AMERICAN FORK The American Fork baseball team came out firing, scoring three runs in the first inning to set the tone early in its 7-3 victory over Pleasant Grove Thursday.
Jumping out the early lead, the Cavemen (10-4, 2-0) appeared to force the Vikings out of their comfort zone quickly.
"It is huge when you score first: It puts teams back in the corner a little bit," said American Fork baseball coach Jarod Ingersoll. "I think is important to get off to a good start. But PG is a good ball club and I think they are going to win a lot of games this year."
The scoring came quick as the first four Cavemen batters got on base. Bo Fisher hit an RBI-triple to bring in lead-off hitter Scott Lefrandt. Then Jake Murphy knocked in Fisher and reached home after an error in the infield just minutes later.
"We were playing with energy and with our backs against the wall like we do in every region game," said Ingersoll.
But the Vikings made the game 3-1 in the second inning when sophomore Colby Croft connected for an RBI double.
However, in the fourth inning the Cavemen brought in four more runs off of three separate RBI singles and blew the game open at 7-1. The Vikings added two runs in the fifth inning, but left three runners stranded in both the fourth and seventh innings.
Both times, American Fork was able to buckle down and get outs when they needed them most.
"I thought our defense did a really good job today," said Ingersoll. "We made all the plays at us. Our pitchers threw strikes and made guys earn their way on the bag and that is a good recipe right there."
Stewart Duersh led the Cavemen by going 2-for-3 and knocking in two runs. Murphy also went 2-for-3 and had a double.
Pleasant Grove was led by Croft who was 2-for-2 with a double, and teammate Riley White went 3-for-4.
American Fork will now get ready for a big showdown against Spanish Fork, which is also unbeaten in region play.
Ingersoll is happy with the way his team has progressed so far this year, but also showed a frustration that many other coaches share so far this cold spring."I think we are doing alright, we still have a long ways to go and some things to improve on," he said. "If we could get some good weather we could probably work on some things."