The game of baseball can turn into an arms race at this point in the season and it's remarkable how much impact a single extremity can have on a game.
Just look at Wednesday's semifinal between Righetti and Frontier. Well, in this example, there were actually two limbs that impacted the game in the same way: The pitching arms of the starters for each team.
Righetti ace Caleb Dulay did what he's done all season, keeping his Warriors in the game with a splendid mix of pitches that had Frontier batters way out in front and spraying ground balls all over the park.
Dulay did what he does, though he had to do a lot more of it Wednesday, throwing 9 2/3 innings and racing past the 110-pitch limit.
Then there was Frontier starter Austin Puskaric, who got similar results but went about it in a much different way. Puskaric is half a foot taller than Dulay and his fastball travels a lot faster.
But Dulay matched Puskaric pitch-for-pitch. It was something to see.
Dulay crossed the 110-pitch limit after going 9 2/3 innings and allowing just a single run. He started the 10th inning with 106 pitches and then struck out his first batter on three pitches, allowing him to face another batter, which he swiftly sat down on a pop-up. Righetti's Ryan Delgado came on in relief and did his part, not allowing an earned run, though Frontier would score in the 11th.
Both Dulay and Delgado are juniors and should be back at Righetti next year. (Expect Righetti to be back among the Central Section's best next year, too).
Puskaric lasted eight innings for Frontier as he also passed the pitch limit.
Frontier's biggest advantage then reared its head. The Titans have just too many arms. They've got two Cal State Bakersfield commits who eat up innings and demoralize offenses.
Righetti's best chance to win the game came when the Titans used another pitcher to bridge the gap in the ninth inning, though the Warriors weren't able to scratch across that game-winning run after loading the bases with one out.
After Puskaric went eight, Brennan Fleischer pitched the ninth before rising Frontier star Kris Anglin threw the 10th and 11th innings, slamming the door on the Warriors after the Titans scored an unearned run in the 11th.
Anglin and Puskaric have carried the eighth-seeded Titans to the Division 1 championship. Anglin struck out 11 batters in a one-hitter against the top team in the Central Section, Clovis Buchanan, in the quarterfinals.
It was easy to see how he was able to lock down the No. 8 team in the state while examining him against Righetti. The lefty has a high leg kick and a quirky delivery and plenty of juice on his fastball, with a big sweeping curveball. Anglin did give up a hit, but not a run against Righetti on Wednesday.
Frontier goes on to face a Clovis team coming off a 7-5 win over San Luis Obispo and the Titans will be at a disadvantage after using their top pitchers for 11 innings against Righetti on Wednesday.
So it's no surprise that the winner of Saturday's title game will likely be the team with the biggest arsenal of arms.