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Johnson City baseball beats Kenedy to take a 1-0 series lead

The Johnson City High School baseball team defeated Kenedy 4-1 in game one of the Class 2A Region IV quarterfinal series May 25.

Game two of the best-of-three series is at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at the University of Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway in San Antonio. Game three, if necessary, will happen 30 minutes after the second game ends.

“They walked us quite a bit,” head coach Steven Shipley said. “We got some big hits.”

Sophomore Johnny Slawinski hit a RBI triple to help the Eagles build a 3-1 advantage.

In the sixth inning, Joshua McKennis hit a solo home run to put the game out of reach.

“That was as big of a hit as I’ve ever seen,” Shipley said. “He sent one flying. It relaxed us, and it took the edge off. It was huge for Josh to hit the ball like that. It’s his second homer of the year. It’s an exciting play. We needed it. Before Joshua hit that, we weren’t comfortable.”

Junior pitcher McCray Jacobs allowed one run off bunt, four hits and struck out seven in seven innings.

“McCray did an amazing job,” the coach said. “The umpire wasn’t giving us much off the plate. McCray battled through two innings. He hit a groove in the third inning and threw no more than 10 pitches an inning. He got pop-ups. He allowed a total of five base runners all game — that’s dominant.”

Jacobs also got some great defensive help including a double that he started by throwing to third baseman Hayden Fox, who threw to first baseman Grant Gale.

“He got out of that jam early,” Shipley said. “That’s a testament to a group of guys, who’ve taken on leadership roles. Having high baseball IQs are huge. We practice ground balls to pitchers. McCray was instinctive. Sometimes as a coach, I worry about them wanting to make too many plays. Our guys love to make the big play. We try to make them think during practices and practice scenarios. We’ll practice the most obscure play to make them think, just in case.”

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