Clearfield and Pleasant Grove baseball teams are very evenly matched as the final score proved Tuesday, with the Falcons holding on to a 2-1 victory in the first-round of the 6A playoffs.
Clearfield hit the scoreboard first in the third inning when junior infielder Brady Ross reached first base on an error from the Vikings' defense.
Then senior Chandler Kotter walked, senior Jaxon Mansfield singled through the infield, scoring Ross. Kotter scored from third on a great hit-and-run play, giving the Falcons the edge which they held onto for the rest of the game.
The Vikings' only run came on a single through the infield by senior Connor Johnsen that allowed Noah Taylor to score from third in the fifth inning.
Falcons' junior pitcher Bryson Hirabayashi, with seven strikeouts to his credit, pitched the full game allowing one run on four hits with one error. The win gives Hirabayashi his seventh win of the season.
"He is very focused on the mound, he lets nothing get to him," said Falcons head coach Steve Ross. "This is a good win for us, being where we are, we don't get to play a lot of Utah County schools."
Ross continued, "We are finding out that we can compete with anyone."
Viking pitcher, senior Connor Johnsen pitched the full game also striking out eight Falcon batters.
With the win, Clearfield now has an overall record of 14-11 and will move on to play Cyprus at Cyprus in the 6A second round. Pleasant Grove will move on to play Herriman at Pleasant Grove on Wednesday in the 6A one-loss bracket.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.