TYLER, Texas — The Pleasant Grove Hawks’ pitching staff combined for a four-hit shutout of the Melissa Cardinals 3-0 Friday afternoon at Mike Carter Field in Game 1 of the regional semifinals.
Junior Aiden Murray was the winning pitcher for the Hawks as he went 1.2 innings with two strikeouts, a hit, and two walks. Blake Jennings went 3.0 and provided Pleasant Grove with three strikeouts, three hits, and two walks. Nate Hutcheson closed out the game with 1.1 innings pitched and a strikeout.
“At first, I was nervous a little bit,” Murray said after the game. “Everybody in the dugout asked if I was okay. I was trying to get my head right. But once I had a few walks in the second, and I gave up that one hit, I knew I had Blake right behind me and other pitchers to come help me. So, I wasn’t too worried about it.”
The Hawks provided some support on offense as Alex Galvan went 1-3 at the plate. Brenton Clark went 1-3 with a run scored. JM Long went 1-3 with a run scored. Alex Murphy went 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Tucker Anderson provided 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Brock Bearden had a sacrifice RBI.
“That was a good win,” Pleasant Grove coach Riley Fincher said. “It was a good win for all of us, and I thought we did enough offensively to go. And I thought our pitchers did enough zone. And defensively it was about as clean as we’ve played all year.”
Coach Fincher says with graduation tonight back in Texarkana, the message is “have fun tonight,” but get good rest and prepare for Game 2.
The Hawks take on Melissa at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Mike Carter Field in Tyler on 94.1 FM ESPN Texarkana. If the Hawks win, they will advance. If the Cardinals win, the third and final game of the series will be played 30 minutes after.