What took place at the plate -- namely, Anthony Cirillo's grand slam that beat defending champion Whitesboro -- kept the Christian Brothers Academy baseball team's dream of a Section III Class A title alive.
Yet it was what took place on the field that made the primary difference last Monday when the Brothers lost, 8-3, to New Hartford in the Class A semifinal round.
Seven different times, CBA fielders committed errors, leading to many of the Spartans' runs, especially in the decisive fifth and sixth innings.
Meanwhile, New Hartford excelled with the glove, throwing out CBA runners on four different occasions (two of them at home) to stop possible rallies.
A combination of rain delays and CBA's graduation ceremony on May 31 pushed the game back long enough for ace pitcher Mike Kitts to return to the mound, and he promptly struck out the side in the first inning.
The second inning provided a key early moment. New Hartford got two runs, the first one scoring off a wild throw on a grounder.
In the bottom of the second, after Kitts doubled, Pete Corasaniti singled to right, and Kitts tried to score -- but Spartans right fielder Joe Desins threw a bullet to the plate, and Kitts was out.
CBA did fight back to tie it, 2-2, as Sean McGraw laced an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and added another an inning later after New Hartford pitcher Chandler Evans hit Cirillo and Chris Folsom on back-to-back pitches.
New Hartford took the lead for good in the top of the fifth when, with one on, Joey Carcone crushed a home run over the left-field fence and Don Cavoli added an RBI double later in that frame.
An inning later, the Spartans scored three more times, set up when a throw on a sacrifice bunt went wild. CBA would try and rally again, with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but Mykel Bower relieved Evans and got the final out.
Kitts lost despite accumulating 10 strikeouts and only allowing seven hits. New Hartford went on to face Mexico in the Class A final.