PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — The third game of a three-game series was a thriller, as the Vikings won the Wednesday game 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning with a walk-off single.
“This is why I love being in this region because it makes us a better team,” Pleasant Grove head baseball coach Darrin Henry said. “I tell the kids that there is no pressure — let’s play clutch baseball and find out what we are made of.”
Both teams were tough from the mound. Lehi’s Devin Smith and PG’s Staley Hansgen pitched nearly the whole game. Smith had 10 strikeouts, and Hansgen had three strikeouts, but his defense gave him three double plays to help get them out of three innings.
The Vikings scored first with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Pioneers scored one run in the top of the fourth and top of the fifth innings, holding the Vikings to three up and three down in the bottom of the same innings, bringing the score to 3-2 at the end of five complete innings.
In the top of the sixth, Lehi did damage, scoring three runs on two singles and one walk, and one batter was hit by a pitch. Pleasant Grove changed pitchers to put senior Ty Lewis on the mound. The Vikings then lost the lead, 5-3.
“There is no pressure,” Henry told his players. “Go out, and let our talent show us what we’re made of.”
In the top of the seventh, with the Vikings’ Lewis on the mound, the Pioneers offense grounded out, struck out and grounded out to retire the side.
In the bottom half of the last inning, Lehi relied on senior Zach Bingham on the mound to close out the game.
Pleasant Grove loaded the bases on three singles, and Lehi mishandled the ball, causing three errors. With two more singles with three runners crossing the plate, the Vikings ran off the field with a walk-off single, and a 6-5 advantage in this hard-fought game.
In game one, on Monday, the Pioneers beat the Vikings, 10-0. The second game at Lehi on Tuesday went to Pleasant Grove, 17-7.
In the third game, Lehi left five men on base, and had five runs on seven hits and five errors. The Vikings left eight men on base, and had six runs on five hits and two errors.
With this win, the Vikings have a 5-1 win/loss record in region play, and Lehi has a 1-5 win/loss record in region play.
Next week, Lehi plays Herriman, and Pleasant Grove plays American Fork.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.