What had been a smooth, calm ride for the Westhill baseball team through the OHSL Liberty division is now a genuine fight for top league honors.
Christian Brothers Academy made this possible, containing the Warriors' potent lineup last Tuesday afternoon at St. Denis Field as Westhill took a 6-2 defeat at the start of a crazy and memorable week of action.
From the time CBA pitcher Matt Croglio got through the first inning (retiring Mike DeCarr, D.J. Beaudette and P.J. Niedzwiecki in order), the Warriors found itself in trouble. In the second and third innings, Croglio escaped possible jams by coaxing Pat Lemmo and DeCarr to hit into double plays.
By then, CBA led 1-0, its run coming on a walk and error that led to Stu Flynn's RBI groundout in the bottom of the second. It got to 2-0 an inning later when DeCarr uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score.
Every time Westhill tried to get something on the board, Croglio would shut it down. And when DeCarr left the mound in the bottom of the sixth, replaced by Ryan Malley, then Lemmo, CBA erupted for four runs, two of them coming off throwing errors.
Croglio lost his shutout in the top of the seventh, thanks to Mike McMullen's two-run home run, but he got the final outs and, overall, gave up just five hits.
The result put Westhill at 8-1 in the OHSL Liberty division, just ahead of CBA (6-1) with one more head-to-head meeting later this month that could determine the league title.
Just before facing CBA, the Warriors made a trip to Skaneateles last Monday and got all of its runs early in an 8-2 victory over the Lakers.
Westhill tagged Sknaeateles pitcher Nick Pesarchick for five runs in the top of the first, plus three runs two innings later. DeCarr and D.J. Beaudette each had two RBIs in this early flurry, as Pat Lemmo also drove in a run. Beaudette also got the win on the mound.