PLEASANT GROVE — With one swing of the bat, Pleasant Grove ended American Fork's goal of sweeping its series and winning the region championship. That swing put the Vikings on top 4-2 and sent the Cavemen scrambling for answers.
"Sometimes, someone has to step up and win the game," Viking head coach Darrin Henry said. "This time it was our No. 8 hitter. Congrats Ben (Eldredge)!" His home run with a runner already on base put the Vikings up 4-2, which was the final score.
In four of seven "at-bats," the Vikings limited the Cavemen's batters to three up and three down, including two double plays, to get the Vikings out of two innings.
Until that fateful sixth inning, both teams did a great job keeping the opposition off the bases. Both teams scored two runs each in the second inning, and the game remained that way, deadlocked at two runs apiece for four innings.
Pleasant Grove's winning pitcher, junior Easton Walker, said, "I had to remain focused and get command of the strike zone. I had to give my teammates the opportunity to score." Eldredge was still in shock. "I am still at a loss for words. I was supposed to bunt, but I missed the signal. It was a great looking pitch, so I took a hack at it, and it took off!"
With that win, the Vikings have a 13-2 record in Region 4 and are the region baseball champs for 2014. "I don't remember the last time Pleasant Grove won a region championship in baseball," Henry said.
"We still have to play these guys twice more this week," Henry added. "We need to continue this same attitude and focus and play our guts out!"
American Fork had two runs on seven hits and no errors with two walks. Pleasant Grove had four runs on six hits and four errors and seven walks. Pleasant Grove has a 13-2 record in region play and a 16 and 6 overall record as it remains in first place in Region 4. American Fork has an 11-4 region record and 16 and 6 overall record.
Both teams will continue play this week. The next game will be at American Fork High School Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m., and they'll finish the series Wednesday afternoon at Pleasant Grove High School, also starting at 4.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.
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