"We won the first (12-11 on Monday), they won the second (5-1) yesterday, but we won the series," Shelton said. "It's really important. They swept us my sophomore year, last year they won the series, so it was really important for us to win the series this year."
Shelton kicked off an eight-run third inning for American Fork (10-4, 5-1 in Region 4) by sending a double to the fence in left-center.
Prior to that hit, Pleasant Grove pitcher Jake Jensen had given up other hity through the first two frames — also a double, by Ryan Hardman.
After Shelton's double, a couple of successful bunts — and one error — meant that pinch-runner Brayden Howard was able to cross home with the first run. But American Fork just kept on hitting. Hardman's second hit, a single, made the score 2-0 and that was followed by a double from Colton Carpenter to score two more runs.
By the end of the rally, Travis Johnson, Weston Flinders and Dawson Parry all stroked singles.
The final blow came from Shelton. His single to left scored two more runs for an 8-0 lead.
"I just wanted to put the ball in play, hit the ball on the ground or in the gap somewhere," Shelton said. "I was seeing it really good."
"He's been hitting the ball really well lately," said American Fork coach Jared Ingersoll of his eighth-place hitter in the lineup. "We need to find ways from one through nine to be productive and today we were productive."
Pleasant Grove (10-6, 6-3) got two back in the fourth as Kaino Pula, Porter Atwood and Ty Lewis all had hits against Hardman.
Hardman, the next inning, got into a little more trouble after a walk and a double by Pula. But the jam in the fifth, runners at second and third with one out, ended with a pickoff at second and Hardman getting a strikeout for the third out.
The game ended with yet more production from the bottom of the American Fork lineup as Parry, Shelton and McCoy all singled as part of the four-run rally.
"We squared up a lot of balls, but we just made too many mistakes to win the game," Pleasant Grove coach Darrin Henry said. "They're a great team and Region 4 is a great region. It's always a battle — this isn't our first battle or our last battle."