MOUNDSVILLE - Paden City lacked one important aspect coming into its OVAC Class 1A semifinal with Bishop Donahue: experience.
It also didn't help the Wildcats that the Bishops put together one of their best game of the season, as they exploded for 13 hits and Joey Myers pitched a one-hitter and Bishop Donahue blanked Paden City, 15-0, in five innings at Valley Fork.
''We started six freshman (Saturday) and they haven't been in a situation like this,'' Wildcats coach Brent Croasmun said. ''Experience means a lot when it comes to athletics. We didn't have any seniors in the lineup and you've got to have some good seniors if you're going to go far in any sport.''
Bishop Donahue’s Austin Cunningham looks for a call after swiping Paden City’s Luke Cooper with a tag Saturday in an OVAC Class 1A baseball semifinal.
After Andrew Cunningham scored the game's first run off a hit by Hunter Kaschke in the first, the Bishops (13-7) collect four more in the second, highlighted by Myers' two-run double that drove in Jordan Bonar and Austin Cunningham.
''Bishop Donahue has a very good, veteran baseball team that has played in these playoffs games before,'' Croasmun noted. ''We gave them some early opportunities in the first two innings and, like a good team does, they took advantage of those opportunities.''
The first two frames, however, were just a teaser for what the Bishops had in store.
With one out and facing a full count, Matt Vucelick blasted one out of the park for a solo homer that made it 6-0.
''That was just the charge we needed,'' Bishops coach Bob Kleeh pointed out. ''Everything was kinda flat. We had a couple runs here and there, but that just got us going. Sometimes you just need that spark to wake everybody up and we started playing baseball. (Vucelick) didn't take a big swing, he just met it. That kid has got some power.''
After Bonar, Austin Cunningham, and Myers each drove in a run, Philip Smith tripled into right field to clear the way for Andrew Cunningham and Myers to score and stretch the lead to 11-0.
Lane LaMasters' flyout to center field ended the inning as the Bishops came away with eight runs on eight hits and sent 12 to the plate.
Smith hit a two-run single in fourth to end the scoring for Donahue.
''That's the first time in about two weeks, and discard the John Marshall game because we did have a big error in that one that cost us three runs, that we hit the ball and fielded the ball,'' Kleeh said. ''I'm proud of the way they played. Paden City has a very young team with a bright future, but that's the first time in two weeks we actually hit, pitched and caught on the same day. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come.''
It couldn't have happened at a better time for the Bishops as the team will now compete for their third straight 1A title against Madonna.
''That'd be big,'' Kleeh said. ''I don't know if it ever happened for the school. We just have to show up and play and see what happens. We'll have a quality opponent whoever we play. Hopefully we can come out and play a complete baseball game and get it done.''
Paden City fell to 7-13.