On a morning that looked and felt more like late November than mid-May, Alta and Pleasant Grove faced off in a 5A single-loss bracket game at UVU, with Alta winning, 11-4.
Alta started out fast in the first inning, grinding out three runs on two hits, including a two-run blast over the left-field fence by senior Mike Ebelling with junior Chipper Lucero already aboard. By the end of three full innings, Pleasant Grove went three up, three down in each of its first three series at bat, and Alta's 6-foot-7 ace on the mound, senior Brett Snyder, already had five strike-outs.
"I felt really good today", said Snyder. "I have a goal of striking out one batter each inning. Today, all my pitches were working for me, especially my cut-fast ball." Alta head coach Barry Harrington added, "It was really good for Snyder to get the win today, PG beat him during the preseason."
Both teams scored three runs each during the fourth inning, but Alta's consistent hitting scored another run in the fifth and four more during the sixth, cruising to the win with 11 runs on 10 hits and no errors. Pleasant Grove scored an additional run in the bottom of the sixth but went down swinging in the bottom of the seventh.
Harrington said, "Coach Henry does a great job with his team, they are always tough to play. We want to keep this streak going and look forward to playing tomorrow." Alta will play the winner of the Cottonwood/Davis game Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. at UVU.
Pleasant Grove head coach Darrin Henry said, "You have to take care of business right from the start, and we made too many mistakes today. For the playoffs, we were one play away from being in the winners bracket, but one mistake puts us on our way home." The Vikings end up with a 15-12 record for the year.
Henry added, "We are headed in a positive direction with our program. It's in good shape, and the great thing about this is that our younger players get the experience of being here and knowing what it is like."
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.