The Krum Bobcats had an answer for Thursday’s record-breaking cold — the sizzle on Ty Damron’s fastball.
The senior left-hander struck out 17 batters in tossing a no-hitter that led his team to an 11-0 win over Celina in a Class 3A bi-district baseball one-game playoff at Denton High School.
“We’ve never been struck out that many times,” Celina coach James Evans said of Damron’s handiwork. “He was bringing it pretty hard, and he was hitting his spots. He’s good.”
The game, played in bone-chilling conditions — temperatures in the low 40s with a steady wind gusting from the west — was called after six innings due to the run rule.
Krum’s record advanced to 22-5 while Celina ended its season at 15-11-1.
The only things that kept Damron from pitching a perfect game were a strikeout pitch that got away from catcher Josh Reeves (allowing Damron to strike out four hitters in the first inning) and a second-inning walk.
“I focused on the game all day. I didn’t worry about the weather,” Damron said. “The bats came out early and got things rolling. That started giving me confidence and made my job easy.”
It was a season high in strikeouts for Damron (6-2) and a big reason Krum coach Ray Miller flipped the Celina coach — successfully, it turned out — to play a one-game playoff rather than the best-of-three playoff series most coaches prefer.
The fact that Krum’s prom is tonight was another factor, Miller said.
Miller and officials from Ferris, Krum’s next opponent, met late Thursday to set up next week’s game or games.
Damron and Krum right fielder Colten Lucas each had three hits and two runs knocked in to pace a 13-hit attack for the winners. Brennan Ellis chipped in two hits and Reeves added a double to Lucas’ triple.
All but one Krum starter got a hit for an offense that scored the game’s first batter for a quick lead before blowing things open with a four-run fourth inning.
“We hit the ball well throughout the lineup tonight,” Miller said. “We had a good team effort.”
Brendan Styles opened the game for Krum with a walk off Celina starter Tanner Davis, took second on a bunt single by Ellis and scored on Reeves’ RBI grounder.
In Celina’s half of the first, Damron notched three swinging strikeouts. But when the ball got by Reeves and Daniel Gerths beat the throw to first, Damron coolly struck out Landon Lohmann looking for a four-K inning.
While Davis used a controversial double play in the second to face the minimum of six batters in the second and third frames, Krum’s Reeves led off the inning with a double to right-center field.
Zack Hughes singled him home and took third on Damron’s single. Lucas then singled in Hughes. Damron scored on a wild pitch, and Lucas came home on Styles’ one-out single.
Krum made it 7-0 with a three-hit fifth that chased Davis. Lucas tripled in a run, then scored on Jack Patton’s single. Three hits and four runs off reliever Andrew Bielinski in the sixth finished things with Damron’s two-RBI single giving Krum a double-digit lead.
The only Celina at-bats that did not end in a strikeout came when Shane Gerths popped up a bunt attempt in the second and when Reeves threw out Morgan Robinson on a fifth-inning bunt try.