It didn't take long for the Greencastle-Antrim baseball team to get things going in an all-important Mid Penn Colonial Division battle with James Buchanan on Thursday afternoon - thankfully so for them, with a strong storm brewing just miles down the road.
The Blue Devils scored a some quick runs in the bottom of the first and claimed a 3-0 win over James Buchanan after 4.5 innings due to heavy rain and lightning; and advanced their record to 8-0 for the second straight season. Last year, G-A won its first 10 games.
Evan Maun and Tanner Rock brought in one run each, while the third run scored on a bad hop as JB was trying to catch a runner stealing.
But for the Rockets, who entered the game as arguably the Blue Devils' biggest competition in the division, a win Thursday would have meant more for their confidence than their place in the division. But Greencastle wasn't going to let that happen - namely, the first-year starter in left field wasn't going to let that happen.
"It wasn't the game we expected," James Buchanan coach Dave Sanchez said. "We expected to win this game, honestly. I thought the boys were ready to go, and fired up, but they made some really crazy catches there in left field and that's what killed us. They made the plays when they had to."
Greencastle's Cade Marshall had a pair of diving catches on well-hit balls to left that took the momentum right out of James Buchanan's offense. Despite finding a few solid hits off of G-A's Cade Bender, the Rockets couldn't bring anybody around.
"They were just the perfect moment," Marshall said. "The first one I just laid out for it and took my chances. The second one, I didn't even see it come off the bat, I heard Jimmy (Beavers) call it out and I got there."
On two occasions, James Buchanan loaded the bases, but the Greencastle defense took care of the rest. A well-timed strikeout by Bender stranded three, and later a quick play at first base as the storms were rolling in ended the inning with the bases juiced.
"They hit some really good pitches," G-A coach Eric Shaner said. "(Jared) Pine is a flat-out hitter and I thought Cade made some really good pitches that they were able to hit, and what could you do about that?"
James Buchanan's Remi Spoonhour seemed to settle after the first inning, but ultimately took the loss for the Rockets (7-3, 3-3 MPC).
Greencastle's leadoff batter got to a full count in the bottom of the fifth before a lightning delay was called, which ultimately called the game after heavy rain poured on the already sopping field.