Hixson High School baseball coach Colton Green knows there are not many who can touch his pitching ace.
Literally none could Monday night as Jack Julian threw a six-inning perfect game on just 73 pitches to lead a 10-0 District 6-AA win over Red Bank at John Plumlee Stadium.
"This is not the first time we have seen Jack pitch like this," Green said after watching Julian throw first-pitch strikes to all but one of the 18 batters he faced. "On opening day he would have had a perfect game in seven innings if not for an error. When he is on the mound our guys have a strong belief he is going to throw up zeros."
Julian, a Middle Tennessee State baseball signee, flashed power with a blazing two-seam fastball reaching 90-92 mph on the radar gun in the early innings. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior mixed the high heat with a sharp slider and curveball in sending the last 14 batters walking back to the dugout after strikeouts.
Designated hitter Trevor Moore drove in the game-ending three runs with a towering drive to right center that neither outfielder could come up with.
Julian's perfect game included 15 strikeouts, just three shy of his career high. His other three outs were on ground balls. He's hoping to bring a fourth consecutive district championships to Hixson (11-5, 3-1).
"Myself along with our other two seniors, Landon (Wallace) and Alex (Rollins), are definitely trying to leave everything we have on the field," Julian said. "We want the younger guys to learn from us. We love to win and want to make this season the most memorable yet."
Red Bank (6-4, 6-1) entered unbeaten in league competition but had no answer for the masterful righty.
Meanwhile, sophomore leadoff hitter Manny Velazquez began Hixson's nine-hit attack with a sharp single up the middle in the first inning and soon after raced around the bases on a stolen base, a passed ball and an error.
Wallace called a strong game behind the dish and tripled in a second run in the first with an opposite-field drive over the right fielder's head. Rollins ripped an RBI single to left in the second, and a quick five-run lead was more than enough for Julian to work with.
Lions multisport standout Madox Wilkey finished with seven strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings but struggled at commanding the strike zone in the loss.
Hixson batters reached base 19 times, and three hits went for extra bases.
"My favorite thing about this group is our guys come to work every day," Green said. "Just because we have won the district title three years in a row and four of the last five, you have to earn it. We want to get the job done and get to state this year."
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