Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Baseball playoffs: Surprise starter throws no-hitter for Frisco Liberty; Martin forces Game 3
Frisco Liberty coach Scott McGarrh wouldn’t have pitched senior right-hander Josh Ryan if his team hadn’t been pushed to the brink of elimination with a Game 1 loss.
Normally the team’s closer, Ryan came through in the clutch, pitching Liberty’s first playoff no-hitter in a 3-0 win over Mesquite Poteet to force Game 3 in the best-of-3 Class 4A Region II bi-district series.
Ryan struck out 10, but survived eight walks.
“I settled in after the second inning after giving up those walks and cruised from there,” Ryan said.
Ryan — 7-2 with six saves and a 0.67 ERA coming into the game — had made only two starts during district play.
“He was so valuable, knowing that I could give him the ball for the last three outs or the last eight outs,” McGarrh said. “If our starters came out and went four innings, Josh could come in and close it out.”
Liberty (27-7), the District 9-4A champion, scored its first two runs in the second inning, on a two-run double by leadoff hitter Austin Miller. Miller finished 3-for-4 with a double and a triple.
Poteet (13-16) had six runners on base in the final four innings but couldn’t get contact against Ryan — with nine of his 10 strikeouts coming after the third inning.
In other first-round playoff games:
Arlington Martin 3, Keller 0: Arlington Martin senior pitcher Turner Larkins, who has keyed runs to the state tournament the last two seasons, kept alive hopes for a third with a victory in Game 2 that tied the best-of-3 series and forced Game 3 on Saturday.
With more than a dozen pro scouts looking on, Larkins was hitting 90-91 mph on radar guns. Martin turned three double plays, and center fielder Josh Watson chased down a line drive to right center and held on for the third out despite colliding with the right fielder.
Larkins got the final out with his ninth strikeout, but he also walked eight and hit a batter. The Texas A&M signee was hitting high velocity even as he threw 134 pitches.
Martin took a 2-0 lead in the top off the third. Trip White led off with a single, and Watson got a double that was lost in the lights. Daniel Lingua and Larkins added run-scoring singles.
Larkins had the bases loaded in the first inning but got out of the inning with back-to-back strikeouts, the first on a 91-mph fastball and the second on a knee-buckling, 76-mph curve. He was still hitting 90 mph and struck out the side in the fifth.
He walked the bases loaded in the sixth but got a strikeout and double play and didn’t allow a run.
Larkins helped build a 3-0 lead with a hard-hit double in the sixth. Colton Hoisager added an RBI single.
Allen 17, Richardson Pearce 4: Hayden Hans was 4-for-5 with four runs and three RBIs, and Allen scored the game’s final 14 runs and tied the best-of-3 series at one win each. Star quarterback Kyler Murray homered, scored three runs and had three RBIs for Allen, which was shut out a day earlier.
Euless Trinity 3, Flower Mound Marcus 1: Preston Inman and Drew Johnson combined on a four-hitter as Trinity beat the area’s second-ranked 5A team and tied the best-of-3 series at one win apiece. Trinity broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Flower Mound 1, Hurst L.D. Bell 0: Sean Wymer scored on a bunt by Noah Hill in the top of the seventh as Flower Mound won and forced a Game 3 in the best-of-3 series. West Virginia signee Seth Jordan pitched a two-hit shutout and struck out seven for Flower Mound.
Jesuit 2, Plano East 0: Chris Muller threw a six-hit shutout with six strikeouts as Jesuit evened the best-of-3 series at one win each. Darius Hill homered for Jesuit.
Plano 7, Richardson Berkner 3: Michael Davis had two RBIs, and Ryan Robertson was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI as Plano swept Berkner.
Rockwall-Heath 10, Garland 0: Tyler Ivey threw a two-hit shutout as Rockwall-Heath (27-6) swept the series and ended Garland’s first trip to the playoffs since 1972. R.J. Williams doubled, tripled and had two RBIs for Rockwall-Heath, the state’s fifth-ranked 5A team.
W.T. White 4, McKinney Boyd 3: Jake McKenzie pitched a complete game and scored two runs as W.T. White tied the series at one win each.
Richland 10, Arlington 0: Brandon Maine and Ryan Ward combined on a five-inning no-hitter as Richland tied the best-of-3 series at one win apiece. Maine pitched 42/3 innings and struck out nine, and he also had three RBIs.
Highland Park 5, Frisco Wakeland 2: Jon Skidmore homered and had three RBIs as Highland Park forced a Game 3.
Frisco 9, Carrollton Creekview 2: Mike Stephens homered as Frisco swept the series.