Monday, March 14, 2005 - 10:02 PM

Provo beats mv

Neil K. Warner

You'll have to excuse Provo's David Griner for his rough first inning on Monday afternoon against Mountain View -- this whole pitching thing is all a little new.

It's so new that just prior to taking the field, when Provo huddled up and yelled, "Bulldogs," Griner run towards his normal position -- catcher -- before remembering he was making his first varsity start.

After giving up four runs in the first two innings Griner settled in and allowed Mountain View just three hits for the rest of the game to help Provo beat the Bruins, 7-4.

"I don't pitch much at all. Coach is just trying me out. I've been taking pitching lessons just to have fun so coach threw me in," Griner said. "I starting hitting spots, that's when I started doing better. I wasn't throwing any harder, just hitting spots worked."

Provo came into the game short on pitching. The Bulldogs played four games over the weekend in St. George and desperately needed someone to eat up some innings. Provo coach Lance Moore was hoping for three innings from Griner. Instead he got a complete game.

"The first inning I thought, 'Gosh what am I doing?' But he came out and battled. He got out of a couple of jams," Moore said. "I don't have to tell you that's a really good hitting team. I remember those guys from last year. Those guys can stack up some runs."

Griner gave up a leadoff triple to Jim Little to start the game. He then walked Steve Loveland and surrendered an RBI single to Chris Benson. Bryan Dickinson hit a sacrifice fly and after Griner got Andrew Lancaster to ground out, Jordan Gillespie followed with an RBI single to give the Bruins a quick 3-0 lead.

Mountain View continued to roll in the second inning, when Little drew a leadoff walk and stole second. Little moved to third on a ground ball and scored when Benson grounded to Provo second baseman Cam Lunt, who tried to get Little at home, but was too late.

Griner then settled in and got a pair of ground balls to get out of the inning.

Provo began to chip away at the lead. The Bulldogs added a run in the second off Mountain View starter Chris Benson. Josh Beasley doubled to start the inning and scored on Jason Cheery's ground ball.

The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth when Brock Brimhall drew a leadoff walk. He stole second and advanced to third when Benson's pitch skipped past catcher Toad Heriford. Brimhall came home on Austin Alder's single to cut the lead to 4-2.

Provo broke the game open in the fifth inning when the Bulldogs got to Mountain View's bullpen. Collin Young walked two and hit a batter, to load the bases. Brock Brimhall and Beasley followed with RBI singles and Craig Brimhall singled in two runs to give Griner the lead.

Provo added an insurance run in the sixth when Griner doubled in Chad D'Haenes, who had walked.

"We score those three runs and maybe we thought this was going to be easy. I don't know if we were focused enough after that," said Mountain View coach Chris Cooper. "We left a jillion guys on base. We didn't get timely hits when we got guys on. It was a disappointing performance by us."

The win improved Provo to 4-3, while Mountain View dropped to 1-1.

Mountain View 310 000 0 -- 4 6 0

Provo 010 141 X -- 7 6 1

Benson, Young (5), Carlson (5) and Heriford. Griner and Beasley. WP-Griner, LP-Young. 2B-Beasley (P), Griner (P). 3B-Little (MV).

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page C1.