Westhill's Mike DeCarr stood on the pitcher's mound, frozen for just a moment as the fastball he threw made it past Sean LaFaye for one final strikeout early Saturday evening at Binghamton's Conlon Field.
Then, with the work done, DeCarr was mobbed by his teammates, all of them now crowned as the state Class B baseball champions. Given all they had done to reach this point, it seemed like the only appropriate ending.
The Warriors' 8-1 conquest of Dobbs Ferry was the team's 28th consecutive victory, a school record. And that streak included a perfect run through the OHSL Liberty division, a 48-14 romp over seven post-season opponents and some big moments along the way.
There was Mike Mascari hitting for the cycle against Bishop Ludden on May 2. There was DeCarr pulling off a two-run sacrifice fly in the Section III final against Skaneateles, and Mascari stealing home moments later.
At the plate, the likes of Mascari, Mike McMullen and Nate Nigolian led an explosive attack where double-digit runs were common and the team hit .383 overall. On the mound, Ryan Malley and Pat Lemmo made for a strong pair of aces, but it was sophomore Jack Ganley that threw a perfect game against Jamesville-DeWitt on May 22.
Given all this, it only made sense that Westhill would get to the final in an exciting way -- and that DeCarr, such an integral part of the Warrior program for so long, would be at the center of it all.
In Saturday's state Class B semifinal against Fredonia (Section VI), the Warriors found itself shut down by Hillbillies pitcher Corey King and trailed, 2-0, going to the top of the seventh.
Three outs from elimination, Westhill's offense arrived, as two runners got on base before Mascari delivered a single, cutting the margin to 2-1.