Bryce Cooper and Fred Kramer pitched Oakton out of late-inning trouble yesterday at Robinson as the Cougars edged Edison, 5-3, in one of two Virginia AAA Northern Regional baseball semifinals.
Oakton (13-7) earned a spot in Friday's championship game in an all-Northern District final against Lake Braddock (14-6), which beat Fort Hunt, 16-1, in the other semifinal last night at Fairfax.
The winner of the 7:30 p.m. regional final at Fairfax will face the Northwest Regional champion Tuesday in the state semifinals, again at Fairfax.
"If you told me at the beginning of the year that we would be playing in the regional finals I would have laughed at you," said Oakton Coach Tom Hall. "I lost eight starters from last year's club and probably would have given you a nickel for our chances."
Oakton, with a team batting average of .246, scored four runs on five hits in the first two innings off starter Terry Spittler. Although Brian Marrow, who pitched a no-hitter Monday night, contained the Cougars for the last five innings, Oakton finished with 10 hits, including a four-for-four performance by Ricky MacDonald and a three-for-four effort by Brian Wood.
Edison, held to just four hits by starter Pat Kiefer, Cooper and Kramer, got the leadoff runner on base in the seventh when Mark Hackley walked. He went to second on a passed ball, and to on third on a wild pitch. But Kramer got Marrow to ground to first to end the threat.
Lake Braddock took full advantage of Fort Hunt's eight errors, scoring only three earned runs among the first nine.
Bruin pitcher Phil Spring (9-1), however, needed little help as he allowed no hits in four innings.