Earl Weaver, the Orioles' Hall of Fame manager, is credited with the timeless baseball adage, "Momentum is the next day's starting pitcher."
If the Earl of Baltimore is right, the Reservoir baseball team has put itself in excellent position to compete for a 3A state championship on Saturday when it plays North Harford at 7 p.m. at Ripken Stadium.
After the Gators' 12-4 win over Thomas Johnson in the state semifinals Tuesday afternoon, junior ace Cody Morris — the two-time Howard County Pitcher of the Year and a University of South Carolina recruit — is fresh and ready to take the mound on Saturday.
"I'm pumped. I can't wait for Saturday and hopefully we'll be bringing back the state championship to Howard County," said Morris, who threw four strong innings against Thomas Johnson. "We came into the season with a mission and we're finally here. We've got one more game left."
Morris needed only 60 pitches (47 strikes) to shut down Thomas Johnson for four innings, striking out nine, walking one and allowing two hits.
"We did our job and we have all of our pitching ready for this weekend," coach Adam Leader said. Morris "will come in and if he needs to come out we'll go to the next one. I have full confidence in all of my guys."
The Gators (22-2) pounded out 14 hits against Thomas Johnson (9-16), led by Danny O'Hagan (2-for-4, RBI), Jack Barry (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs), Morris (3-for-4, 2B, RBI), Joe Kearney (2-3, 2 RBIs), Paul Quattrone (3-for-4, 2B, RBI), Jon Mierzwa (1-2, 2 RBIs) and Drew Stone (2B, RBI).
"All of our pitchers threw extremely well, and the bats started to go," said Barry, who retired the last six batters of the game in order.
Thomas Johnson, which finished the regular season 5-15, did make a game of it in the fifth, scoring four runs on two hits, two errors and two sacrifice flies to cut Reservoir's lead to 6-4.
"We came out here ready to compete," first-year Thomas Johnson coach Billy Gross said. Morris "has got a heck of an arm. I knew he could be anywhere from 88 to 94 ... I looked up in the stands and I saw six or seven guns go up at a time. That's phenomenal. That's a great atmosphere for Maryland state championship baseball. You've got to love that as a coach, a player, a fan."
Re (21-2) 010 234 2 - 12 14 2
TJ (9-16) 000 004 0 - 4 4 2
Morris, Grabow (5), Barry (6) and O'Hagan.
Parker, Specht (6) and Kline.
2B: Re — Quattrone, Morris, Stone.
HR: Re — Barry.
No. 5 North Harford 8, La Plata 2: A two-run rally in the seventh inning wasn't enough for the Warriors, and the Hawks won a Class 3A semifinal at Joe Cannon Stadium to advance to a championship game against Reservoir at Ripken Stadium on Saturday.
MIAA C Conference championship round
St. John's Catholic Prep 5, Chapelgate 2
The defending C Conference champion Yellowjackets made it back to the championship round, but were knocked out by St. John's on Tuesday afternoon.