SPRINGFIELD — The fourth inning of Rutherford’s playoff game against Marianna started the same way the season began – badly.

The Rams surrendered four runs in the top of the inning before ending up on the wrong side of a double play.

"Then they made another mistake and another mistake and that finally played to our advantage," Rutherford coach Cody Chizmar said. "That’s been us at the beginning of the season."

Rutherford took advantage of two errors sandwiched around a double from Mason Cook to score five runs in the fourth inning of the Rams’ 12-9 victory over Marianna in the Region 1-5A quarterfinal on Wednesday night.

"I’d never thought we’d get here at the beginning of the year," Chizmar said.

It’s hard to blame him considering the Rams (8-20) started the season 2-16. Now, Chizmar wouldn’t think to trade the start which he said helped his guys weather giving up four runs in both the second and fourth innings.

"It plays a big factor in all of it," Chizmar said. "When we’re down, you know we used to just say, ‘OK, we’re not going to come back. …’ (Now) they’re refusing to lose and that’s what makes you a winning team."

Marianna managed to put two on base in the final inning before Rutherford second baseman Dillyn Richardson made the double play that Chizmar described as saving the season.

A few seconds later, Rutherford’s players gathered together and cheered. Chizmar said that moment is the best one he’s experienced in his entire coaching career.

The scoring got started for the Rams in the first inning when Nathan Rennie drove in Sebastian Nguyen thanks to a bunt that stopped just a few feet from home plate.

Rennie, who made it to second off his own bunt, also scored in the inning along with Nolan Gildea and Mykail Westerfield.

Rutherford’s coach said he was even more impressed with Rennie’s play on defense.

"I wouldn’t trade him for anybody in the state of Florida at centerfield," Chizmar said.

Rennie also scored in the second inning thanks to Alex Miller, who stepped up to the plate facing two outs with the bases loaded.

He fouled off several pitches, including two he sent over his own dugout, before he finally connected and drove in both Rennie and Richardson to retake the lead 6-5.

That double also gave Miller a game-high three RBI in the victory.

Rutherford will face a familiar foe on Saturday night when the Rams host Walton (18-10). The Braves won 4-2 and 11-1 when the teams met in the regular season before Rutherford won 7-6 in the district championship game.

"Our confidence is growing by the second," Chizmar said.