Prep baseball: Juan Diego tops Park City in awkward game
Park City • Tyler Johnson stepped into the box with more than just the situation on his mind. The Juan Diego senior shortstop wanted to make sure his team a baseball program synonymous with winning state championships would snap a three-game region skid.
His three-run homer made certain of that.
But in a wacky, often confusing game due to some puzzling calls by the umpires, Johnson's homer didn't count as a homer in the Soaring Eagle's 16-9 win over Region 10 leader Park City on Wednesday afternoon.
It was a two-run out.
Johnson, who finished the game 4 for 5, was called out for pulling off his helmet before touching home plate.
"I guess I got the triple instead of the home run," he said, shaking his head. "I'll still count it as a home run in my head."
So will Juan Diego.
The Soaring Eagle hadn't lost more than two region games in six years entering the season. They entered Wednesday's game against the rival Miners on the wrong end of a three-game slide.
On the bus ride up Parley's Canyon, Juan Diego coach Troy Davis reminded his players what needed to be done to right the ship.
"Win every inning," he said.
The Soaring Eagle won six of the seven. They punched out 16 runs on 15 hits and took advantage of a sloppy Park City defense that had six errors.
But no at-bat arguably was bigger than that of Justin Kummer's in the top of the sixth inning. After the Miners rallied from a 7-2 deficit to take an 8-7 lead heading into the top of the frame, Juan Diego loaded the bases and the junior delivered a bases-clearing double.
"Every one of them comes in clutch," said Johnson, pointing to his teammates in the dugout.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Park City had runners on first and second with one out when catcher Chandler Barkdull hit a fly ball to center that was caught. TJ Mayo tagged up and collided with Juan Diego third baseman Gabe Juarez when the ball got away from him. Mayo looked to take off for home plate, and obstruction was called by the umpire, who awarded Mayo home plate.
But Juan Diego threw the ball back to second base, and Mayo was called out for not properly tagging up.
Park City coach Lou Green and his coaching staff were left scratching their heads as the play ended a potential late-game rally and ensured the Miners' first region loss of the season.
"Bad calls and good calls are part of the game, and maybe he made the right call, maybe he didn't, I don't know," Green said. "But I'm going to find out, for sure."
Storylines Juan Diego 16, Park City 9
R Juan Diego hands the Miners their first region loss of the season.
• The Soaring Eagle have 15 hits, including five for extra bases.