SAN ANTONIO -- The Johnson City baseball team will have to pick up one more win in San Antonio if the Eagles want to make it to Round Rock.
Cuatro Rankin scored two times and had three RBIs on Friday, and Shiner took advantage of the Johnson City pitching staff's wild night for a 11-4 victory . Shiner evened the Class A, Region IV championship series with the win, and the teams will play today for the right to advance to next week's Class A state baseball tournament at Dell Diamond .
"We're confident," said Johnson City senior Cody Smith, whose team won a third game in its area playoff series against Benavides. "We've been in this situation before and we had no problem coming out with more intensity and bringing it to them."
A day after Laramie Blackwell limited Shiner to one hit in Johnson City's 9-3 victory, the Comanches roughed up the best pitcher on Johnson City's roster.
Dylan Carter entered Friday's game with seven wins and only one loss -- to Class 3A Brownwood. He retired the first three batters he faced before control issues began to haunt him. A wild pitch by Carter in the second inning brought in Shiner's first run, and the Comanches took a 2-1 lead in the third, when Shiner third baseman Coy Boedeker drew a bases-loaded walk.
Shiner went into the bottom of the fourth inning with a 4-1 lead, and the Comanches blew past Johnson City with a six-run inning that included 11 batters, a pitching change, two run-scoring wild pitches, three hits and three Johnson City errors.
"If we could have got it going (offensively) early, I don't think that inning would have come," said Johnson City coach Randy Rutherford, whose team committed five errors and threw four run-scoring wild pitches on Friday.
Johnson City (30-6) and Shiner (28-9) will return to Blossom Athletic Center today for the final game of their best-of-three series. Smith, who has an 7-1 record this season, will pitch for Johnson City.
Rutherford said Blackwell -- as well as freshman Garrett Deleon and senior Luke Neely -- also will be available.
UIL Regional Finals - CLASS A
Johnson City vs. Shiner:
Game 1, Johnson City 9, Shiner 3;
Game 2, Shiner 11, Johnson City 4;
Game 3, 4 p.m. today (Blossom Athletic Center, San Antonio)