Not exactly the start D.J. Butler had in mind.
Before Butler's Barnesville's Shamrocks came to bat in Wednesday's Division IV Sectional scrap, the 'Rocks were staring at a 4-0 deficit against Bridgeport.
The Green regrouped nicely, though, boarding the game's next 10 runs enroute to knocking out the Bulldogs, 10-4, on Niekro Diamond at Brookside.
BARNESVILLE’S Ian?Wells pitches during Wednesday’s Division IV sectional game on the Niekro Diamond against Bridgeport.
Barnesville mounted an 11-hit attack and was guilty of just one fielding misplay in improving to 15-7. Butler's team had virtually no time to rest on its laurels. The Rocks were scheduled to battle Toronto in a semifinal encounter this afternoon at 5:30.
"Toronto will be as strong an opponent as we've faced all season," Butler advised. "When we hit the ball like we did today and make plays in the field, we're a pretty good team ourselves."
Bridgeport, meanwhile, capped a 10-17 campaign under first-year skipper Ted Downing. "If you look at the big picture, 10 wins for this program is a major step forward," Downing explained. "But it's a little disappointing. We lost so many close games we easily could have won. Still, we're definitely making progress."
Consecutive hits from freshman Bailey McGrath and Collin Dvoracek set the table for Bridgeport's early uprising. A Barnesville error and three walks issued by Rocks' southpaw Ian Wells had the Green facing an early deficit.
But Barnesville answered immediately, scoring four times in the last of the first.
Mason Plumly reached on an error before shortstop Zack Dornon stepped in and unloaded a towering two-run homer to deep left. "Zach's homer was really huge. It got us going," Butler related.
Successive singles by Preston Dornon, Wells and Colton Pritchard extended the frame. Preston Dornon scored following a balk call and Pritchard would race home off a wild pitch.
In the Green second, number nine hitter Brandon Burkhart reached on a leadoff single. Two outs later, Zack Dornon was issued an intentional walk which proved fatal when Preston Dornon delivered a two-run, gap-shot double to leftcenter. Wells followed with a ribbie shot to right field and it was 7-4.
In the Barnesville first, Plumly induced a bases-juiced free pass before Zack Dornon drilled a two-run single, plating David Brown and Burkhart.
Wells recorded the win in a complete game outing.