Pitching a question for 2014 Miners
When you lose guys like Mark Trevino, Cole Tan and Timothy Leary, finding replacements is next to impossible.
Trevino and Tan were the top two pitchers for the Park City High School baseball team last season, with all three players providing serious pop at the plate.
Though losing those three from the batting order will certainly hurt, Park City coach Lou Green is more worried about the Miners’ pitching this year.
"Our biggest question mark right now is pitching," he said. "We lost 15-16 wins to graduation that’s a big hit. Cole and Mark were really front-line guys for us every time they took the ball. They threw strikes and got outs."
Park City will rely on a new stable of pitchers in 2014, led by junior Scott Stokes.
"It’s going to be a whole new look on the mound this year," Green said. "But we’re OK with that. Scott pitched a little for us last year. He didn’t pitch a ton, but he had a couple really good outings last year. He’s kind of taken the ball this winter and early spring and shown he can really throw strikes. That’s the big thing for us."
Behind Stokes will be junior Chandler Anderson and senior Blake Morin, along with Jaxon Hermansen, a left-handed transfer from Wasatch.
"Chandler Anderson’s going to pitch a lot, Blake Morin’s going to pitch a bunch and then we’ve got a new lefty, Jaxon Hermansen, a senior," Green said. "He’ll throw 80-82 miles per hour, nothing too fantastic. But he’s got good, solid stuff. If he can throw strikes from the left side, I think that’s what can put us over the edge."
With a realigned Region 10 this year after Wasatch and Judge Memorial moved up to 4A, the Miners will need all the pitching they can get. In order to make up for only having five teams in the region after adding Morgan, teams will play three region games per week instead of two.
"That’s really why the question mark is on pitching," Green said. "Playing three games a week is a lot different than playing two. Last year, we had a bunch of guys who could take the ball for seven innings, and Mark got seven innings every time he went out there. But, when you have to play three games a week, you’ve got to have six or seven pitchers ready. That’s a new world for us."
Offensively, Green expects the Miners to keep rolling.
"We’ve got some good hitters," he said. "We’ve got six or seven hitters from our lineup last year that led the state in runs in the regular season. I’m not that worried about if we can score runs. I don’t think we’re the best offense in the state, but I think we’re going to be able to score some runs."
A pair of juniors will lead the way for Park City at the plate.
"[Chandler] Barkdull and Anderson will really be what makes us go," Green said. "They’re going to hit No. 1 and No. 3 all year maybe one of them will hit No. 1 in one game and the other will be there the next game. They’re kind of interchangeable there. But we really need both of those guys to have strong years for us to win."
Another quality that will need to be replaced in order for the Miners to be successful is team leadership.
"It’s hard to beat Mark’s leadership I don’t know if we’ll ever have a kid who leads like that again," Green said. "But Blake Morin has done a heck of a job for us he’s been our leader all offseason. He doesn’t let anyone in the state outwork him."
Now in his fourth year as head coach, Green would like to send Morin off with a good season.
"We’re happy to have Blake for a fourth year," he said. "He’s my only fourth-year guy so far. For his sake, I hope we have a good year. He deserves it he works hard and has really taken on that leadership role where Trevino was."
And just what would constitute a good year for Green, you ask?
"I plan on winning a state championship," he said. "I’m not saying we’re the most talented team in the state, But I am saying we’re going to outwork everyone. If we can pitch, we should be in contention for a state title."
Park City will host its first game of the season on Friday, April 4, against Juan Diego. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.
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