TYLER — Pleasant Grove did something Thursday night only team had done before this season: hand top-ranked Argyle a loss.

And if the Hawks can win once in the next two tries, Pleasant Grove will inch closer to its eighth state tournament berth in 10 years.

Senior right-hander Caleb Bolden went the distance on the mound and struck out 12 to lead the No. 4-ranked Hawks past Argyle, 6-1, in Game 1 of their Class 4A Region II semifinal series at Mike Carter Field.

Pleasant Grove (32-3) will go for the sweep in Game 2, which is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday back in Tyler. An Argyle (25-2-1) win forces a decisive third game to follow.

"Caleb did great and that is what we expected him to do," said Pleasant Grove coach Riley Fincher. "We do everything to prepare our team, and Caleb did outstanding.”

The Pleasant Grove bats ambushed Argyle left-handed starter Brett Lundy (7-1) for six runs on 10 hits through four innings.

Every Hawks batter in the lineup reached base at least once.

Cade Thompson went 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Carson Cox, Heath Ferguson, Bolden, Tyler Jeans, and Will Hlavinka all drove in at least one run.

"I thought it was a complete team effort from swinging the bats to moving runners over, and I thought our defense played well behind Caleb,” Fincher said.

Thompson led off the bottom of the first with a single and came around to score on Cox’s RBI single for a 1-0 lead. Pleasant Grove added three more runs in the second on RBI singles by Hlavinka, Bolden, and Ferguson.

Bolden retired the first 10 batters he faced before Argyle’s Watson Timmons singled in the top of the fourth. He eventually scored on Bryson Hudgens’ single to center, but Argyle’s rally was stopped when Ben Pound popped out to the third baseman with the bases loaded.

Pleasant Grove got that run back and another for good measure in the bottom half of the inning. Cox hit a sacrifice fly to left scoring Thompson, and Lundy walked Tyler Jeans with the bases loaded to increase the Hawks’ lead to 6-1.

Bolden did the rest, retiring nine of the final 10 batters he faced, striking out the side in the seventh.

“We didn’t see the slider very well tonight,” said Argyle coach Ricky Griffin. “We let (Bolden) stay ahead (in the count) with a fastball. And the fastballs that we got that were hittable we didn’t do much with.”

The winner of this series will face Decatur for the regional championship. Decatur defeated Gilmer, 2-0, on Wednesday in a one-game playoff.

No. 4 Pleasant Grove 6, No. 1 Argyle 1

Class 4A Region II Semifinals — Game 1
At Mike Carter Field, Tyler

Argyle                  000    100    0    —    1      3     2
Pleasant Grove    130    200    x    —    6     10    1

Pitchers and catchers

  • Argyle: Brett Lundy, Parker Abrego (4) and Austin King
  • Pleasant Grove: Caleb Bolden and Keaton Russo

WP — Bolden (14-1)
LP — Lundy (7-1)