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Johnson City baseball sweeps Iola to face Burton in 3rd round

The Johnson City High School baseball team beat Iola 2-0 May 13 and 10-0 May 12 in the area round of the playoffs to advance to the Class 2A regional quarterfinals.

The Eagles (20-6, 12-0 District 28-2A champions) will meet Burton at Liberty Hill High School. Game one is at 6. p.m. Friday, May 19, and game two is at noon Saturday, May 20. Game three, if necessary, will follow after game two.

A night after run-ruling the Bulldogs 10-0, the Eagles returned determined to end the series in two games.

They scored in the second inning and in the sixth inning thanks to 2 RBIs by Haden Fox.

“We told them after we won game two that from here on out, teams are going to get better,” head coach Steven Shipley said. “Hitters and batters will be better. We’ll have to start playing better.”

Sophomore pitcher Johnny Slawinski showed he needed only a two-run cushion. He struck out 14 in seven innings.

“Johnny did well,” Shipley said. “Johnny gave up one hit the whole game.”

A day earlier, junior pitcher Jacob McCray was on the mound and had five strikeouts in five innings.

Meanwhile, Johnson City scored seven runs in the first inning, one in the fourth and two in the fifth led by Slawinski’s 2 RBIs followed by an RBI by Fox and Ryan Shipley. Iola committed five errors during the contest.

The coach noted Iola hit into routine plays that included pop-ups and groundouts.

“When you score seven runs in the first inning, you can throw more strikes,” he said. “He was relaxed throwing and getting outs.”

Shipley added that the goal for the Johnson City pitchers is to get five strikeouts per contest and trust the defense to get routine outs.

“We want to play defense and play offense,” he said. “We’re not going to put too much on a pitcher. We want them to get five strikeouts and allow less than seven hits. It’s more about keeping them off the bases. There are times where the situation calls for us to get strikeouts.”

He commended the Eagles defense for getting 12 outs in game one and not relaxing once they built a sizable lead. Then in the second game, when Slawinski was in command of the strike zone, the Eagles continued to play well and got the remaining seven outs to end the series.

“We got 19 outs without an error,” Shipley said.

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