MONROE – Michael Johnson’s stolen base and an ensuing throwing error by Kinder catcher Bryce Baker produced the game’s only run in Evangel’s 1-0 victory against Kinder in the Class 2A state baseball semifinals Friday morning at Warhawk Field.
Johnson entered the game as a pinch runner after John-Michael Boswell’s fifth-inning single. After nearly getting doubled off first base on a line drive to right field, Johnson broke for second base two pitches later.
Baker’s throw short-hopped the bag, and when center fielder Marshall Harmon couldn’t handle the errant throw, Johnson sprinted home with the run Evangel (23-12) needed to seal a berth in Saturday’s 1 p.m. state title game.
“I got a good jump, and I saw (Harmon) miss the ball, so I said, ‘Hey, I better be running,'” Johnson said.
Evangel advances to face the winner of the other 2A semifinal between University and top-seeded Calvary, the defending Class 2A champion.
Brooks Bryan earned his second straight playoff win, working the final 2 2-3 innings to complete the combined three-hit shutout.
Kinder’s Zach Rider took the loss, despite allowing no earned runs in a six-inning complete game.