Thomas Johnson and South River both benefited from strong starting pitching to win Maryland State A league semifinal baseball games today at Dundalk Community College.

Thomas Johnson defeated Gwynn Park, 4-2, and South River downed Richard Montgomery, 11-5, to advance to the final Saturday at the University of Maryland.

Thomas Johnson right-hander Jeff Rinehart (7-1) gave up five hits and struck out eight. Mike Lindon was South River's route-goer.

Trailing, 3-0, Gwynn Park's Todd Snell homered with his brother Rod aboard to make it 3-2. The Patriots got a run back in the sixth when second baseman Frank Martz grounded out to third to score Erik Howard.

The Yellow Jackets challenged in the seventh. Rod Snell walked and moved to third on Todd Snell's single. Todd stole second, moving the tying run into scoring position with no outs. But Rinehart struck out Cory Gesell and utility infielder Rick Adams. Eddie Jones bounced out, third to first, to end the game.

South River took a 5-2 lead in the second inning of its game. Richard Montgomery threatened, scoring twice in the sixth to make it 7-5. But South River added four in the seventh.