It's every high school coaches' dream for their baseball teams to play errorless defense, get timely hits and good pitching.
We all know that's virtually impossible, but the second goal would be to get a win, no matter how you do it and no matter what it looks like.
That second scenario was the case at Boyd-Buchanan Friday afternoon.
The Bucs didn't play errorless defense, they didn't get many timely hits and their pitching could have been better, but the hosts went home with a 9-6 win over the Red Bank Lions and that's all that mattered to Boyd-Buchanan coach Josh Rider.
The Bucs only got five hits during the game, but the visiting Lions were more than generous as they helped out with five walks, four hit batters and seven costly errors.
With the win, the Bucs improve to 9-8 overall with their fourth straight win and seventh victory in their last eight games. Even though they didn't do all of those little things well, a win is a win and that's all that matters to coach Rider.
"We'll take a 'W' any way that we can get it," he began after dragging the infield once the game ended.
"We gave them a bunch of runs early, but I was proud that we did a good job of coming right back to retake the lead. I thought that Nathan (Murrell) did a good job pitching for the most part. He had that one rough inning, but he came back strong.
"I wish that we had swung the bats a little better, but we took what they gave us. We went through a time stretch a couple of weeks ago when we lost seven in a row, but we seem to get better every day and that's our main goal," Rider nodded.
Red Bank coach Trey Hicks felt good about the way his team approached the plate in the second inning, but he didn't have much good to say about the rest of the game.
"Right now, we just aren't a very good baseball team as we haven't played good defense all year. We had some good at-bats in the second, but we didn't put any pressure on them after that as we didn't have any quality swings," Hicks began after his team lost for the seventh time in 16 games.
"And how many errors did we make? The sad fact about that is that our older, more experienced players are making those errors. We don't have any overpowering pitchers, so our defense has to make plays behind them and today, we didn't.
"I thought we might still have a chance when it was 7-6, but those last two runs totally changed the complexion of the game. We just have to do a better job, but we just aren't playing smart baseball right now," Hicks nodded.
Matt Oakes was the starting pitcher for Red Bank, but he didn't last long as he allowed a walk to Jim Cardwell to lead off the first for the Bucs. A stolen base and a balk advanced Cardwell to third where he scored easily on a single by Cade Evans.
Evans stole second and scored on a single by Nathan Murrell before Colby Morgan got hit by a pitch.
Oakes was replaced by Lawrence Woodfin at that point and allowed a run-scoring single by Skyler Anderson before finally retiring the side after the Bucs had sent 10 hitters to the plate.
Red Bank came right back with a big inning of its own as 11 Lions came to bat with six of them scoring.
Alex Chambers walked with one out and went to third on a double by Ben Brown. Noah Jones plated the first run with a singe before the second run scored on the first of two Boyd-Buchanan errors.
D.J. Hale reached on the second error of the inning before Hunter Romans lined an RBI-single to center. Blake Winstead then drove in a run with a groundout to third before a single up the middle by Johnny Goodman plated the last run.
The Bucs came right back with three runs in the bottom of the second. Anderson drove in the first with a bases-loaded walk while Hunter Payne sent two more home with a single to left.
While those first two innings took almost an hour to play, things got back to somewhat normal for the next three frames as nobody scored during that time.
It was still 7-6 when the Bucs came to bat in the sixth. Taking advantage of two walks, a single and two more Red Bank errors, the hosts added a pair of insurance runs.
Cameron Wolfe, who had come in to relieve Murrell with two outs in the sixth, got two quick outs to start the seventh before issuing walks to Goodman, Jaylan Moore and Alex Chambers to load the bases.
That's when Rider called Cardwell's number and the hard-throwing righty came in to end the game on a called strike three on Brown.
There was not a single player from either team with more than one hit.
Murrell was the winning pitcher for the Bucs while Cardwell recorded his third save.
Red Bank centerfielder Chapin Price had a single in the sixth, but his value came on defense where he had eight assists.
Red Bank returns to district play on Monday with a game at Central while Boyd-Buchanan is scheduled to play at Walker Valley on Saturday before hosting Grace on Monday.
RED BANK 060 000 0 -- 6 5 7
BOYD-BUCHANAN 430 002 x -- 9 5 2
M. Oakes, Woodfin (1), W. Oakes (2) and Moore; Murrell, Wolfe (6), Cardwell (7) and Payne.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)