YUKON — Jono Johnson desperately wanted to finish the game. Getting a championship game rematch with a rival was just more important.
Johnson believed that as Dale coach Eddie Jeffcoat walked toward the mound with the bases loaded in the seventh. The game was still out of reach for Fort Cobb-Broxton, but there was no way Jeffcoat would risk otherwise.
Jeffcoat turned to Ike Shirey, who in turn shut the door for a No. 3 Dale’s 8-4 victory over No. 4 Fort Cobb-Broxton Friday afternoon in the Class A state semifinals at Yukon High School. Johnson’s big performance was preserved and the Pirates have the rematch they coveted.
The Pirates (31-3) will face No. 1 Silo at 12:05 p.m. Saturday in Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. It’s rematch of spring’s Class 2A state title game, which Silo won for a third straight time over Dale. Silo is aiming for a fourth straight title, including both fall and spring.
“This is what we look forward to,” Johnson said. “It’s what we work for all season to go out there and have a chance to win the state championship.”
But to get a rematch, Johnson first had to deliver after the Pirates jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first and continued to build from there with at least a run in all but two innings.
The big right-hander who is committed to Southern Nazarene pitched 6⅓ innings. He allowed all four runs and struck out four.
“I pitched OK,” Johnson said. “I could have done better, but when you have a defense behind me like I have you got nothing to worry about.”