Baseball: Semaj Patterson, Harlan edge Kenwood
Updated: June 1, 2012 8:15PM
The third time was the charm for Harlan but not for Kenwood. The Falcons advanced in the class 3A Washington sectional with a 2-0 victory over its conference foe on Friday afternoon.
Harlan will face arch-rival Simeon for the sectional title on Saturday afternoon.
‘‘The last two years they beat us in the state playoffs,’’ Harlan coach Kenny Fullman said. ‘‘We had already beaten them twice this year so it’s tough to beat a team three times.’’
Harlan (27-11) got a strong performance from right-hander Semaj Patterson. The sophomore threw a complete-game shutout while stranding nine runners and striking out four.
His biggest test came in the seventh inning when Kenwood had runners on the corners with just one out. Patterson bore down to induce Adam Kelly into a fielder’s choice groundout and finished the game by getting Sanford Hunt, who is the three-hitter, to pop out to short center field.
‘‘I was just trying to get ahead in the count,’’ Patterson said. ‘‘I wanted them to hit the ball but not to hit it hard.’’
Harlan got all the offense it needed in the first inning. Shortstop Tyler Johnson ripped a first-pitch fastball into the right-center gap for a double that drove in Christian Bland for a 1-0 lead. That was Johnson’s only official at-bat as the Broncos (15-16) walked him twice more for the game.
‘‘I was just thinking about staying back and going to the opposite field,’’ Johnson said. ‘‘I just wanted to be very aggressive today.’’
The Falcons got an insurance run in the fifth inning when cleanup-hitter Andre Hogan, Jr. hit an RBI single to right that drove in Arramis Johnson.
Hunt had a single and a walk for Kenwood.
‘‘We didn’t get the big hit when we needed it,’’ Kenwood coach Bill Hanselman said. ‘‘We played pretty good defense and pitched well but they got us back for the last two years.’’