When it got moved into Class B and the OHSL Liberty division this spring, the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team looked forward to trying to knock off perennial league champion Westhill.
And in the first attempt to do so last Tuesday afternoon at St. Denis Field, the Brothers pulled it off, relying on Matt Croglio's pitching and capitalizing on defensive mistakes from the Warriors to record a 6-2 victory.
Both aces were going -- Croglio for CBA, Mike DeCarr for Westhill. Immediately, Croglio showed he was in top form, retiring DeCarr, D.J. Beaudtte and P.J. Niedzwiecki in order in the first inning and causing a pair of double plays in the next two innings.
Meanwhile, the Brothers pulled in front in the bottom of the second. Spencer Dunn led off with a walk, moved to third base on a throwing error, and scored on Stu Flynn's RBI groundout. It went to 2-0 an inning later, set up by Pat Wiese's double and a wild pitch.
And it stayed 2-0 for a while, as both Croglio and DeCarr put runners on base, but kept escaping possible trouble.
Westhill's best chance to change the dynamic came in the top of the fifth, when it loaded the bases with one out. But DeCarr hit into a 4-6-3 double play, the third twin killing (all through shortstop Pete Clarke) CBA had pulled off in this game.
When DeCarr left the mound in the bottom of the sixth, the Brothers pounced with a two-out rally. Throwing errors led to two runs, and Bryant Moore's double produced two more runs and a 6-0 margin.
All those insurance runs proved important when, in the top of the seventh, Mike McMullen smashed a two-run home run to break up Croglio's shutout. But the Holy Cross-bound CBA senior got the final outs to finish a complete-game five-hitter.