MOUNDSVILLE - Bishop Donahue graduated the store last season. What remained was a group of comeback kids.
''Last three games, we've done the same thing,'' said Bishops coach Bob Kleeh, after he watched his team spot Cameron a 7-2 lead after an inning and a half, then storm back and win 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh inning Thursday.
''The first two innings, we were kinda lazy out there.''
Cameron’s Cole Clutter takes off towards first as Bishop Donahue catcher Austin Cunningham looks on during the third inning of their game Thursday.
The Dragons sent 10 to the plate in the first inning and scored four runs despite managing only one hit - an infield single by Austin Pegg.
Devin Starcher, David Klug, and Jordan Hart all drove in runs via bases-loaded walks and Ryan Clutter grabbed an RBI on an error.
It was more of the same in the second inning, when eight Dragons (1-3) went to the plate and three more scored. Starcher had a two-run double and Clutter singled in a run in the frame.
The Bishops (4-2) got two in the bottom of the first on a two-run single by Hunter Kaschke, but they were still staring at that 7-2 deficit entering the fourth inning.
Cameron coach Eric James quietly wondered if it would be enough.
''You've got to be a shark when there's blood in the water,'' he told his players. ''You have to have a feeding frenzy. We don't have a team of trained killers. You could have heard a pin drop sitting out there in the outfield if you were watching the game. They're a pretty quiet bunch.''
The Dragons had only one hit after the second inning after BD senior Philip Smith took over on the mound and worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings in his first varsity appearance on the mound.
''He throws strikes,'' Kleeh said. ''That's what we ask him to do.''
Meanwhile, Bishop Donahue slowly chipped away, getting two in the fourth on RBI singles by Andrew and Austin Cunningham and two in the fifth on a Kaschke RBI and a run-producing single off the bat of Matt Vucelik.
The Bishops got the equalizer in the sixth on Smith's screaming sac fly to center that completed the comeback and tied the score at 7-7.
''We chipped away and chipped away,'' Kleeh said.
Cameron had somewhat of a chance in the top of the seventh as Clutter led off with a single, but he was cut down attempting to steal second base, and Kaschke, the Bishops' third pitcher, slammed the door with a pair of strikeouts.
Bishop Donahue loaded the bases with one out and the winning run came home when Andrew Cunningham hit a bouncer to third where no play was made.
''We didn't get it all at once,'' Kleeh said. ''We had to work for each run we got. We got some work there at the bottom of the lineup with the Cunninghams. ''They had great at-bats, extended the inning to get the top of the order.
''Really, it was a whole team effort.''
Mark Walker suffered the loss as he threw a complete game, striking out seven.
''I didn't want to let go of him, that's for sure. I knew he wanted it,'' James said. ''We just put ourselves in a situation there a couple of times during the course of the game where we had two routine plays that should be made and it didn't happen.
''It's just unfortunate that we didn't get this one.''