At the end of the first inning, the score was tied at 0-0. The Thunder's first two batters hit singles, but that is all they could do. The Vikings came up to bat and went three up and three down, thanks to a double play by the Thunder defense. Pleasant Grove sophomore catcher Payton Henry was not happy about that. "I kinda got after the guys for not playing hard and kinda looking past Westlake," he said. "I told them to pick it up." He added, "I was not going to let them beat us here!"
Henry did not disappoint. Every time he came to the plate, he got on base; a single, a double, a walk, and he was beaned the fourth time he put a bat in his hand. The result was that he scored each time he got on base. He came to the plate four times and he scored all four times. Senior outfielder Brayden Cox scored three times and junior starting pitcher Easton Walker supported his pitching efforts by also scoring one run.
In the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, Westlake went three up and three down. In the first, second and seventh innings, it went four up and three down. Walker did not let them have much room to generate any offense.
Vikings head coach Darrin Henry explained, "During practice, we put ourselves in game situations and work on things that have happened to us. We worked on how to not leave players on bases. If we know what to do, it helps us." As he told his team during game wrapup, "One good thing about being in first place, if you don't lose, no one can pass you. We know what is ahead of us. Preparation is the key."
Westlake had no runs on three hits, one walk and one error. The Vikings had eight runs on 11 hits, no errors and nine walks. Walker was the winning pitcher.
Westlake now has a region record of 1-9 and overall 3-14. Pleasant Grove has an 8-2 region mark and 11-6 overall.
Game two of this series will be played Wednesday, April 23, beginning at 4 p.m. at Westlake High School.