PLEASANT GROVE — The Pleasant Grove High School baseball team won its first of three region games with Lehi at home on Wednesday, 3-1, on great defense and quick base running.
But it took a complete game to pull it off. At the end of three complete innings, the Vikings were up 3-0 and busy trying to grind out another win.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Lehi loaded the bases. Pioneer junior Drew Zimmerman came to the plate and hit a great shot to right center field. Lehi's base runners started moving. Viking senior outfielder Malik Overstreet didn't get a good jump on the ball but moved to intercept it.
"I knew I was late but I'd have to lay out for it, and I did," Overstreet said. He stretched out and caught the ball (for the second out), hit the turf, got to his feet and threw the ball to second base, catching the runner returning to second base, because he hadn't tagged up after the ball sailed over his head toward the outfield. That made out number three.
Viking head coach Darrin Henry said, "Yeah, that double play kinda sunk them a bit. Overstreet has caught quite a few catches like that for us. He is quick and can cover a lot of ground."
Neither team scored in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings. As Pleasant Grove came out to start the top of the seventh inning, Viking relief pitcher Ty Lewis took the mound to pitch for the last inning.
Having already scored one run in the seventh inning on a bases-loaded walk, Lehi appeared to be on the edge of breaking the game away from Pleasant Grove. With two down, the bases loaded and Lehi senior Brock Hansen at the plate, momentum seemed to be leaning the Pioneers' way.
Coach Henry called timeout and put his starting catcher on the mound. Three pitches later (all strikes), Viking senior Payton Henry walked off the mound, securing the win and putting the brakes on Lehi's late rally.
Games two and three will be Thursday and Friday, both scheduled to be played at Lehi.
With this loss, Lehi starts region play at 0-1 and an overall record of 5-3. Pleasant Grove starts region play with a 1-0 record and an overall record of 6-1.
Kent Allen lives in Pleasant Grove and reports on Pleasant Grove High School varsity sports for Deseret Connect.