A dozen years after reaching the pinnacle with a state Class C championship, the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team has the chance to do the same thing again -- this time at the Class B level.
And for that, the Brothers can thank, among others, senior pitcher Matt Croglio, who picked quite a good time -- and quite a grand setting - to string together the best mound performance of his high school career.
Croglio threw a no-hitter in Monday night's Class B regional final against Chenango Valley, the state's no. 1-ranked team, helping CBA to a 5-0 victory at Alliance Bank Stadium.
Prior to this game, Croglio, who is going to Holy Cross this fall, had never thrown a no-hitter at the varsity level. In fact, he had spent much of the past month in somewhat limited duty due to back problems, giving fellow pitchers like Mike Kitts and Rob Cuomo a chance to shine.
But Croglio was ready for this night. Aside from two walks and a hit batsman, the right-hander just kept on retiring Chenango Valley batters, helped in no small part by the offensive support CBA gave him early.
All of the Brothers' runs came in the first two innings. It loaded the bases in the bottom of the first before Dan Sisto drew a walk that brought home one run. Spencer Dunn's infield hit made it 2-0.
Croglio himself reached base in the bottom of the second inning, and was on third base when a wild pitch from Chenango Valley ace Dan Pendleton allowed Croglio to score. Moments later, Sisto belted a two-run single. Shaun McGraw set up both rallies with a single and double, and scored a pair of runs.
Even though Pendleton (going to Siena next fall to join a class that includes Bishop Ludden ace Ryan Poplawski) would blank CBA the rest of the way and allow just five total hits, Chenango Valley simply could not do anything against Croglio.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., CBA will play Potsdam (Section X) or Chatham (Section II) in the state semifinals at Broome County Community College in Binghamton. The winner will advance to the championship game at 4 p.m., also at BCCC.