guys."
Ryan Brady, the team's ace pitcher and soon-to-be BYU Cougar, was rewarded for having the state's lowest ERA (0.41) by being named to the first team of both lists. He was also one of 12 players in the state of Utah — regardless of classification — to crack the Tribune's coveted All-Tribune team, making him the first Park City player to be selected to the list.
Catcher Payton Gross, an incoming senior, was the other Miner to qualify for both lists, earning second-team honors on both. Rounding out the honors for Park City was Zack Luna (Deseret News' second team), Josh Lansky (Deseret News' honorable mention) and Sam Strader (Deseret News' honorable mention).
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"The best part about it is these individual accolades occur after a great team season," Feasler said.
Brady played a big part in the team's success, as it was almost a guaranteed victory when he was on the mound. The former senior went 9-1 during the season, recording 102 strikeouts in the process. However, the other seniors who were honored — Luna and Lansky — played just as big of a role as Brady, Feasler said.
"[Brady, Luna and Lansky] are all close friends, so I’m sure it means a lot to them that they were recognized together," Feasler said. "Sam Starley would have been on this list, too, if it wasn’t for a hamstring injury early in the season. This group left a tremendous mark on this program. I could not have asked for a stronger senior class in my first year doing this gig."
That said, the seniors are gone and the Miners will be looking to use the momentum gained in the 2017 season to maintain a winning formula moving forward. In order to do that, Gross and Strader, who will both be seniors next season, will need to step up as leaders of the new squad come spring time.
"Hopefully, Payton and Sam lead the way for our youngsters and follow in the footsteps of the 2017 seniors," Feasler said. "They both had great summers, and going into the fall, both players have the desire to have as much success as we did last season."
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