PCHS baseball blanks Grizzlies at home
In the top of the first inning of the Park City High School baseball team’s game against Logan on Wednesday afternoon at PCHS, Miner pitcher Ryan Brady allowed the second batter to reach base on an infield single.
After stealing second base, a sacrifice fly moved the Grizzlies’ runner to third with two outs. However, Brady escaped the jam by inducing a ground ball for the third out, stranding the Logan player at third.
That was as much action as the Grizzlies would have on the base paths the rest of the game. The same batter reached base on an error in the fourth inning, but never made it past first. Every other batter faced by Brady was sent back to the dugout hitless, as Park City’s ace struck out 11 in the Miners’ 3-0 victory.
Brady said he came out ready to dominate from the first pitch of the game.
"From warmups, my arm felt good," he said. "We prepared because we heard Logan was a really good hitting team, so we were ready defensively. I just had it in my mind that I needed to bring my ‘A’ game today."
Though the Miners didn’t get on the board until the bottom of the fifth inning, Brady said he was never worried during his one-hit shutout performance.
"I’ve noticed that we do score later in the games, so if the other teams score early, I know there are a lot of innings left to come back," he said. "We pull through when we need to."
Brady finished 3-for-3 at the plate and scored Park City’s first run on an RBI groundout by catcher JC Pollard. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Miners tacked on two insurance runs as Zack Luna scored on a squeeze bunt by Jake Slusher and Sam Starley scored on a sacrifice fly by Drew Castellanos.
Park City Coach Eric Morgan would like to see the Miners’ bats come to life earlier in games, but he added that it’s better late than never when it comes to scoring runs.
"We finally got the leadoff guy on [in the sixth]," he said. "Then Sam Starley executed a great bunt and, from there, we executed bunts and got a sac fly. I’d like to see it a little earlier in the game, but we executed very well late. I wish I had the answer for why it takes us two or three times through the lineup to get going. We had a slower thrower on the mound, so we needed to stay back and think middle-away, but we should think that no matter who’s pitching."
This year’s Park City team is much different offensively than last year’s squad. Brady, one of the only returning contributors from the 2015 Miners, said runs are much harder to come by this year.
"It’s definitely very different," he said. "We need to play a lot of small ball. We’re scrappy and have to do all the little things right to win."
Morgan said the Miners have had success this year when they’ve played the way they did on Wednesday.
"It’s just like what we’ve talked about — pitching, good defense and execution," he said. "We’re not going to hit a lot of doubles and home runs — we need to get people on base, move them over, get our bunts down and continue to play good defense."
But, Morgan added, it always takes a little pressure off the offense when Brady is dominating.
"It’s great to have him on the mound," Morgan said. "You know he’s going to come in, compete and throw strikes. He did that today."
Wednesday was the Miners’ first home game of the year. Though it wasn’t a Region 10 game, Morgan said playing at home is a boost to the team’s morale.
"It’s good to get out and get a couple home games in," he said. "It’s a time to get better going back into region play. It’s always good to play at home. It’s great weather and the field is in good shape."
Park City (5-7 overall, 2-2 in Region 10) will host Tooele on Tuesday afternoon in region play. Morgan said building off of Wednesday’s victory will be important.
"We’ve been in every game this season," he said. "The games we’ve lost, we haven’t executed. It’s just doing those little things. In the games we’ve lost, we maybe haven’t gotten that bunt down or have gotten picked off or something. We need to continue to execute like we did today."
Park City’s game against Tooele on Tuesday afternoon is scheduled to start at 3:30 p.m. at Park City High School.
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