Steve Brady was standing in center field in the bottom of the fifth inning yesterday when something dawned on him -- neither he nor any of his Yorktown teammates had been able to get a hit off of Lake Braddock starter Dan Seymour.
So when Brady stepped up as the second batter in the top of the sixth inning, he was determined to end the Patriots' hitting drought. His sharp single to left field not only got his team out of its funk, but it also fueled an inning in which the Patriots sent 15 batters to the plate.
By the time the sixth inning was complete, the Patriots had collected all eight of their hits and scored all of their runs en route to an 11-5 victory over Lake Braddock in the quarterfinals of the Virginia AAA region tournament at Robinson.
Yorktown (18-6) advanced to the semifinals where it will face Westfield, a 10-2 winner over Washington-Lee, on Wednesday night at 7 in Fairfax.
"Everyone realized we only had two more at-bats," said Brady, who had two hits and scored twice in the sixth inning. "We got a few on base and got some momentum."
While Seymour controlled the Patriots' bats, Lake Braddock (18-6) was stifled by Yorktown left-hander Larry Hinkle. The Bruins managed a run in the bottom of the third when Greg Hoyt led off with a double and came around to score two batters later on a throwing error.
It appeared as though the 1-0 lead would be all Seymour would need until Yorktown's onslaught.
The Bruins tried to rally, getting three runs off of Hinkle in the bottom of the sixth, but senior Patrick McCue came on to close the door on Lake Braddock.
"We were putting the ball in play, we were just way out in front," said Yorktown Coach Mike Allen. "I kept telling the guys, you have to stay back and, in that sixth inning, I think all but one of our hits was to right field."
In the second game, Westfield's Louis Ullrich pitched five strong innings and hit a long three-run homer in the first inning to lift the Bulldogs (16-6) past the Generals (11-12).
"Once we got up 4-0, I calmed down a little," Ullrich said. "Everything is working out perfect for us right now."
The Bulldogs' No. 2 through No. 5 hitters in the lineup drove in all 10 runs. Brandon Snyder hit a three-run homer in the fourth and Jason Bour added a two-run shot in the third.
"We're playing well at the right time of year," Westfield Coach Chuck Welch said.