The last time Montgomery had been the visitor was a month ago and St. John Neumann beat the Red Raiders, 4-3, that day.
So when Lancaster County Christian won the coin toss before Monday's Class A Eastern Region final and chose home, Montgomery could have taken it as a bad omen. Instead it just flipped the script.
Montgomery led 2-0 entering the top of the seventh, but approached it like it was down 2-0 in the bottom half. That inning has belonged to Montgomery throughout the season and it came through again, scoring three times and winning 5-0.
Even when they are acting like they have to come back, Montgomery is good at it.
The Raiders have won six games in their final at-bat this season and that toughness is a big reason it will play in Friday's state championship against Bishop McCort.
"We scored three runs in the top of the seventh and when you do that in your last at-bat that's impressive," third baseman John Goetz said. "It was the first time in a long time we were not the home team, but we knew it was not going to be something we allowed to effect us so we just kept going."
Montgomery hopes to score in every inning and never trail Friday, but if it does fall behind it has had plenty of practice. The Raiders have excelled in late-game situations and offered a glimpse of things to come in their first three games. They trailed Warrior Run 5-0 in the fifth inning of their season opener and were still behind 5-3 in the seventh before tying it, forcing extra innings and eventually winning, 10-5.
A week later defending district champion Muncy came to town and opened a 4-0 first-inning lead. It could have demoralized Montgomery since it lost three times to its archrival last year. This time, the Raiders fought back and scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh, winning it on Cody Klees's walk-off single.
Klees also had tied the Warrior Run game in the seventh and delivered the walk-off hit in Montgomery's defining regular season game. Klees hit a two-out, walk-off single against South Williamsport as the Raiders won 2-1 and snapped the Mounties 15-game winning streak.
"We kind of thrive under pressure," said pitcher Garrett Shnyder, who is 4-0 this postseason. "We have Klees, 'Mr. Clutch', on the team, so when the time comes and we have to get it done we get it done. We keep winning and that is all that matters."
Shnyder is the team's Most Valuable Player and has had an amazing season. However, Montgomery really was in comeback mode early this season simply because he could not pitch. Again, the Raiders were resilient. Again they found a way to win.
Senior catcher Kyle Russell, an outstanding team leader, pitched often and threw well, going 5-0 in the team's first 10 games. Russell moving to the mound meant Montgomery had a void at catcher but freshman Mike Alexander filled that and performed well as Montgomery continued thriving. If not for Russell and Alexander stepping up, Shnyder might not have been able to get healthy and Montgomery might not still be playing.
Those are the contributions that make Montgomery not only an outstanding team, but a championship program.
"The three seniors we have are leaders in their different ways and now we have the younger kids coming up too," Montgomery coach Tom Persing said. "We have a lot of people coming up that we hope are going to continue growing this program."
The Raiders had 12 days between thumping Southern Columbia in their regular-season finale and playing Sullivan County in the district semifinals. Sullivan led the entire game, going up 3-1 in the fourth inning and still leading 4-3 with one out in the seventh. Montgomery had played a bad game to that point, but a sign of a great team is being able to win when things are going wrong.
That day at Bowman Field, the Raiders showed that is exactly what they are. John Goetz singled and scored on a gutsy dash from second to home on a dropped fly ball in shallow center field before winning the game in the bottom of the eighth after being hit by a bases-loaded pitch. Since that day, the Raiders have played their best baseball, excelling in all facets.
They displayed their resiliency again in the opening round of states, remaining unfazed after Pius X tied it 1-1 with two outs and two strikes in the seventh. Montgomery responded in the bottom of the eighth and Thomas Goetz drew a bases-loaded walk as Montgomery won the first state playoff game in program history.
And because it thrives under difficult circumstances, Montgomery keeps making history.