SURREY - By the time Bottineau's Devin Bercier took the mound Thursday and made his first pitch, he had been gifted a 2-0 lead.
His American Legion team scored three more runs in the second, giving Bercier the cushion and confidence needed to finish an 11-0 Class B victory against Burlington in Surrey.
He threw a complete game four-hitter, striking out four and walking only one Bulldog.
Bottineau’s Devin Bercier delivers a pitch during the fourth inning of an 11-0 win against Burlington on Thursday.
"Devin just pitched to contact really well," Bottineau coach Derek Aus said. "Good control of his pitches."
Four of the six Burlington hitters to reach base were retired soon after on a pickoff, a fielder's choice and two double plays.
"We got ground balls and we made some good defensive plays behind him," Aus said. "A pitcher's best friend, I guess."
Cody Brooks' one-out single in the first inning drove home the game's first two runs and set the tone for the Bottineau (18-4) offense.
In the second frame, catcher Mark LaCroix avenged a first inning strikeout with another two-run single that stretched the lead to 5-0.
"Their pitcher made me look like an idiot on the first at-bat," LaCroix said. "So I just kind of wanted to put the ball in play. It worked a lot more. Just take a smaller approach, not trying to hit one out or nothing. Just hit a solid single and see what I could do from there."
Burlington (4-12) coach Jason Brooking gathered his team in shallow left field after the top of the third, eager to find life offensively. He told his players that he came to "play ball" and that he wanted a similar attitude from his team.
The Bulldogs put two men on base in the third inning before Bercier got Austin Schestler to ground into a double play that ended the frame.
"Even when we're getting hits, we're hitting them right to their players or making easy opportunities for their players to make plays on them," Brooking said. "It's tough when you've got a low record like this, but we continue to talk to them and continue to work on building them up. Can't do much more than that."
Brooks deposited a Cole Grosche knuckleball over the left field fence in the sixth inning. The solo shot gave Bottineau its 10th run and Brooks his third RBI of the game.
Grosche's walk-off two-run double in the second game gave Burlington a 5-4 win and a doubleheader split.