Brian Beaty and David Cooper cracked two-run homers - the first home run of the year for each player - in the bottom of the sixth inning to lift Woodbridge to a 6-5 Virginia AAA State semifinal victory over Marshall yesterday at Gar-Field.
The vikings (18-4) will play J.R. Tucker of Richmond for the state title Friday at a yet-undetermined site. Tucker yesterday defeated West Branch of Tidewater, 4-3.
The Vikings trialed, 3-2, after Marshall's Robbie Flagg cleared the 300-foot left field fence with a bases-empty shot at Neal Russell's first pitch of the top of the sixth.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, pinch hitter Pete Troya doubled off the fence in left-center field and Beaty, the ninth man in the order, followed with his homer to left for a 4-3 lead.After Reed Sheffield grounded out, Frank Ladson reached on third baseman Joe Sartiano's error and Cooper connected to left-center for a 6-3 advantage.
Marshall (16-7) did not quit. Sartiano and Richard Brodkorb led off the top of the seventh with singles. John Shine ran for Brodkorb and Woodbridge ace Jim Stehlin relieved Russell.
Both runners advanced as third baseman Cooper cut down Joe Antonellis with a brilliant bare-hand play on his slow roller. Sartiano scored as Steve Seagar beat out a grounder to second, and Gary Williams walked to load the bases with one out. Flagg grounded out to first base, Shine scoring, before Chip Welsh hit a sharp liner directly at Beaty in left field to end the game.
Marshall took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Seagar walked and Williams' fly to right field was lost in the sun by Stehlin and dropped for a double. Seagar scored as Viking shortstop Ladson booted Flagg's grounder. Welsh knocked home Williams with a single.
Statesman starter David Midkiff held the Vikings scoreless into the fifth with an assortment of off-speed and breaking pitches, though he allowed batters to reach in every inning.
With two out in the Woodbridge fifth, Ladson walked, stole second and scored on Cooper's single. Cooper advanced to second when left fielder Williams allowed the ball to pop by him and to third when Williams threw wildly to the infield for his second error on the play. Eugene Archey singled Cooper home to make the score 2-2.