PCHS baseball falls to Bear River | ParkRecord.com

PCHS baseball falls to Bear River

After starting the second weekend of the 3A baseball tournament with two big wins over Uintah and Juab last Thursday, the Park City Miners ran into trouble against Bear River last Friday in St. George.

The Miners overcame a slow start to take a 5-3 lead late in the game, but Bear River battled back, scoring three runs in the closing innings to earn a 6-5 win and end Park City’s season.

Park City Coach Lou Green said Bear River played well, catching a few breaks the Miners weren’t catching.

"Bear River is very, very similar to us — top-heavy in the lineup," he said. "They also saved their No. 1 [pitcher] and he did a good job, throwing three pitches for strikes all game. They executed a couple hit-and-runs, a squeeze bunt and got a base knock and then, all of a sudden, now they’re up 6-5."

Despite the loss, Green thought the Miners played well.

"I thought, overall, we played the better game in all facets of the game," he said. "Baseball is a lot of luck and a lot of breaks. I don’t want to take anything away from them — they played a really good game — but it’s not as well as we could have played. Overall, we played well enough to win, but missed a couple breaks and left a couple outs out there in the early innings."

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Park City finished the season with a record of 21-6, the second year in a row the Miners have won at least 20 games. After having zero 20-win seasons before last year, Green said the program is heading in the right direction.

"It’s good for the program, good for the community and good for the school," he said.

Though the Miners would have liked to be celebrating a state championship this year, Green said the team’s seniors have nothing to be upset about.

"This group of seniors, especially, is a special group," he said. "[Chandler] Anderson’s going to be a three-year all-state guy, [Chandler] Barkdull’s probably going to be a three-year all-state guy and [Scott] Stokes is going to be a two-year all-state guy. It’s been fun to coach these guys — they’ve done a lot for our program and a lot for the school."

Green said he’s never coached a high-school hitter like Anderson before.

"Anderson, the last 20 games of the year, really showcased what he can do," he said. "He hit .526 with 11 doubles, 11 triples and three home runs. He had 35 RBI and his on-base percentage was over .600. He had a ridiculous year."

Add in Barkdull’s prowess behind the plate and it will be tough to find guys who can replace even half the production of the two long-time starters.

"Barkdull and Anderson are four-year starters," Green said. "How do you replace eight years of experience? Especially with Barkdull behind the plate — we’ve had solid catching for four years out of him. He almost eliminates the running game with how he catches and throws. Our pitchers next year are going to find out there’s a lot more to holding runners at first base than what they think. This school may never see another catcher who can do what Barkdull can do. He’s a special kid."

From this year’s senior class, five players will go on to play baseball at college. Anderson will attend the University of Utah, Barkdull is committed to Western Nevada and Stokes is going to Salt Lake Community College. Tanner Whittington will attend Northwood University in Michigan and Max Bernstein will play at Yuba College in California.

"Sending five guys out of a small-town school like this is a big deal for our kids," Green said. "It’s another big notch in the program’s belt. I think, in the five years our staff has been here, we’ve sent 13 kids out to college. I want to say the national average is 1.2 kids per team or something like that, so I think we’ve beaten that."

Green said that’s the best part of coaching — seeing players go on to accomplish great things in college and later in life.

"I’m excited to see what they do at the next level," he said. "As a coach, it’s great to see those kids move on and continue their dream. Winning and losing is great. The kids love to win and I love to win, but what it’s really about is helping young men. I feel like we do a good job with that. I’m proud of these young men and can’t wait to see how their college careers shape up."