Pleasant Grove baseball coach Darrin Henry likes to give his lineup card to the player who hits a home run or had the big hit in a victory.
After Friday’s 12-1 five-inning rout of Bingham, Henry ended up tearing the card into nine pieces.
The Vikings put together six consecutive hits to start the game against the Miners and banged out 17 overall, including three home runs. All nine starters for PG had at least one hit.
“It was such a team win I didn’t know who to give the lineup card to,” Henry said. “We had guys with so many clutch hits. So we decided to tear into nine pieces and give it to everybody.”
With the win, Pleasant Grove is in the driver’s seat in Region 4 at 6-3. American Fork fell to 8-4 with Friday’s 1-0 loss to Lone Peak. The Vikings finish the regular season with three games against the Knights, needing just two wins to clinch the region’s No. 1 seed because it holds the tiebreaker against American Fork.
“It’s been our goal all year to get a home game here in the state tournament,” Henry said. “We play really well on this field. We just have to win one game at a time because Lone Peak is a great team.”
Noah Taylor and Ty Barker singled to start the bottom of the first for PG and senior shortstop Brock Watkins opening the scoring with an opposite field three-run homer to right.
“In batting practice today, Coach wanted us to focus on going to the right side and up the middle,” Watkins said. “Today we took that approach. This team is so close. We do everything together.”
That includes getting a lot more hits together.
Jake Fryer made it back-to-back dingers with a solo shot to left for a 4-0 lead. Peyton Norman doubled and later came home on a fielder’s choice for a 5-0 Vikings advantage.
PG took a 7-1 lead into the bottom of the fifth and Taylor plated two more runs with a single. The next batter, Barker, ended the game early with a three-run homer to left.
Left-hander Ernie Lugo allowed just four hits for Pleasant Grove to earn the victory, which followed a disappointing 7- 6 loss to Bingham on Thursday.
“These kids are good hitters and when they focus on hitting the ball up the middle and staying balanced, that’s when we’re a really good team,” Henry said. “They’ve bought into the process and I’m proud of how they came back today. Yesterday was a tough loss, no doubt about it. You’re going to have tough losses in baseball. These guys came back today with the exact right attitude: Yesterday is water under the bridge, we’re a great team, let’s go. That’s exactly what we did.”
Watkins was 2 for 3 and drove in four runs for Pleasant Grove, with Taylor and Barker knocking in three runs each.