By far, the Chittenango baseball team's biggest issue was the way it played inside the OHSL Freedom division. It was 1-3 in league play going into the week, 7-1 otherwise.
And that issue surfaced again during last Monday's home game against Phoenix, where the Bears lost to the Firebirds 10-7.
They were tied, 3-3, until the top of the fourth inning, when Phoenix erupted for six runs, which chased Chittenango starting pitcher Jon Stevens from the mound.
Shaun Skurpski and Kevin Streeter both had solid relief stints, but the Bears would not catch up, hurt in no small part by its six errors in the field.
Wes Burghardt led the Bears at the plate, earning two triples and finishing with three RBIs. Stevens, Skurpski and Zach Boswell also drove in runs.
When the Bears went to Mexico a day later to make up an April 7 rain postponement, it proved rougher as it lost to the Tigers 17-3.
Mexico decided it early, with eight runs in the first inning and seven more runs in the bottom of the third to make it 15-1, and five Chittenango errors didn't help as the Tigers eventually got 18 hits on the afternoon.
Jake Bicknell still had a solo home run, with Burghardt and Devin Christopher also earning RBIs. Conrad Dolbear led Mexico with a home run and five RBIs, with teammate Evan Oustrich getting four RBIs.
Chittenango got closer in Thursday's game against Christian Brothers Academy, but still fell to the Brothers 4-2.
For the most part, pitcher Jeff Pierce did a terrific job keeping CBA's potent lineup in check, only allowing six hits in a complete-game effort.
However, the one lapse -- a three-run rally by the Brothers in the top of the third inning, fueled by Bryant Moore's home run -- proved to be the difference. Chittenango's runs came in the fifth and sixth innings as Stevens and Bicknell each got one RBI.