Junior Jordan John threw his first career no-hitter Friday night as the Calallen Wildcats shut out Flour Bluff 10-0 to complete an undefeated district season.
The Wildcat southpaw dominated Flour Bluff, consistently painting the outside corner and crossing up the Hornet hitters with his curveball, racking up 12 strikeouts in six innings work.
"I felt really relaxed," John said. "I had good command of all my pitches tonight, especially my curveball. I was just able to hit my spots and my defense made a lot of good plays."
John allowed only two base runners on two walks late in the game, and he picked off one of those runners to face only one more than the minimum number of hitters.
The only Hornet to hit the ball out of the infield was center fielder James LaNoue when he popped to center in the fourth.
"I thought he did an outstanding job," said Calallen head coach Steve Chapman.
John had a perfect game going until he gave up a two-out walk in the fifth inning to Hornet right fielder Zach Graf.
John said losing the perfect game didn't upset him on the mound.
"One of the things I've been working on is my pitch command and reducing walks because in the end, walks are what have killed me and so if I can reduce the number walks, then things will go better for me," John said.
John, who recorded at least two strikeouts in every inning except the fifth, responded by promptly picking Graf off first base.
"I've always been proud of my pickoff move and every time I get somebody on first, I try and pick them off," John said. "I don't like people getting on base for free. I was very happy to get that guy out and get it going and let our hitters hit."
John walked No. 9 Hornet hitter Justin Brewer with two outs in the top of the sixth inning before striking out leadoff hitter Trevor Brumley to end the inning.
Calallen put the game away with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to win via the 10-run mercy rule. John admitted he wanted to return to the mound in the seventh inning in hopes of recording a seven-inning no hitter.
"It would have been nice to be able to complete seven innings and just finish it out, but as long as we're winning, as long as we're playing good, as long as we're producing runs, as long as we're playing on the level that we know we can play at, then I'm content with the win, I'm content with the 10-0 district season, I'm content at the level that we're playing at heading into the playoffs and I think we have a lot of momentum going for us," John said.
John improved to 8-1 on the season, and dipped his ERA from 2.05 to 1.83. It was also John's seventh shutout of the season and his first career no-hitter.
"Well, I'm very pleased with my season so far being my junior year, but you know there's always room for improvement," John said. "There's always games where I could have played better and I could have produced more for my team, but we can't be sad with a 32-1 record right now.
"I'm just psyched to be on this team this year. We have a good chance of making it to state if we have things go our way in the playoffs."
Calallen will begin the playoffs next week when the Wildcats take on the winner of Gregory-Portland vs. Floresville.
Calallen improved to 32-1 this year, 10-0 in district play. The Wildcats' only defeat was a 6-3 loss to the Moody Trojans March 14 at Whataburger Field.
The Hornets' loss Friday and Robstown's extra inning win in Kingsville eliminated Flour Bluff from the playoffs.
The last time the Wildcats were undefeated in district play was in 2004 and this is the best win-loss record Calallen has ever had entering the playoffs.
"We feel good about it, that's for sure," Chapman said.
John's no-hitter was the second no-no tossed by a Wildcat this year following Dustin Vaughn's no-hitter against Rio Grande City in February.
John's older brother, Jason, threw a no-hitter for Calallen in 2000 and Jason John was in attendance Friday to see his brother accomplish the feat.
Hornet Nico Gomez pitched all 5 2/3 innings for Flour Bluff, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits, including four doubles in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Wildcats were also assisted by four Hornet errors.
"He's a good pitcher, there's no doubt about it," Chapman said of Gomez. "But we got some good hits at the right time."
Calallen got on the board in the bottom of the first after first baseman Skyler Hoelscher lined a single to left center.
Hoelscher quickly stole second base and advanced to third on Hornet catcher Austin Rock's throw that bounced into center field.
Left fielder Kris Guerrero batted next and grounded out to second, bringing in Hoelscher on the fielder's choice-RBI.
Calallen tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third after shortstop Jeramie Marek and designated hitter Roland Resendez walked with two outs.
Catcher Patrick Frazier loaded the bases after his check-swing ground ball to third was muffed by Brewer at third.
Hoelscher then smacked a single, driving in Marek and courtesy runner Dillon Denman to make it 3-0 Calallen.
The Wildcats scored another run in the bottom of the fourth after center fielder Mat Garza belted a stand-up triple over the head of LaNoue in center field.
Second baseman Derek Hagy drove in Garza with a single to right field, making it 4-0 Calallen.
Calallen scored again in the bottom of the fifth inning when right fielder Logan Verrett drove in Denman with a sacrifice fly to left field.
The Wildcats exploded with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning after Chapman brought in five pinch hitters.
Garza began the inning with a double down the right field line.
Pinch hitter Bryden McClure walked and Gomez struck out Denman, bringing up pinch hitter Parker Dorsey.
Dorsey drove in Garza and McClure with a drive to deep left-center, making it 7-0 Calallen.
Pinch hitters Jake Huddleston and Will Reynolds followed Dorsey with doubles of their own, making it 9-0 Calallen.
Huddleston advanced to third on a wild pitch with Guerrero at the plate.
Guerrero then lifted a sacrifice fly to right field, bringing in Reynolds as the game ended due to the 10-run rule.