The Knights of Lone Peak survived a tough region game with Pleasant Grove, 8-7, but not before defending their one-point advantage for three and one-half innings against a Viking squad that would not give up.
At the end of the first inning, the score was 5-1 for the Vikings, and it appeared that Pleasant Grove had turned the corner and were on their way to playing like they had been playing through the preseason games. With one run already on the books for the Vikings, a single by Braden King and two walks put senior Tyler Harmon at the plate. A third fast ball from Lone Peak's Parker Kinkade met the sweet spot of Harmon's bat and went sailing over the fence in left center, scoring four more runs with a grand slam, his third home run of the season.
During the second inning, the teams put one run each on the books. At the top of the third inning, with one down, Lone Peak's Justin Simpson was hit by a fast ball and was put on first. Grant Lyman made it to first on a PG error, and before the third out was made to get the Vikings out the inning, Lone Peak had scored six runs and were leading by a score of 8-6. At the end of four innings, PG had generated one more run and that was the end of the offense for the game.
In the fifth inning, both teams put fresh arms on the mound with Tyler Hirsch throwing for the Knights in relief of starter Parker Kinkade, and senior Colton Sheriff for the Vikings in relief of senior Sage Peacock. Both starters worked hard, but needed help. The relievers kept the batters off balance with their mix of pitches.
Through the last three innings, Hirsch threw a total of 49 pitches and Sherff threw 34. Seriff had four strikeouts, Hirsch had three. The infield defense picked up on both teams and each inning had runners left on the field in scoring position.
In the bottom of the seventh, PG had runners at first and second with two outs. But the runner at first was forced out at second on a grounder up the middle, stopped by Lone Peak's shortstop to end the game as he stepped on second base and jogged off the field with an 8-7 victory for Lone Peak.
"We never make it pretty" said Lone Peak coach Dee Cory. "We need to get these wins now. We had a tough series with American Fork last week and we need to rebound."
Both teams will have two more chances at each other this week as they play again tomorrow at Lone Peak and a return to PG on Friday.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove Varsity sports for Deseret Connect.