Written by Matt Wixon
Flower Mound's Kyle Johnston throws 5-inning no-hitter in 11-0 5A Region I final win
McKINNEY — Flower Mound pitcher Kyle Johnston always has the velocity. But when the senior snapped off his first curveball Friday night, and it dropped in for a strike, his coaches knew it was going to be a low-scoring game.
At least for the opponent, Flower Mound Marcus.
Johnston threw a five-inning no-hitter and his teammates banged out 11 hits as Flower Mound beat Marcus 11-0 in a game shortened by the 10-run rule. Game 2 of the best-of-3 series, which will send the winner to the Class 5A state semifinals, will be noon Saturday at McKinney Boyd.
“I was really focused on getting that first-inning zero,” said Johnston, a Texas signee who struck out eight of the 16 batters he faced. “Just to get things rolling.”
Johnston didn’t allow a base runner until a walk in the fifth inning at Boyd’s stadium, which was overflowing with fans for the matchup of neighbors. The fans watched a scoreless game until Flower Mound (31-11) busted it open in the bottom of the third with eight runs on eight hits, a walk and two errors by Marcus (32-9).
Marcus pitcher Ethan Nichols, the winner in the Marauders’ deciding Game 3 victory over Midland last week, was out after one batter in the fourth. The junior has typically been Marcus’ No. 3 pitcher, so the Marauders will have their top two pitchers for two potential games Saturday.
Flower Mound’s deep pitching staff, along with solid defense, has been its strength most of the season. But on Friday, the Jaguars’ hitting rivaled Johnston’s excellence on the mound.
“These players have grown up wanting to play in the state tournament,” Wallace said. “I told them they can wake up tomorrow knowing that they only need to win one game to do it.”