Park City baseball’s season comes to an end
Miners went 9-19 in first full season in Class 5A
Park City’s first full season in Class 5A wasn’t a smooth transition.
The Miners went 37-19 with a 29-7 region record during their two years in Class 4A, but the biannual Utah High School Athletics Association realignment bumped them up to Class 5A following the 2019 season.
After the pandemic brought a 4-3 start in 2020 to an abrupt halt, the Miners were eager to prove themselves in their still-new classification.
But the growing pains were too much for Park City, whose season came to an end Monday night in a heartbreaking 6-5 walk-off loss in the second round of the state tournament. The Miners finished the season 9-19, including a 2-12 record in league play.
“It’s crazy different,” Park City coach David Feasler said of the bump in classification. “You know you’re walking into a competitive game every day. And when you’re in the 4A region – I won’t name any schools for sure – but about half of your games are kind of just throw-in games and you end up winning by 15. It wasn’t competitive every day.”
The Miners started on the right foot, as a three-game winning streak improved their record to 6-3. But an 8-2 loss to Bountiful in late March was the first of nine straight losses for Park City. The Miners went a month without registering a win.
Park City’s two wins in Region 8 came against Payson and Provo, and it was the 5-2 win against Provo that Feasler considered to be the team’s highlight of the season.
“We’re tied going into the seventh, and then we pitched really well at home and we go walk off with a three-run home run in the seventh to win that one 5-2,” Feasler said. “It was a pretty heated game, but that’s the game that sticks out as a good team win and highlight.”
The win also gave the Miners’ RPI a much-needed boost heading into the playoffs. Park City was the 22nd-ranked team in Class 5A and had a winner-take-all matchup with No. 27 East in the opening round on May 14. The Miners kept their season alive with a 15-5 mercy-rule win to face Bountiful in a best-of-three series.
Game 1 on May 15 didn’t go Park City’s way. Bountiful scored five runs in the first two innings for an easy 7-2 win.
“We came out pretty flat,” Feasler said. “Gave up our big inning early, fell behind, then we got back in it 5-2 and ended up losing 7-2. That was a tough one.”
A win against Bountiful in Game 2 on Monday would have kept the Miners’ season alive. Trailing 3-1 through five innings, Park City scored four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-3 lead. But the Miners blew the lead in the bottom of the seventh, as the Braves tallied three runs to walk it off and end Park City’s season.
“The energy on Monday was just so much different,” Feasler said. “It was competing on every single pitch, a lot of back and forth in the game, we end up on the wrong side of it. But like I said, the only thing I didn’t like about Monday’s game was the final score.”
Despite the record, Feasler sees this season as a positive step forward for his team in the coming years as they look to gain a foothold in Class 5A. Home run leader Ryan Hunt is graduating along with senior pitchers Nick Stokes and Charlie Morris, but the Miners had several underclassmen make an impact this year. Sophomore Braxton Lyon hit .452 this season, and five underclassmen had at least 40 at-bats.
“On the field, our freshman and sophomore class got the experience, got a taste of this year,” he said. “And moving forward, it’s just grow, grow, grow. I think that experience in the long run is still valuable to the younger guys, and the senior class did a really good job guiding the path.”
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