Sohn's 6 RBIs lead Westminster past Wise, into 4A final

Owls win, 11-2, advance to state championship game against Severna Park at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Ripken Stadium vs. winner of Tuesday's Severna Park-Gaithersburg semifinal

Wise starter Andrew Byrd walks 14

May 24, 2011|By Jeff Seidel, Special to The Baltimore Sun

COLLEGE PARK — Nick Sohn helped Westminster take one step closer toward giving coach Bryan Harman the perfect going-away present.

Sohn finished 4-for-5 with six RBI, thanks to a pair of three-run doubles, as No. 2 Westminster took a big early lead and rolled to an 11-2 victory over Wise in a Class 4A state semifinal Tuesday at Maryland.

The Owls improved to 22-0 and will play in the state final Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Ripken Stadium against No. 4 Severna Park, which pounded Gaithersburg, 19-6, in the other semifinal.

"We had a pretty good read on them," said Harman, who is going to retire after that game following 10 years at Westminster. "We knew the pitcher could be a little wild in general."

The Owls took advantage of Wise starter Andrew Byrd's control problems. Byrd only gave up seven hits in his six-inning stint, but the right-hander walked 14 batters. Westminster constantly had batters on base and finished the game with nine steals.

Byrd walked five in the first inning, and the Owls already had a 1-0 lead when Sohn came up with the bases loaded and two outs. The left-handed-hitting first baseman sliced an 0-2 fastball down the left-field line, clearing the bases for a 4-0 lead.

Sohn came up in a similar spot in the top of the fourth. Westminster held a 5-2 lead when Sohn ripped a long shot off Byrd that banged high off the screen in right-center — missing a grand slam by a few feet — and giving the Owls an 8-2 edge.

"Today we brought our 'A' game," Sohn said. "It just feels great."

Sohn singled twice and scored a total of three runs. Wise (15-6) outhit the Owls, 8-7, but six of them were infield hits. Brandon Taylor got the win, scattering six hits in five innings and striking out eight.

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