The postseason ushers in a fresh slate, a new breath, but also a do-or-die attitude.
Harrisburg looked to have some of its early-season swagger back, belting out 14 hits an Andrew Bittle tossed a two-hitter as the No. 1 seeded Bulldogs knocked off Massac County 10-0 in the IHSA Class 2A Regional semifinals Friday afternoon.
Harrisburg head coach Jay Thompson complimented his teams renewed sense of urgency and said that a few days of rest (due to weather) may have played a part in his teams play.
"We really looked good today and that's as well as we have looked in a long time. We scuffled a little bit at the end of the year, but we came out ready to go today.
"Massac had me really worried," Thompson added. "They're a good team and their top few kids really swing the bat, but Roo went right at them today and got outs."
Bittle (8-0) got the win on the bump with a complete game performance, striking out five and allowing just two hits, a pair of singles to Drew Jacobs and Lukas Hannah.
Brody Smallman picked up the loss for the Patriots, going 3.1 innings and allowing nine runs on 11 hits, while striking out three and walking one. Jackson Elliott came on in relief, giving up one run on three hits.
Harrisburg (27-1) went to work in the second inning, plating one run when Riley King's one-out bloop single scored Ben Brombaugh, who earlier singled in his at bat.
The Bulldogs got out of a game in the third when Krayton Morse threw out Hannah at third when the Patriots were treating with runners on the corner for the third out and Harrisburg's offense helped out Bittle with five runs in the bottom of the frame as Javie Beal led off with a double off the center field wall and scored on Colby Morse's single up the middle. Brombaugh crushed a single to center to score Morse and Bittle's sac-bunt scored Noah Boon. King followed with a seeing-eye single down the right field line scoring Brombaugh and Luke Miller singled to center to score King.
More runs came in the fourth inning when Boon cleared the bases with a three-run home run to left field, scoring Beal and Colby Morse.
Beal closed the game out when his sacrifice-fly to center field scored Miller.
Brombaugh was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Colby Morse, Beal, King and Miller all had two hits. Jackson Pittman, Boon and Bittle each had one hit as Boon had a team-high three RBI. Colby Morse, Beal and Boon joined Brombaugh with two runs scored.
Harrisburg now moves to Monday's 2A Regional title game, where the Bulldogs will host Vienna at 4:30 p.m. at Jay Thompson Field.
Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.