FRIENDSWOOD — Pinch-hitter Hunter Kirkland’s two-run homer over the left-field wall in the bottom of the seventh inning gave the Mustangs a walk-off 2-0 win over Ball High in the season finale Tuesday night and a second seed in the playoffs from District 24-4A.
Kirkland’s last-inning heroics put the exclamation point on a dominating performance by Mustang pitchers Lael Lockhart and Ryan Shetter. The pair accomplished a rare feat — combining to toss a no-hitter. They totaled 14 strikeouts and two walks.
Lockhart got the start and lasted 4 2⁄3 innings, giving up two walks and striking out eight.
Shetter earned the win in 2 1⁄3 innings of relief, striking out six of the seven batters he faced.
Ball High’s David Hernandez was robbed of an extra-base hit in the fourth inning thanks to a spectacular catch by Friendswood left fielder Bryan Fowler that kept the no-hit bid intact.
In the fifth inning, the Tors had their best chance to score. With two outs and Parker Prets at third and Simeon Williams on second base, Mustang coach Charlie Taylor decided to bring in hard-throwing Shetter to face Brandon Enriquez.
Shetter got Enriquez out swinging to end the threat.
The Mustangs had several opportunities to score before the final frame. In the first, second and sixth innings, Ball High starter Jake Simon got out of jams, stranding a total four Friendswood runners in scoring position.
Simon pitched a standout game, going all 6 1/3 innings. His 104th pitch was the throw Kirkland got a hold of. Simon gave up two runs on eight hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts.
With the win, Friendswood (10-4) finished in second place in District 24-4A, thanks to a Santa Fe (9-5) loss to district champion Goose Creek Memorial, 4-1, that dropped the Indians into third place.
With the loss, Galveston Ball (8-6) is forced to play Pearland Dawson (8-6) in a play-in game for the fourth and final playoff berth from 24-4A.
Assistant News Editor Jim Levesque contributed to this report.