MOUNDSVILLE - West Virginia Class A's Region One, Section One is loaded.
In it are Wheeling Central, last season's state champ, and Weirton Madonna, the 2010 winner.
Bishop Donahue isn't usually mentioned in the same breath as the Maroon Knights and Blue Dons, but could this be its year to rise to the occasion in Charleston?
AND THE DELIVERY — Weir High’s Mitch Viakley throws a pitch during Wednesday’s 9-4 loss at Bishop Donahue.
-- Rick Thorp
That remains to be seen. But so far Coach Bob Kleeh's squad is making plenty of noise.
The Bishops exploded for five runs in the sixth Wednesday to snap a 4-4 tie and top Weir, 9-4, at the Evan G. Roberts Athletic Complex.
''That's the way we've been doing things all year,'' Kleeh said after his team moved to 10-1. ''We're gonna have to earn everything we get anyways.
''These kids battle hard and have a lot of heart. I just told them to stay on a nice, even keel and we'll take each game as it comes.''
Coming through when it counts has been the Bishops' Modus operandi all season. And Wednesday, they rose to the occasion more than once.
''We battle from one through nine,'' Kleeh said. ''Our top five (in the batting order) is our power. Bur we have a bunch of nickel and dimers from six on down that set the table.''
One of those - Ollie Parker - did just that to lead off the deciding sixth by drawing a walk.
''Ollie battled, battled and battled to get on base and set the tone,'' Kleeh said.
Austin Ghaphery followed with a sac bunt to send Parker to second.
Next, with Parker on third following a wild pitch, leadoff batter Garrett Yurisko walked. Moments later he stole second.
Kyle Gillis then stepped up to the plate looking to reach base for the first time. In his first three plate appearances he flied out, struck out and grounded out.
This time, he sent a Ryan Mendehall pitch up the middle scoring Parker and Yurisko for what would be the winning runs.
''The kids have been taking advantage of their opportunities all season,'' Kleeh said. ''Like Kyle in the sixth. It's just hard work. We'll see how the rest of the season plays out.''
The Bishops added three insurance runs in the inning to seal the deal.
''Give Bishop Donahue credit,'' Weir coach Bob Rosnick said, ''they have a nice team and do what it takes to win.
''They get the hits when they need to and they make the plays when they need to.''
The Red Riders have struggled to both thus far in 2012.
''We're young and we make mistakes and the wrong time,'' Rosnick said. ''We had the bases loaded (in the sixth) and didn't get the runs. We've been in games with everyone and playing right until the end, but we make mistakes and don't do the things on offense we need to do to win games.''
The Red Riders did score two runs in the aforementioned sixth, but failed to bust the game open like the Bishops did a half inning later.
William Larch had two singles and an RBI for Weir, while Mitch Viakley singled and plated two.
Bishop Donahue 9, Weir 4
Weir 100 102 0 - 4 6 3
Bishop Donahue 002 025 x - 9 11 3
WEIR (3-7): Viakley (1K, 0BB), Mendenhall (LP, 5, 1K, 2BB) and Curtis; Larch 2S, rbi; Viakely S, 2rbi.
BISHOP DONAHUE (10-1): Meeker (WP, 3K, 4BB), Koontz (6, 1K, 1BB) and Riedel; Koontz HR, D, S, 2rbi; Gillis S, 2rbi; Kaschke 2S, rbi; Riedel 2S, 2rbi; Ghaphery D.