Christian Central, in its second year in the Monsignor Martin Association (last year they were probabtionary and not eligible for postseason), came close to delivering another stunner in the Georgetown Cup playoffs before a stunning ill-time gaffe in the field and a relentless St. Joe's attack ended the Crusaders' dream of playing for the Cup at Coca-Cola Field.
As difficult a loss as that was for Christian Central to swallow, the program still did a lot of good in finishing with a 7-11 record which included a pair of wins over three-time defending Georgetown Cup champion and perennial WNY power Canisius.
"It's huge (to reach the semifinals)," coach Zack Boron said. "I told the guys at the beginning of the year if we don't make (a lot of) errors and capitalize (on scoring chances), we'll beat teams. ... I think we proved that today. All we needed were three outs and we're the team going to Coca-Cola Field. I think we shocked a lot of people getting this far. ... But you have to give St. Joe's credit. St. Joe's played a great game."
On pitcher Peter Moran, the senior with the unorthodox delivery that frustrated teams all year long -- including Canisius in the quarterfinals and St. Joe's through six innings of the semifinals: "He pitched his heart out for us all season," Boron said. "He was our leader on the team."
Other notes from the Georgetown Cup semifinals:
-- St. Joe's Matt Matre and St. Francis' Drew Bassini not only provided boosts for their teams out of the bullpen but earned the wins in relief.
-- An estimated 600 showed up for the doubleheader at Northtown Center in Amherst.
-- It's not football but the Catholic baseball final features the two programs that battled for the league's football title.
-- Brian Dudek went 2 for 4 with a three-run triple for St. Mary's. While some thought it was an inside the park Grand Slam, the St. Mary's scorer ruled the shot a triple. A bobble/fumble by the cut-off on the relay throw into the infield creating the opening for Dudek to score on the exciting fifth-inning play. He was being held up at third otherwise.