All of the action was saved for the sixth frame, and all of it belonged to Pleasant Grove.
The Hawks' Caleb Bolden pitched a 4-hitter and teammate Will Hlavinka broke an 0-0 tie with a grand slam in the sixth as Pleasant Grove routed Canton, 9-0, in Game 1 of a best-of-3 series, Class 4A regional quarterfinal playoff game at Hawk Field Thursday.
Game 2 is today at 1 p.m. at Canton High School with the details of a third game, if needed, yet to be announced.
"Caleb has done a great job for us all year," Pleasant Grove head coach Riley Fincher said. "He gave up two hits at the start of the fourth inning, and he goes out and gets the next three guys out."
Bolden pitched six innings, struck out 11, threw 90 pitches, walked one, and allowed no runs.
"It felt great to get out of the jam in the fourth inning," Bolden said. "I was really pumped and it was a tough spot to be in, but I worked my way out of it."
Hlavinka, who was 0-2 in the game when he came to the dish in the sixth, hammered a grand slam off the first pitch he saw to put the first runs of the game up on the board.
"When I made contact, it felt great off the bat, but it was not in my head that that ball was gone," Hlavinka said. "He just walked the batter in front of me, and I was expecting a fastball. He threw it down the middle of the plate. I just sat on it and drove it."
Pleasant Grove got nine runs across in the sixth frame. The Hawks' Keaton Russo led off the sixth stanza with a double to left center, and Tyler Jeans, the next batter, was hit by a pitch.
Connor Ouellette walked to juice the bases, and Hlavinka blasted his grand slam over the center field wall.
"Hlavinka came up and hit a great shot," Fincher said. "What I like is that we didn't stop there as we kept swinging the bats and were able to score five more after that."
Up 4-0 and with two outs in the sixth, Bolden singled to left field, and courtesy runner Logan Overmyer stole second. Heath Ferguson was hit by a pitch, and Carson Cox slapped a 1-run single to left center to give PG a 5-0 lead.
Russo smacked a 2-run double to left center to score Ferguson and Cox to make it 7-0.
With one on, Jeans belted a 2-run round tripper to right field to make it 9-0 in favor of the Hawks. It would be all the runs PG needed.
Canton starting pitcher Steven Sterling pitched five innings, threw 74 pitches, allowed four hits, struck out three, walked one, hit two batsmen, and gave up two earned runs.
The Bulldogs' Caleb Phillips came in with two on in the sixth, pitched 2/3 innings, gave up four hits, six earned runs, walked one and hit one.
Canton left five runners stranded, while the Hawks stranded eight.
Pleasant Grove improves to 30-3 on the year, and Bolden boosted his record to 12-1.
Steven Sterling, Caleb Phillips (6), Colbey Johnson (6) and Mcgwire Martin. Caleb Bolden and Keaton Russo. WP-Bolden. LP-Sterling. HR: Pleasant Grove, Will Hlavinka, sixth, 3 on; Tyler Jeans, sixth, 1 on.