After the victory sprints were finished and the field chores done, the Battery Creek High School baseball team retreated to the dugout for cupcakes.
The Dolphins celebrated the birthday of first baseman Craig Capano but also a successful week as they continued their perfect start to the Region 6-AA schedule.
Battery Creek defeated Woodland 8-3 on Wednesday to improve to 3-0 in region play. The victory, paired with a dramatic win at defending Lower State champion Bishop England on Monday, has the Dolphins in good shape with a possible showdown looming at Academic Magnet on April 7 for the region crown.
"We hold it in our hands," senior Zach Mahan said. "We've just got to keep winning, and that's it."
Battery Creek coach Shawn Morrison said it helped the Dolphins to play tough opponents early, taking their lumps against Class 3-A Hilton Head Island High School and Class 4-A Fort Dorchester before starting the region schedule.
At Bishop England, which started the week ranked No. 4 in the state coaches poll, the Dolphins were down to their final out before ripping a two-run double.
At home Wednesday, Battery Creek jumped on the Wolverines with a four-run first inning and held them off with timely defense. Three times the Dolphins escaped bases-loaded situations with double plays to end the inning -- one a popped-up bunt on an attempted suicide squeeze and the other two on lined shots in the infield that froze runners.
"Everyone is playing well together and cooperating," second baseman Mark Hetrick said. "You can hear us in the dugout, too. We're all getting into the game."
Mahan told his teammates before the game that beating Bishop England wouldn't scare Woodland, that the Wolverines were a good team.
Woodland coach Keith Lowman said his team did not play well enough defensively and made mental errors on the bases.
"They jumped on it," he said.
Everyone batted for Battery Creek in the four-run first. The Dolphins pushed across three more in the fourth, which was plenty cushion for their defense.
Sophomore Aaron Brantley started for Battery Creek and went 3 1-3 innings before Mahan took over. The senior had pitched a full game Monday at Bishop England and was limited to three innings on Wednesday but said he had hoped for a second start in three games.
"I wanted it," he said. "I'm not happy until we win the region."
Follow reporter Stephen Fastenau at twitter.com/IPBG_Stephen.
Battery Creek 8, Woodland 3
Woodland 111 000 0 -- 3 5 8
Battery Creek 400 301 0 -- 8 9 3
WP: Aaron Brantley 3 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 K, 3 HBP, 2 BB
LP: Travis Varnes 7 IP, 9 H, 3 K, HBP, 0 BB
Top hitters: Woodland -- Jason Mims 1 for 1, 2 HBP, R. Battery Creek -- Zach Mahan 2 for 3, 2B, RBI; Michael Jennings 2 for 3, SB; Henry Schubert 2 for 3; DeAnthony Moore 1 for 2, RBI.