Junior shortstop Jack Owens came through for Lake Braddock when the Bruins needed it most in the Virgina AAA Northern Region championship against Oakton.

Owens’s fifth inning single scored fleet-footed sophomore Nick Neville from second base, breaking a tie in the title game at Madison in Vienna.

Lake Braddock (22-4) went on to beat the Cougars, 14-7, and earn its seventh region crown. As the runner-up, Oakton is still alive in the state playoffs.

The Bruins will play Northwest Region runner-up Patriot on Tuesday in the first round of the state tournament. Oakton will visit Hylton on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Owens went 2 for 4 and had three RBI in three straight at-bats with the postseason pressure far from his mind.

“No games are as fun as these,” Owens said. “Nothing beats it. I’ll feel good for a week after this.”

Concorde District winner Oakton (20-5) made the Bruins sweat until the second to last inning of a slugfest in which the teams combined for 26 hits and both used four pitchers.

The Bruins had 17 hits but fell behind, 2-0, in the first inning. They roared back when they batted around and scored five times in the second.

Neville was one of two players to score two runs for Lake Braddock. He finished 3 for 3 with a walk.

“It was really close at the beginning of the game, but once we started pouring it on, we were getting pumped up,” he said.

After surrendering the early lead, the Cougars would not quit. They strung together a four-run third inning punctuated by back to back RBI doubles from Brian Burns and Kyle Burger.

“I’m very proud of our guys for their effort,” Cougars Coach Justin Janis said. “We fought the whole game.”

Oakton second baseman Joey Bartosic, an all-region selection, scored two runs, hit a single and drew a walk. He put pressure on the Bruins with an RBI groundout that cut the lead to one run in the bottom of the sixth, but Oakton stranded the tying run on third.

After escaping that jam, the Bruins sealed the victory by batting around again and scoring six times in the top of the seventh.

Alex Lewis went 3 for 4 with two RBI and crossed the plate as part of Lake Braddock’s final barrage.

HYLTON TRIUMPHS: Senior left-hander Joe King pitched 6 1 / 3 effective innings in the Bulldogs’ 4-2 win over Patriot to win the first back-to-back Virginia AAA Northwest Region titles in school history and earn the Youngstown State signee and the other seniors one final home game.

“[King’s] been the next guy in line all year. It’s just that he’s behind two Division I arms,” Hylton Coach Craig Flesher said in reference to seniors Alec Bettinger (Virginia) and Andre Scrubb (High Point). “And he’s a Division I arm. On a lot of staffs he would be the No. 1.”

Flesher was hoping King could get the Bulldogs into the third or fourth inning, so the six-plus inning stint was a bonus. Senior Jeovan Sneed hit a two-run double in the second inning to help stake King to a 3-0 lead. Bettinger closed out the game.

Hylton was at home for the Cardinal District tournament and three regional games. And the Bulldogs get one more game on their home field in their quest to return to the state semifinals.

WOLVERINES FALTER: Third-year program Woodgrove lost 9-4 at Sherando in the Virginia AA Region II championship and will play at Williamsburg school Warhill on Tuesday in the AA state quarterfinals. The Wolverines took a short-lived 2-0 lead at Sherando and gave up a grand slam in the fourth inning to fall behind 9-2. They chipped away with single runs in the sixth and seventh innings.