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Johnson City baseball sweeps Harper to remain unbeaten in district play

CAPTION: Johnson City sophomore pitcher Johnny Slawinski, who is committed to Baylor University, helps his own cause with a base hit during the win against Harper March 28. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

The Johnson City High School baseball team crushed Harper 11-1 March 28 to win the series win against the Longhorns and remain tied for first place with Mason in District 28-2A.

The Eagles are on a two-game bye and will face the Punchers Thursday, April 7.

“The win is the most important thing,” Eagles head coach Steven Shipley said. “We talk about winning the district and making a run. We have four seniors on this team. The only thing they care about is winning.”

Johnson City sophomore pitcher Johnny Slawinski allowed one run off two hits and struck out 16 in six innings.

“I stayed confident and trusted,” he said, adding he didn’t know the number of strikeouts. “It felt like a lot of strikeouts.”

Shipley noted his players understood that if a Longhorn got on base with two outs, it didn’t matter if he stole a base. The key, he added, was staying locked in on the batter and recording a strikeout to end the inning.

“With a guy like Johnny on the mound, the next pitch is a strike,” he said. “He can have second base. He’s not going to score.”

The pitcher helped his own cause with 2 RBIs off 3 hits. Grant Gale also had 2 RBIs off 2 hits, while McCray Jacobs had an RBI. Haden Fox also had 2 hits.

“As soon as we scored five, they were changing pitchers,” Shipley said. “We respect those (Harper) guys.”

Once the Eagles earned a comfortable lead, they worked on situational baseball that’s important to generate runs. The coach said he saw many quality at-bats from his players.

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