Derek Casey took control from the moment he stepped on the mound at Old Dominion University in Norfolk Tuesday night, striking out 12 Kellam Knights on the way to a complete game shutout as the Hawks knocked off the Eastern Region champions 5-0 to advance to the State Group AAA Baseball Semfinal on Friday in Chantilly.
Josh Shepherd led the hitting attack with a two-run double, part of a four-run second inning that gave Casey all the support he needed and then some.
Hanover, now 21-4, will take on Oakton, the Northern Region runner-up, in the 7pm semifinal Friday at Westfield High School.
Meanwhile, in Chesapeake earlier in the afternoon, one Great Bridge swing was just enough to generate the necessary runs to lead the Wildcats, Eastern Region champions, past the Atlee Raiders 2-0, ending Atlee's fantastic 2013 season a game shy of the state final four.
Mattie Fitzgerald, still nursing a broken cheekbone suffered 11 days earlier, dove for a blooper in shallow right field in the bottom of the sixth inning with two runners on for Great Bridge, just missing the ball. The two Wildcats scored for the only runs of the game.
The Raiders did load the bases in the top of the 7th on a single and two Great Bridge fielding errors, but pitcher Sydney Harless struck out Blair Jones for the final out of the game.
Jessica Holte struck out five in her final game at Atlee. The Raiders also lose shortstop Taylor Sutherland to graduation, but will return seven starters next season. Congratulations to the Raiders on a season to remember!!
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