TEXARKANA, Texas — Pleasant Grove failed to get a hit within the first four innings, and Lindale won Game 1 of a Class 4A bi-district baseball playoff series, 9-5.
The Eagles (13-16) plated six runs in the fifth frame to take an 8-0 lead and hung on the rest of the way to clinch the victory. Game 2 is Friday at 6 p.m. at Lindale High School with a Game 3, if needed, to follow Game 2.
"I definitely didn't think that we played our best game," Hawks head coach Riley Fincher said. "I have to tip my hat to Lindale. They took advantage of our mistakes in the field. Anytime it takes a team five innings to swing the bats and produce, it's hard to win.
"I was proud of the fight that our guys had in the last three innings, but we've got to have that the whole game. The beauty of baseball is this one is over with and we go there tomorrow. We'll fight our tails off to win Game 2 to try and get to the third game."
Starting Pleasant Grove (23-7) pitcher Blake Jennings threw 3 2/3 innings, took the loss, allowed two runs on four hits, struck out two and hit two batters. Nathan Hutcheson pitched in relief and gave up seven runs on eight hits, struck out three and walked three in three frames of work.
Lindale starter Cody Taylor earned the win, tossed five frames, allowed four runs on six hits, struck out four, walked two and hit a batter.
The Eagles took a tremendous 8-0 advantage into the bottom of the fifth after scoring six runs on six hits and a Hawk throwing error.
Alex Murphy led off Pleasant Grove's fifth with a single up the middle, and teammate Traveler Couch followed with a single through the middle. Cason Head juiced the bases after an infield single. Cade Martin smacked a 2-run double for the Hawks' first runs of the game. Alex Galvan lifted a sacrifice fly RBI to left to help bridge the gap, 8-4.
Pleasant Grove's Martin crushed a solo home run over the left field wall to make it a 4-run game in the seventh, 9-5. Martin finished 2 for 2 with 3 RBI. Galvan walked with two outs, but the Eagles recorded the final out for the win.
Lindale took an early 2-0 lead after the first frame on three hits and a Hawk fielding error.
Alex Murphy walked with an out in the second for the Hawks, but the Eagles made a double play to get out of the frame.
Brenton Clark led off Pleasant Grove's fourth with a walk and moved up to second on Alex Galvan's sacrifice bunt. Clark was left stranded when the next two Hawk batters struck out swinging.