Flower Mound, Marcus add another chapter to rivalry with 14-inning thriller
FLOWER MOUND — The District 6-6A baseball series between rivals Flower Mound and Marcus — two of the state’s top five teams entering the season — essentially turned into a three-game series Tuesday night at The Mound.
In a contest that featured dominant pitching, both stellar and poor defense and multiple coaches being ejected, the Jaguars topped the Marauders, 3-2, in 14 innings after Skyler Cox delivered a walk-off win on a squeeze play with the bases loaded and one out.
The game was a rematch of last year’s Class 5A Region I Final in which Flower Mound defeated Marcus on its way to the state title.
“I’ve been in a couple that have gone somewhere around [14 innings], but it’s been a long while,” said Danny Wallace, Flower Mound head coach.
Flower Mound jumped out early with RBI singles in the bottom of first inning from Sean Wymer and Casey Jacobsen before Marcus drew even in the top of the second courtesy of a two-run homer to left field from Jimmy Glowenke.
But the pitching dual many anticipated materialized from there, with starters Jack Cushing (Marcus) and Wymer, and later Marcus reliever Ryan Dobson and Flower Mound relievers Caleb Kilian and Thomas Lauer matching zeros all the way until the 14th inning.
The teams combined for just 15 hits on the night and struggled to put runners in scoring position consistently.
Wymer (eight innings, four hits, two runs and nine strikeouts) retired 12 consecutive batters at one point before surrendering a runner in the top seventh. But that potential rally ended with Flower Mound catcher Nick Thornquist gunning down a base-stealer at second.
Cushing, meanwhile, worked around situations with runners on and less than two outs in both the sixth and seventh innings before setting down the Jaguars in order in the eighth and giving way to Dobson.
The former’s final line included 12 strikeouts and six hits allowed, with the latter retiring the first seven batters he faced en route to five straight scoreless frames.
Dobson notched a strikeout to strand a runner at third in bottom of the 11th, consecutive strikeouts to work around a two-on and one-out pickle in the 12th and induced an inning-ending double play on a liner to shortstop with a man at second and one out in the 13th.
“The pitchers were amazing,” Wallace said. “And I think both teams got a little tight when they got chances. They didn’t produce. You start to feel the panic kick in a little bit and I think kids at the plate were probably just trying a little too hard.”
The Marauders had their best chance in the top of the eighth when Matt Bernstein stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and two outs, but Wymer maneuvered out of that situation when he snared a rocket up the middle for the third out.
Bernstein was nearly the hero again in the top of the 13th, but his deep fly to left with two outs and two on only reached the warning track to the chagrin of the Marcus fans still in attendance. Previously, the Marauders had a chance to advance the winning run to third, but were unable to get a sacrifice bunt down, instead popping out.
In the 14th inning, Marcus placed the go-ahead run at third base with one out, but Lauer picked up a strikeout and a grounder to short to maintain the 2-2 tie.
Flower Mound had its issues sacrificing runners as well, but came through in a key bunt situation for the winning run.
After Parker Scott drew a leadoff walk and moved to second following a wild sacrifice sequence that included an error and a runner caught rounding first base too far, Chad Paris reached on a fielder’s choice on a bunt. An intentional walk to Wymer then brought Cox to the plate with the bases loaded and the junior did what the Jaguars did on multiple occasions in last year’s state-title run: execute a squeeze.
Flower Mound improves to 4-0 in district with the win, while Marcus drops to 2-1.
“It’s just a win,” Wallace said. “It’s a ‘W’ in the column and there are a whole lot more to go.”
Flower Mound continues in district at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lewisville. Marcus welcomes Plano West at the same day and time.
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Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 1:35 am