PLEASANT GROVE — With a 5-3 win Tuesday at home against Lone Peak, the Pleasant Grove Vikings achieved a much-needed region victory.
The Vikings' bats came alive in the fourth inning, putting all the game's five runs across the plate, including the initial connection from junior Jake Fryer, for his third home run of the season.
Lone Peak's senior pitcher, Tom Bateman, did a great job on the mound for the Knights for the first three innings, with four strikeouts. He was backed up by fine fielding by his teammates.
But the fourth inning didn't quite go the same.
The second pitch Fryer saw was the one he wanted, and he stroked it well, sending it high and far ... over the fence. The next batter paid a bit for the home run, as he was beaned by Bateman. A double, two singles and two walks later, Viking junior Noah Taylor was tagged out at the plate on a passed ball at home for the third out.
Senior pitcher Brandon Ballantyne earned the win, his fifth for the season, giving the credit to his pitching coach.
"He took me aside after the second inning and reminded me of our goals to pitch strikes," Ballantyne said. "I kinda got into my own head and let my errors get to me."
This is the first region win for Pleasant Grove, as American Fork and Bingham swept the Vikings in their first two series of games. That is the price you pay for being part of Region 4 in any sport.
"We needed that win," Vikings head coach Darrin Henry said. "We beat ourselves up too much; we need to move on and play our game."
With the loss, Lone Peak has a 3-7 region record and 9-12 overall. Pleasant Grove has a 1-6 region record, with an overall record of 11-9.
The two teams will meet again Wednesday at Lone Peak, with a third game back at Pleasant Grove on Friday.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.