MOUNDSVILLE - Five days after the Cameron baseball team was knocked from the ranks of the undefeated by Bishop Donahue, the Dragons got to enjoy some payback at the expense of their long-time Marshall County rival.
Clutch two-out hits in the sixth inning from Ryan Hughes and winning pitcher Mitchel French, along with some sparkling relief work by Mark Walker, paved the way for Cameron's 7-5 comeback victory that handed Bishop Donahue its first loss after five straight victories.
The two teams waged a similar back-and-forth battle last Friday at Cameron (3-1) when the Bishops held on for a 10-8 triumph.
''This was a classic example of the grittiness of these kids,'' a thrilled Cameron coach Eric James said. ''They work hard and pay their dues on a daily basis.
''You know you are going to get the best from that team over there. They've had our number the last couple of years and to come back and beat them like this is a big win for us.''
While disappointed with the loss, first-year Bishops coach Bob Kleeh remains pleased with the play of his team this spring.
''This was a typical Cameron-Bishop Donahue game,'' Kleeh said.
''It's like this every time we play them. We've got a good team and the kids' attitude has been very positive.
''I told them that our goal is to be good in May and that is what we are building to do. We want to be able to compete in that sectional which we haven't been able to do for a long time.''
The Dragons used the speed of leadoff batter Ivan Hall to draw first blood in the return game against the Bishops. Hall singled to center, stole second and when the ball was thrown into left field on an attempted steal of third base, he raced home to put Cameron up 1-0.
Donahue rebounded in the bottom of the first to go up 2-1. Garrett Yurisko drew a walk and the bases were quickly filled after Kyle Gillis singled and Phillip Smith's bunt got past French for an infield hit.
Cleanup batter Wylie Koontz walked on a 3-1 pitch, forcing in the tying run. Gillis came across for the go-ahead run on Hunter Kaschke's sacrifice fly.
Cameron also benefited from a sacrifice fly while rebounding to tie the score at 2-2 in the third. Hughes poked a single to left for the first of his three hits and eventually scored when Walker's line drive to left was caught by Ollie Parker.
Gillis, who had three hits for the Bishops, began the bottom of the third with a single to center. Smith walked and both runners eventually scored after Kaschke reached on an infield error and Alex Riedel picked up an RBI on his ground ball to shortstop.
The Bishops extended the lead to 5-2 an inning later as Yurisko reached on a two-base error and scored when Gillis doubled. Hall made a big effort to make the catch as he raced into the right-center gap and reached out only to have the ball fall off his extended glove.
Trailing by three runs, the Dragons got even again in the fifth, the rally starting on singles by Hughes and French. Both scored when Walker ripped the first pitch from D.T. Meeker over the head of Parker in left for a double. Walker later scored the tying run as Austin Warsinsky reached on a fielder's choice.
Pinch-hitter Austin Pyle started Cameron's game-winning rally in the top of the sixth by drawing a walk. After moving up to second on a wild pitch, Pyle scored as Hughes ripped a double down the left-field line. French then lined a single over short to plate the insurance run.
French walked five and struck out seven before being relieved by Walker after yielding a single to Yurisko with two outs in the sixth. The Dragons' relief ace came out from behind the plate and fanned Gillis to end the threat. In the bottom of the seventh he got a big assist from right fielder Jake Walker, who raced to the right field foul line for a nice running catch to rob Smith of an extra-base hit. A strikeout of Wylie Koontz and Kaschke's infield roller to third ended the game.
''French gutted it out there for about six innings and Mark came on at the end to close it out," James said. ''We are right where we need to be at this point, It's still early in the year and we've got a lot of ball to play. Hopefully, this win will put our kinds on a path in the right direction.''