PCHS baseball wins playoff tune-up
In order to save throwing arms for this weekend’s playoff matchups, the Park City High School baseball team had a couple of new faces on the mound Tuesday afternoon against 4A Payson.
After starter Jake Slusher pitched two innings, the Miners sent Zack Luna to the mound for three innings and Josh Lansky took the hill for the final two frames. Both Luna and Lansky showed promise during their first varsity pitching action of the year as the Miners won their final regular season game before the 3A playoffs 7-5.
Payson jumped out to a 3-1 lead through one inning of play and led 5-2 entering the bottom of the third. That’s when Park City’s bats came alive.
Slusher drove in Sam Starley on an RBI single in the first inning and Starley drove JC Pollard home in the second on a sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the third, Pollard drove in Lansky on a single, Luna had an RBI single and two other Park City runs scored on defensive lapses by Payson.
Leading 6-5, the Miners didn’t look back. Payton Gross drove Slusher home in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend Park City’s lead to 7-5 and Luna and Lansky took care of the rest from the pitcher’s mound.
Park City Coach Eric Morgan said he was happy to see two players who don’t normally pitch give the Miners innings on Tuesday.
"It was great to see them get varsity pitching experience," he said. "They haven’t gotten too much varsity time [on the mound]. They came in, threw strikes and got outs. Those are two guys who are going to have to step up in the playoffs and next year."
Offensively, Morgan said it was a good sign for the Miners to push runs across the plate in multiple innings against tough Payson hurlers.
"I felt like our approach was awesome," he said. "I preach attacking the fastball and I thought we did that. We squared up a lot of baseballs — even our outs were hard-hit balls. Our at-bats have been coming along every game. Those pitchers had good arms. We’ll continue to build on that and have that same approach going into the playoffs."
A stiff wind was blowing out to left field for most of Tuesday’s game, leading to several long fly balls by both teams. After a couple of hits sailed past the Park City outfield, the defenders made the adjustment and made some impressive running catches on deep drives.
"[Payson] had a couple players who could hit it," Morgan said. "I’m a believer in that, if they hit it over your head once, you make the adjustment. Otherwise, you play a little bit in until they beat you."
Park City (12-10 overall) earned the No. 2 seed from Region 10 and will take on Region 12 No. 3 seed Carbon on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at Juan Diego High School. If the Miners win, they’ll play the winner of Juan Diego and Cedar City at 4 p.m. If they lose, they’ll play the loser of Juan Diego and Cedar City at 2 p.m.
The Miners lost 12-2 to Juan Diego in the first game of the season, but Morgan believes Park City will be better prepared if the two squads meet again on Saturday.
"We’re a lot better team now," he said. "We made a lot of mistakes that game. I know we’ve come a long way and we’re excited to get going."
For a complete 3A baseball playoff bracket, go to http://www.uhsaa.org/baseball .
The Park City High School girls golf team took second in the Class 4A state championship tournament on Thursday. It was the team’s fifth consecutive time as runner-up.