CANTON -- Tyler Jeans didn't simply pitch a high school no-hitter in Pleasant Grove's 1-0, series-clinching win Friday against Canton in the Class 4A regional quarterfinal round. His gem was good by Major League Baseball standards in the sense he did not allow a single hit through a nine-inning game.

Jeans fanned nine Eagles batters to one walk allowed and hit the finish line with 93 pitches thrown. That helped condense a high school baseball game that went two full extra innings to just two hours in length.

"I relied on my defense a lot," Jeans said. "They definitely helped me out. I couldn't have done it without them. I knew our bats would come around eventually. We did this all together."

Jeans was charged with a second runner on base aside from a third-inning walk to Zach Brown. Canton's Tyler Massey reached after striking out on a ball in the dirt in the bottom of the fifth.

But the Pleasant Grove defense more than made up for that one lapse.

Shortstop Caleb Bolden, off a complete game shutout of his own Thursday in Game 1 of the series, racked up four assists. Second baseman Cade Thompson recorded a team-best five assists.

First baseman Will Hlavinka dug out a ninth-inning throw from the plate on Blayne Clower's chopper to keep the no-hitter alive and placed the Hawks (31-3) one out away from the win.

"I honestly had no clue," Pleasant Grove head coach Riley Fincher said. "Somebody said something and (Jeans) was right there. I say, 'Did you throw a no-hitter?' He smiled. That's a senior competitor on the mound. I thought it was an outstanding series between two good teams. We're very fortunate to come out on top."

Canton (26-7) pushed Brown to third base in the third inning with two sacrifice hits before the Hawks managed a third out. That was the extent of the Eagles' runners in scoring position.

Pleasant Grove placed six players on second base or better before breaking through in the top of the ninth.

Connor Oullette got the winning sequence going when he connected with relief pitcher Simon Miller's first-pitch fastball with one out in the frame. The middle of Oullette's bat made the contact and the ball rainbowed just beyond first base.

Hlavinka walked on four straight pitches just before nine-hole hitter Jackson Cobb took a first-pitch fastball through the left infield gap for the game's sole run. Hlavinka got caught advancing from first to third on the play, and the half-inning ended two pitches later with a ground out to first base.

That was all Jeans needed though. His bottom of the ninth was perfect, as were six other frames.

Pleasant Grove's reward is a date with Argyle from the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the fourth consecutive season and for the sixth time in eight years.

The two teams have played each other in the regional championship round the past three seasons with Argyle winning head-to-head series in 2014 and 2015. District seeding -- both teams finished first in their leagues -- and the University Interscholastic League's fall of 2016 to spring of 2018 realignment plan brought the squads one round closer to each other this go-around.

Pleasant Grove and Argyle will begin this season's installment Thursday evening at Mike Carter Field in Tyler. The second game will be played Saturday in Tyler, and the third game will follow the second if it is necessary.

"You talk about the top teams in the state, you're also talking about Argyle," Fincher said. "Their recent history of going to state tournaments, winning a state championship and how they're playing right now at a high level -- They pretty much set the standard. Our kids are excited about it.

"With the internet, Twitter and all of that, to say our kids don't know about them and they don't know about us would be a lie. We're definitely excited about the opportunity and feel good about getting through this series."

Pleasant Grove 1, Canton 0

Game 2, Class 4A Regional Quarterfinals
At Canton High School, Canton

Pleasant Grove        000    000    001    --    1    9    0
Canton                    000    000    000    --    0    0    0

Pitchers and catchers

  • Pleasant Grove: Tyler Jeans and Keaton Russo
  • Canton: Johnnie Krawietz, Simon Miller (7) and McGwire Martin

WP -- Jeans
LP -- Miller


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