Catholic needed two runs in the top of the fifth to extend the game, but Bird - who had not given up an earned run before Wednesday - set down the visitors in order with two groundouts and his ninth strikeout of the game.
The Huskies have won by the 10-run mercy rule a total of nine times and six were in five innings.
His team's hitting, not his 24 strikeouts and two walks in 12 innings this season, is what Bird wanted to talk about.
"The middle of the lineup is just bombs," said Bird, "and there's nobody in the lineup you can pitch around. You can't throw fastballs past our nine hitter."
Dotson had an RBI double. The No. 8 hitter, Sean Craze, had a two-run triple in the second inning.
Ryan Shamblin, the No. 3 hitter, singled in a run and added an RBI on a fielder's choice. Cleanup hitter Cody Bowen was 2-for-3 and Thomas, the No. 5 hitter, had a single and a two-run double.
Mehle chalked this game up to a learning experience in which his team didn't handle well the deficit.
"We got down early and I think that led to some defensive miscues," said Mehle, whose team faces Hoover in the return matchup at Triana Field Wednesday. "We just did not look sharp. That's what we talked about. That's the biggest learning experience for us, how to keep battling when you get down early."
As for Hoover, it didn't just seem like another day at the office.
It was just another day at the office.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.