Lone Peak is recognized without doubt as having one of the top basketball programs in the state.
Now it can be recognized as having one of the top baseball programs as well.
Ryan Stephan pitched five strong innings and Jared Christensen struck out the side in the seventh as the Knights defeated Pleasant Grove 5-4 Thursday afternoon to seal the school's first ever baseball region championship. The high school was built in 1997.
"I think it's great," said Knights coach Mike La Hargoue after the game. "I'm happy for the boys. We had a lot of tough cuts but gave a lot of kids opportunities."
The victory Thursday allowed the Knights (8-2, 15-5) to finish a full game ahead of second-place Spanish Fork (7-3, 17-5) The Knights wouldn't get their first region championship without a fight though.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI single by Matt Williams, the Knights watched the Vikings take the lead in the top of the second easily Stephan's roughest inning of the game.
Vikings starting pitcher Adam Nielson started off the inning with a single. Nielson stole second and then came home on an RBI single by Quade Frampton. After a walk to Chandler Maxfield and a wild pitch that pushed the runners to second and third, Brian Schonbeck hit an RBI infield single to score the go-ahead run.
The Vikings loaded the bases with just one out but failed to score any more runs.
Stephan ended up throwing 31 pitches in the inning, but would settle down and throw just 27 the next three, not allowing another hit until the sixth.
"You're working for your team and you just got to find a way," Stephan said.
The Knights tied the game in the bottom of the second on a wild pitch that brought home Jed Goeckeritz who was on third. The Knights added two in the fourth and one in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
But the Vikings refused to quit.
A walk, two singles and an error cut the Knights lead to 5-3 and put runners on second and third with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Then Christensen came in to put out the fire. Christensen struck out Schonbeck and got Calder Bonnett to hit into a fielders choice to third that scored a run. After walking Reagan Walker, Riley White hit a fly ball to center for the inning-ending out.
Christensen struck out the side in the top of the seventh to end the game.
Christensen said he was well aware of the region championship being on the line when he went out to pitch.
"Oh yeah," he said with a laugh. "It was crazy. That last pitch was the hardest."
Vikings coach Ryan Hall was somber after the game.
"We didn't do a good job with guys on base," Hall said. "We just didn't get it done. We had our chances."
The Vikings finished 3-7 in region play.