Top ranked Johnston advanced to the class 4A semifinals but not before getting a scare from Dubuque Hempstead. Trailing 5-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th, the Mustangs roared back with three runs but the Dragons held on for a 5-3 victory to keep their perfect record intact.
Johnston coach Randy Wee called it an ugly win. While it was not pretty Wee says the Dragons are happy to move on to the semifinals. Johnston scored two runs in the first then added three more in the top of the seventh on an RBI single by Bryan Lippincott and a two RBI hit by Ryan McCauley.
Hempstead roared back in the bottom of the seventh. Relief pitcher Greg Larpenter walked four batters and the Dragons also committed an error. The game ended when Larpenter struck out Andrew Redman looking with the bases loaded. Hempstead finished with three hits and coach Tom Witry says they needed one more to get over the hump.
Witry says the Mustangs settled down after a shaky start and were able to make a game of it. Johnston improves to 38-0. Dubuque Hempstead closes the season with a mark of 26-11.