Held without a hit through three playoff games, the first big play Darius Jones delivered Thursday with was with his glove. Then the senior center fielder nailed a double off the left field fence that jump-started his team’s offense and soon Patuxent was on its way to the Maryland 2A championship game.
Jones made a sensational diving catch to end the bottom of the fourth inning and keep the Panthers within three runs and his hit started a four-run rally that put Patuxent in front and it held on for a 6-4 victory over Patterson Mill in a twice-delayed state semifinal at the University of Maryland.
“His catch totally changed the game,” Panthers Coach Keith Powell said. “If that ball lands, who knows what is going to happen. They were hitting Cody [Robertson] pretty hard, had us on the ropes.”
Patuxent (19-4) will play Williamsport, a 3-0 winner over Loch Raven in Thursday’s second semifinal, in Saturday’s Maryland 2A final at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen at 1 p.m.