TYLER — For the second consecutive day, Canton used a big inning at the plate and Eagles pitchers escaped multiple scoring threats, and it all added up to a playoff series sweep.

Canton scored four runs in the third inning, and Johnnie Krawietz pitched 6 2/3 innings of shutout baseball in the Eagles’ 5-0 win over Carthage in Game 2 of their Class 4A Region II area-round series Saturday at Mike Carter Field.

The Eagles (29-3) will face either Pleasant Grove or Bullard in the regional quarterfinals next week.

“I think confidence is everything, and our guys feel good,” said Canton coach Brandon Luce. “I don’t think it really matters who you play. If you get to round three it doesn’t matter. It’s gonna be tough no matter what. We played both of those guys last year, so we know what we’re standing up against. We’re confident and we’re ready to take that on.”

Canton sent nine men to the plate in the four-run third. Krawietz, John Adams, Cade Shaw, and Tyler Massey each had RBIs in the inning, a common theme for the Eagles this season.

“The last couple of weeks and the last two days we’ve been a one-through-nine team,” Luce said. “We haven't had to dominate with a couple of guys hitting. We had three or four hits last night at the bottom of our order, and the four-run inning (today) started with the nine-hole getting on base. We’ve done that all year, we haven’t relied on just a few guys. Sometimes it’s the bottom that gets us rolling and they did this series.”

Krawietz gave up four Carthage (17-10) singles, struck out four and walked three before being pulled with two out in the seventh after reaching 112 pitches.

“Our pitching, which has been there all year long with Simon Miller and today with Johnnie Krawietz, they have dominated strike zones and been able to get a lot of hitters out,” Luce said. “Today and last night Carthage put the ball in play as well as anyone has put the ball in play against those two, and our defense was just outstanding.”

Carthage threatened in each of the game’s first five innings, but ended up stranding nine baserunners on the day. The last eight Bulldogs hitters were retired in order.

“He’s one sometimes who’ll kinda fine-tune some things, and sometimes that can get us in a little bit of trouble,” Luce said of Krawietz. “But when runners are on base that’s when our guys have been their best, and Johnnie showed that today. We’ll give up some baserunners every now and then, but the thing is our defense and our pitching buckles down.”

Miller led Canton at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.

“I’m very pleased with the way we’ve come out and played just the last couple of weeks,” Luce said. “We started out hot during the year, and we struggled a little bit in the latter part of district, kinda hit a funk. But the last two weeks we’ve played just really solid.”

Canton 5, Carthage 0

Class 4A Region II Area Playoff Series
Game 2, Mike Carter Field, Tyler

Carthage         000    000    0    —    0    4    1
Canton            004    010    x    —    5    8    1

Pitchers and catchers

  • Carthage: Jackson Blissett, Austin Glaze (3) and Gunner Capps, Si Schumacher (3).
  • Canton: Johnnie Krawietz, Cade Shaw (7) and McGwire Martin.

WP — Krawietz.
LP — Blissett.

Doubles

  • Canton: Simon Miller, Blayne Clower.