Pat Kiefer got an opportunity most pitchers dream of last night. He hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to lead Oakton over Lake Braddock, 13-11, in the Virginia AAA Northern Regional baseball championship game at Fairfax.
Oakton (14-7) faces Halifax in a state semifinal game Tuesday at Fairfax at 7:30 p.m.
Last night's expected pitchers' duel between Oakton's Fred Kramer and Lake Braddock's Phil Spring never came about. Neither was very sharp and both failed to finish.
Lake Braddock (14-7) used six pitchers in an attempt to stop the Cougars. None was successful. Oakton had 10 hits, three of them home runs, including Kiefer's game-winnerover the center field fence.
"I didn't even expect to play," said Kiefer, who relieved Kramer in the fifth inning. "I got a chance to win my own game."
For a while it didn't look that way. Lake Braddock scored three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth to move ahead, 11-9.
But Oakton came back. Kramer, who moved to first base after yielding 10 hits and nine runs in 4 2/3 innings, homered to lead off the sixth to cut the deficit to 11-10. Mark Nicely singled, was sacrificed to second and moved to third on a balk. The next batter walked before Kiefer, in his first at bat of the night, homered off Pat Basse, who was relieving for the second time.