The Tooele baseball team had showed a lot of energy and intensity in winning its previous four games entering Monday’s Region 11 doubleheader against Park City at Dow James Park, but those two things seemed to be absent as the Buffaloes lost both games to the Miners.
“I don’t think our focus was there,” Tooele coach Nolan Stouder said. “I don’t think we were prepared, quite frankly. I think we showed up and we weren’t ready to play two ballgames. After watching our guys on the field and in the dugout, I think we had other things on our mind besides baseball.”
Tooele (4-10, 4-6 Region 11) dropped the opener 15-4, and lost the nightcap 11-3. In the first game, the Buffs had a chance to tie the score after loading the bases with two outs in the fifth inning, but were unable to complete their comeback from an early 8-0 deficit and Park City (11-4, 8-0) pulled away. Tooele also fell behind 8-0 in the second game of the day before scoring three times in the bottom of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Tyler Beer, an RBI double by Steven Laird and a groundout by Clay Freeman.
“(Park City) had good arms all day,” Stouder said. “They could swing the bats, they could field and they were overall a good team, but I like our chances if we play our game. I know we can win, but they’re definitely a great team. I still think enough of us that we should easily be in those games more than we were.”
Park City’s Ben Agnew got the Miners off to a strong start in Game 2, hitting a two-run home run with one out in the top of the first inning off THS starter Jaxson Miner to give his team a 2-0 lead. Kellen Denkers and Max Mobley added RBI singles in the second, and Agnew scored on Colton Thompson’s sacrifice fly in the third. A fielding error led to two more Park City runs in the fifth and Agnew’s RBI single in the sixth made it 8-0.
Park City scored three runs in the seventh, all of which were charged to reliever JD Park after he hit two batters and walked two more. Sam Strader scored on a wild pitch and Zack Blaszak hit a two-run single to right field.
All in all, it was a frustrating day for a Tooele team that had been playing well in recent games, putting itself in contention for a postseason berth. The Buffs hope to get back on track Wednesday when they play the final game of their three-game set with the Miners in Park City.
“I think today, you didn’t see our best effort from anybody, which was discouraging,” Stouder said. “When we’re right and we decide to play, we’re as tough as anybody in this region. We’re going to hit practice hard (Tuesday) and then we’re right back at it with Park City again. I don’t want the kids to sit and stew on it. I don’t want to sit and stew on it and drive myself crazy with it.”