Baseball: Pleasant Grove vs. American Fork

An American Fork player leaps up from home plate in celebration after scoring a run against Pleasant Grove High School during a game on Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at American Fork High School in American Fork, Utah. American Fork beat Pleasant Grove 10-9. JORDAN STEAD / Daily Herald

They were like ants at a picnic. They were fruit flies around a basket of peaches.

The Pleasant Grove Vikings were impossible to get rid of.

But Tuesday afternoon when American Fork hosted rival Pleasant Grove in the Region 4 opener, American Fork called on the exterminator.

Brock Lamb.

Lamb singled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help American Fork hold off Pleasant Grove 10-9 and fend off what appeared to be a miracle Viking rally.

Pleasant Grove trailed 9-1 going into the seventh inning before the Viking pride flashed as bright as a mirror reflecting the sun.

Zak Hicken led off the inning with a walk. McKay Lewis promptly doubled and Riley Erickson crushed a ball to dead center for a 2-run double that began to make American Fork sweat. Braden King reached base on an error and after Rylan Peterson walked, Jake Barnhart reached on an infield single.

American Fork then got to outs with a strikeout and a sacrifice fly, but the Vikings weren't done yet. Easton Walker walked to load the bases and Hicken then picked up an RBI by being patient. He walked to force in a run.

Lewis put a charge into the crowd when he narrowly missed a home run. He hit the left-field fence to clear the bases and tie the game at nine.

American Fork reliever Jake Miles got to final out of the inning. The good news for the Cavemen was it was their turn and in the bottom of the seventh, Zac Willis led off the inning with a single. Danny Beddes bunted him to second. The Vikings then opted to intentionally walk Cade Hill. Jeremy Reynolds then drew a walk to load the bases and set the stage for "The Exterminator."

Brock Lamb hit a line drive single up the middle that officially ended the Pleasant Grove comeback to score the winning run and start a mob celebration by the pitching mound for American Fork.

"You've got to play 21 outs and today we played 18. You've got to Pleasant Grove for what they did. They made a ball game out of it when it was 9-1," said American Fork coach Jarod Ingersoll. "I'm a little disappointed in our guys and our killer instinct, but you have to credit Pleasant Grove."

American Fork dominated most of the game thanks to the pitching of Riley Otteson, who gave up just one run on our hits through six innings. Otteson also went 3-for-3 with a double in three RBI to help the Cavemen build what looked to be an insurmountable lead.

But there is a reason both teams came into the region opener with a 9-1 record. There is very little separation between these two rivals. In addition to what Otteson did, Jeremy Reynolds was 3-for-4 with a double.

Lewis, who had just two at-bats, was 2-for-2 with two doubles and four RBI for the Vikings.

"We're playing a series here and that's all that we're thinking about. I told our boys we have to get better every day. I told them that we're not disappointed, we're not hanging our heads, we're going to take momentum from this and go into tomorrow. That's a great team over there, there's no doubt about it."

It won't take long for Pleasant Grove to get a rematch. The two teams play again today at 4 p.m. in Pleasant Grove.