As the Pleasant Grove baseball team defeated the Westlake Thunder 9-5 on Wednesday, head coach Darrin Henry said, “Yeah, we’re a team that grinds out wins. You have to do that in this region. There are a lot of really good teams we play and you can’t let up at all.”
During the first inning, Westlake had four runs on five hits and added another run in the second inning. Henry said, “Westlake has several good pitchers and they are a good defensive team.”
Pleasant Grove scored one run in the first inning and a second run off the bat of junior catcher Jaxon Brown as he sent the fastball over the left field fence.
Viking senior pitcher Logan Hooley claimed the mound for the complete game and said he felt stronger at the end of the game: “I felt confident that my teammates would back me up on defense and putting points on the board. It is a great feeling when the team comes together and makes things happen.”
During the third, fourth and fifth innings, the Thunder went three up and three down at the plate. Westlake hit two singles in the sixth and two more in the seventh but failed to take advantage of base runners due to tough defense by Pleasant Grove.
The Vikings scored four runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth inning but went three up and three down in their last two innings.
“We are a pretty young team,” Henry said. “We made some mistakes we need to clean up. The kids haven’t panicked when we get down. There is a lot of talent here; we don’t know how good we can be. No one has quit trying yet; they keep pushing for more.”
“The first couple of innings were tough, but I knew the team had my back and would put points on the board,” Hooley said. He hit four singles and scored once to support his efforts on the mound. “I could see the ball well and felt good about my batting, but it’s a team thing when you all come together.”
On the game, Westlake had five runs on 10 hits and two errors. Pleasant Grove had nine runs on 11 hits and no errors. This was the second game of a three-game series. Game three will be played at Westlake on Thursday, March 30, at 3:30 p.m., in hopes of avoiding stormy weather.
Pleasant Grove’s next region series will begin Monday, April 3, against Lehi High School at Pleasant Grove, at 3:30 pm.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.