Johnston is back in the 4A state championship game after taking down two-time defending state champion Urbandale 3-1 in its semifinal matchup before a socially distanced crowd of 1,710 at Principal Park.
In a rematch of the 2019 4A championship, Dragon pitcher Jacob Draeger was clicking. The senior tossed four shutout innings, striking out nine and allowing just three hits. Ben Wilmes took over from there and allowed Urbandale’s lone run, but he struck out five in his three innings.
Johnston scored the game’s first two runs in the bottom of the first. Caden Steck knocked a triple into right field, scoring Wilmes for the game’s first run. Moments later, an error would score Steck.
The Dragons added one more run in the fifth. Gabe Swansen connected on a double to right field, scoring Wilmes again.
Urbandale scored its first run in the following inning off an RBI single by Gehrig Christensen, but the Johnston defense held strong to close out the game.
Steck finished with a team-high two hits for Johnston. Kaiden Dinh, Wilmes, and Swansen also added hits of their own.
For Johnston, it will face Ankeny in the 4A championship on Saturday. The Dragons and Hawks clashed earlier this year on June 29. Ankeny won the first contest 5-4 and Johnston won the second 5-0.