For seven innings yesterday, Westfield's John Lloyd and Yorktown's Steve Brady were locked in a pitchers' duel.
Lloyd allowed only three hits, had eight strikeouts and retired the side in order five times in his complete game performance. Brady permitted two hits and allowed only one runner past second against the powerful Bulldogs lineup.
However, Louis Ullrich's RBI double in the bottom of the first was Brady's only flaw as the Bulldogs beat the Patriots, 1-0, in the semifinals of the Virginia AAA Northern Region at Fairfax High School.
Westfield (17-6) advances to its first-ever region title game where it will play Lee, which defeated Robinson, 12-3.
Bulldogs leadoff hitter Steven Ellis battled Brady to open the game. After fouling off two consecutive two-strike fastballs, Ellis earned a walk. Three hitters later, Ullrich's two-out double scored the game's lone run.
"I think the whole story has got to be John Lloyd," said Westfield Coach Chuck Welch, whose team also earned its first trip to the AAA state tournament. "This was by far the best pitched game [of the season]."
Yorktown's (18-7) best chance to tie the game came in the fourth inning. John Crone, who had two of the Patriots' three hits, dumped a one-out single into right field. Brandon Augustine followed Crone and lined a fastball toward the right field corner that dropped mere inches outside the foul line. Two pitches later, Lloyd induced a double play that ended the Patriots' threat.
"This is one of the most exciting [games] for me just because of what's at stake," said Lloyd, who improved to 6-0 on the season. "I just threw my game and made them work off of me."
In the first semifinal, Lee staked starter Kenny Moreland to an early 4-0 lead after the first inning and Moreland made it stand up to lead the Lancers their first trip to a regional final and their first state tournament berth.
"I don't think anybody ever picked us to get this far," Lee Coach Dave Gardziel said. "The kids believed in themselves and continued to go after it. I think we can play with anybody."
Lee (14-10) had 12 hits and 11 runs off Robinson starter Spencer Wiggins. The Lancers spread the hits around among eight players with Ross Crigler and Troy Hamilton leading the way with two apiece.
The Rams (12-9) tried to get back in the game in the fourth inning. They closed to within 4-2 on back-to-back doubles to open the inning, but Robinson's Mike Weiler was picked off at second and Moreland struck out the next two batters to end the inning. Two innings later, Lee scored six runs to put the game out of reach.