Prep baseball: Juan Diego rallies late to beat Park City 7-5
Draper •It was the best remaining chance for Park City: Conner Lagnese, who had already hit a home run on the day, was at the plate with two men on.
With only one out to go, Juan Diego sent out reliever Ryan Green to replace starter Kade Wagner. Five pitches later, Lagnese struck out swinging, and the Soaring Eagle slipped past their toughest Region 10 foe with a 7-5 victory Tuesday afternoon.
"We were expecting a battle," first baseman Croyden Carr said. "We got a little nervous at the end, but it ended up pretty good."
Juan Diego showed its skill at pulling out of tight spots throughout the game, the chief characteristic that has come to define a team that has won the past three Class 3A titles.
Starting out with a woeful single hit in the first three innings, the Soaring Eagle appeared overwhelmed by Miners starter Mark Trevino. Park City was also first to crack onto the scoreboard: Outfielder Nate Stanley shot a homer over the left field fence that gave his team a 2-0 lead in the third.
But Juan Diego roared back with 10 hits in the last three innings. Carr, Alec Gudac and Gabe Juarez each got a pair of hits in the game. For the Soaring Eagle, it was a matter of patience.
Trevino was "mixing it up early, and kinda threw a lot at us," Carr said. "We finally started sitting back on his curveball, and then we saw a lot more fastballs and came around on those."
Shot after shot tore into centerfield, and Juan Diego was even helped a bit by the wind, which led Park City to miss at least two pop-ups. The Soaring Eagle also showed great awareness running the bases, stealing three bags and scoring once in the fourth by confusing the Miners with runners on first and third.
"We practice first-and-third situations all the time," Park City coach Lou Green said. "The first time we're in that situation, Juan Diego makes us look like we've never seen it before, and it's a circus out there. But that's what they do. They're very good at forcing you into mistakes."
Lagnese gave the Miners a shot at a comeback by launching a sixth-inning two-run homer that narrowed the Soaring Eagles' lead to 5-4. But Tyler Johnson and Austin Geurtsen scored in the bottom of the inning to boost the gap back.
Although Wagner wore on a bit with the game and allowed another run in the seventh, Park City only managed five hits and struck out six times against him.
The series continues on Thursday, as Juan Diego heads over to Park City.
Juan Diego 7, Park City 5
R After getting only one hit in the first three innings, Juan Diego gets 10 in the last three innings.
• Kade Wagner pitches one out short of a complete game, striking out six and allowing five hits.
• Park City's Nate Stanley and Conner Lagnese each hit a 2-run homer.