THE COLONY — The trouble for Krum seemed harmless enough in the first inning of Friday night’s playoff game against Ferris.
Ferris couldn’t get the ball out of the infield, but that didn’t stop the Yellowjackets from taking a two-run lead over the Bobcats. But as Game 1 of the best-of-three Class 3A area series continued, the trouble quickly mounted for the District 9-3A runner-up.
Ferris’ offense capitalized on five Krum errors as the Yellowjackets came up with an 11-0 victory in five innings over Krum to take the lead in the series.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” Krum head coach Ray Miller said. “We did not play well at all. We had five errors, and we just didn’t play well defensively.”
If Ferris can win Game 2 at 2 p.m. today at The Colony, the Yellowjackets (23-6) will knock Krum (15-16-2) out of the playoffs and avenge last year’s postseason defeat to the Bobcats in the same round.
In the top of the first inning, Ferris wasn’t hitting Krum starting pitcher Colten Lucas hard, but a couple of infield singles and a couple of errors put the Yellowjackets ahead 2-0. Lucas tossed 56 pitches in two innings of work before he was relieved by junior Michael Tanttari.
Tantarri got one out in the top of the third inning before he was relieved by sophomore Colten Graham. The Yellowjackets scored six runs in the third inning, which was plenty for Ferris senior starter Evan Pontley.
Pontley, who has signed with Navarro College and who Miller said is one of the hardest-throwing pitchers his team has seen this season, came into the contest with a 0.77 ERA in 45 1/3 innings. He struck out four batters and only threw 73 pitches.
Ferris head coach Matt Wolfe said he was pleased with the way Pontley efficiently worked all five innings of the contest.
“He’s been a guy all year that’s been consistent in keeping the pitch count down, just like tonight and last week,” Wolfe said. “He was able to keep his pitch count down. We are able to bring him back [today], so that’s good.”
At the plate, Pontley went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs. Graham went 1-for-1 with a walk and a double for the Bobcats. Sophomore shortstop Colton Knierim and junior left fielder Riley Marshall had the only other hits for Krum.
Miller said his team needs a strong start in Game 2 in order to force a deciding game that is scheduled for 5 p.m. today. Wolfe said he warned his squad on what to expect in today’s contest.
“I know that’s not Krum,” Wolfe said of the Bobcats’ Game 1 performance. “That’s not the Krum that I know. Coach Miller will have them ready to go [today], I promise you that.”
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Ferris 11, Krum 0 (5)
WP — Evan Pontley (5-4). LP — Colten Lucas (5-7). 2B — F: Pontley. K: Colten Graham. Records — Ferris 23-6, Krum 15-16-2.