At this time of year, the little things can make or break a season.
And the small things broke St. Joseph's season Friday.
A few passed balls, a baserunner caught tagging up, hitting into three double plays and a throw to the wrong bag.
All those things were the difference in St. Joseph's 3-1 loss to Templeton in a CIF Central Section Division 3 quarterfinal at the Knights' Dave Brunell Field Friday.
All three Templeton runs came on passed balls.
The Eagles are the No.16 seed and are now 7-16-1 on the season after going 2-10 in the Mountain League. They'll meet North San Luis Obispo County rival Atascadero, the No. 12 seed, Tuesday in the semifinals. Atascadero beat No. 13 Bakersfield North 19-1 Friday.
St. Joseph out-hit Templeton 6-3. Junior Hunter Barnhart had what coach Ronnie Regalado called his best pitching performance of the year, striking out 10 batters over seven innings.
"We've got to execute certain things, but they played their hearts outs," Regalado said of Templeton. "From the first inning all the way through the seventh they played good baseball. I guess this time they had our number. We did out-hit them, but we didn't execute. That's the name of the game, execution. I made a couple mistakes myself, but we hung in there and tried to battle all the way through."
Regalado, also the team's third-base coach, was upset with himself after waving Barnhart over to third to tag up on a fly ball to center and Barnhart was tagged out. The St. Joseph batter then singled.
Templeton went in front for good in the top of the fifth.
Merek Hall started the inning with a single and moved to second on a bunt by Eli Bullard, who also reached base. The Eagles loaded the bases on another bunt, where the St. Joseph first baseman fielded the ball and threw to third in an attempt to get the lead runner, but Hall beat the throw easily.
Barnhart then got a strikeout with the bases loaded before a passed ball allowed Hall to score. Barnhart then struck out another batter for the second out of the inning. Another passed ball on the next batter allowed Bullard to score the game's final run.
Offensively, the Knights stranded 11 baserunners against lefty Robbie Lardner, who threw a complete game with six hits and two strikeouts.
St. Joseph had the bases loaded with one out in the third, but the Eagles turned a 5-2-3 double play started by Bullard to end the inning. The Eagles also turned a critical 4-6-3 double play to end the third inning. The Knights hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the bottom of the sixth ining.
After Templeton went up 1-0 in the first inning on a passed ball, Justin Maldonado doubled and came around to score on Chris Cervantes' sacrifice fly to tie the game in the first.
St. Joseph finishes the season 12-17 overall after going 4-8 in the Mountain League, which features three Division 1 teams.
"This league is tough and we were there in just about every single ball-game," Regalado said. "These kids battled hard throughout the whole year, maybe we ran out of a little gas at the end.
"Hunter had his best game of the year, from the first batter to the last one," Regalado added of Barnhart. "Of course his curveball is spectacular, his velocity was great today. He touches 93 mph with that fastball. His arm strength and everything has improved since his surgery this past year. He's going to be a good one next year."
The Central Coast has arrived.