PLEASANT GROVE — The Pleasant Grove baseball team continued its red-hot start to the season with a 15-8 win against visiting Davis. The game featured 23 combined hits, 12 walks and six errors with plenty of chances to score during most innings.
The Vikings did almost all their offensive work in the first and sixth innings — jumping on the Darts early with seven runs in the first and putting them away with six runs in the sixth.
“We scrapped and it was good to have an early lead,” said Pleasant Grove coach Darrin Henry. “Right now we’re trying to find our pitching staff going into region (play), so we’re getting our answers now and thank goodness our bats were there to pick us up.”
Pleasant Grove was the beneficiary of some errant-early pitching from Davis’ Tyler Hall and used five walks to set up key RBI hits from McKay Lewis, Zach Peterson, Brandon Coombs and Jade Smoot.
The Darts responded immediately, however, with Zach Miller providing a 3-run homerun in the top of the second to bring his team to within 7-4. From there Davis slowly chipped away at the lead and found itself down just 9-8 entering the sixth inning.
Hall settled down considerably after a rough first inning to provide good pitching and added a key 2-run single in the top of the fourth that cut the lead to 8-7.
“Davis is a good team that has some good bats,” Henry said. “I hope we didn’t relax, but they climbed right back in there and they’re a good team.”
Hall, and his 100-pitch count, was pulled in the bottom of the sixth in favor of Zac Fuller, who struggled mightily hitting his targets. Fuller hit two batters, issued a walk and gave up three hits as Pleasant Grove extended its lead to 12-8. Kaden Day replaced Fuller, but didn’t fare much better as the Vikings piled on three more runs to establish a commanding 15-8 margin entering the top of the seventh.
Bryce Jones closed the pesky Darts out in their final try with a 1-2-3 inning that featured two strikeouts.
“Our guys had been having a good approach to the plate all day. We were staying inside of the baseball and hitting it where it was pitched,” Henry said. “We’re taking the pitches we needed to. We took a couple of walks, we got beaned a couple of times and we finally went on our pace, on our count, it affected the pitcher and good things happened. We got good contact all day and good things happened because of it.”
With the win, Pleasant Grove improves to 8-1 on the year and is confident heading into what looks to be some very competitive region play. The Vikings reside in Region 4 which houses powerhouses such as defending 5A state champion American Fork, nationally ranked Bingham and up-start Lone Peak among others.
“You look at the standings and our region is stacked,” Henry said. “We embrace the challenge — we embrace the pressure. Our theme this year is to do hard things and because everyone says our region is tough, we want to learn how to compete in that region and do the best we can.”
The Vikings begin region play with a three-game series against Riverton that starts April 9.
With the loss, Davis falls to 9-2 and will next take on Grantsville this Saturday.
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