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High school baseball: West’s pitching, hitting help Soaring Eagle romp past Park City in 3A playoffs

SHARE High school baseball: West’s pitching, hitting help Soaring Eagle romp past Park City in 3A playoffs

DRAPER — Juan Diego's Luke West will be remembered Saturday for throwing a two-hit shutout and striking out 10 Park City batters. He also had three hits, including a towering home run, and six RBIs.

But he should thank teammate AJay Pizza for helping put him in that position.

Pizza snared a sharp line drive at first base, which he turned into a double play, and ended the Miners' first-inning scoring threat. The Soaring Eagle then took advantage of that early momentum and cruised to a 12-0, five-inning victory in the 3A state baseball playoffs.

"That play right there was the difference," said Juan Diego coach Troy Davis. "They (the Miners) had a lot of confidence and a big defensive play like that can turn the game around."

Park City won its opener Saturday by rallying from a 6-2 deficit in the last inning to beat Cedar City, 8-6. They then watched the Soaring Eagle break a school record with six home runs in beating Delta 14-3 in a game shortened by the 10-run rule.

Both Juan Diego and Park City will play again Thursday when the tournament continues. Juan Diego's game is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. at Kearns. Park City dropped into the consolation bracket and will play at Taylorsville at a time yet to be determined.

A single and two walks loaded the bases in the first inning for Park City, but Parker Pullan's potential double was grabbed by Pizza, who stepped on first base for a double play.

"You're riding high and then that happens," said Park City coach Terry Phillips. "It's just one play, and it can be the difference. That's the great thing about baseball."

It wasn't so great for the Miners in this case. Juan Diego jumped on them early. Cody Davis, Pizza and A.J. Begay got on base and Mark Krueger delivered a double that scored two runs. One out later, West followed with a line drive over the right-field fence for a 5-0 lead.

Juan Diego added four more runs in the third inning, including a two-run single by West that plated Krueger and Shin Kuroda. West later scored on a double by catcher Frankie Sutera.

Cody Davis ended Park City pitcher David Feasler's day on the mound with a double that scored Sutera. Reliever Jackson Smith got the next two outs, but Juan Diego plated three more runs in the fourth inning on singles by Begay, Kuroda, West and Austin Geurtsen.

West, meanwhile, cruised through the Park City lineup. Coach Davis said he got better as the game progressed.

Only an error and a single by Rullan marred his performance after the first inning, and he ended the day by striking out four batters in the fifth — one reached on a third-strike passed ball.