THE COLONY — Krum coach Ray Miller knew his team needed a strong start Saturday afternoon if it wanted to extend its season into the evening.
But in Game 2 of a Class 3A area series against Ferris, the Bobcats were haunted by the same mistakes that cost them in Game 1. Krum was unable to overcome early errors, and Ferris clinched the series with a 4-1 win at the The Colony.
Ferris swept the best-of-three series and knocked Krum out of the playoffs, returning the favor the Bobcats paid the Yellowjackets in the same round in 2013.
Krum committed five errors in Friday’s 11-1 five-inning loss in Game 1 and another four errors in Game 2. The Bobcats also left eight runners on base Saturday, a formula that equaled the end of Krum’s season.
“We just couldn’t overcome our defensive mistakes,” Miller said. “When you have that many errors, you have to score a lot of runs to overcome it, and we didn’t do that. We had some opportunities, but we didn’t come through with the clutch hit.”
The third-place finishers in District 9-3A were knocked out of the playoffs one round shy of matching last season’s postseason run.
Krum senior center fielder Brennan Ellis went 2-for-3 with an RBI double that scored Krum’s only run.
Ellis’ double came in the fifth and cut Ferris’ lead to 4-1. The shot into the left-center gap was Krum’s third straight hit, and the Bobcats had runners on second and third with no outs.
But Ferris senior Lorenzo Garcia (4-0) recovered to pick up back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout to leave the runners stranded in scoring position — a theme that was constant Saturday.
Krum (15-7-2) also had the bases loaded in the third but couldn’t capitalize.
“It’s definitely frustrating to not score those guys in scoring position and not be able to bring them around,” Ellis said. “It just wasn’t our weekend. Last weekend we hit a lot better.”
Garcia struck out 10 batters in five innings before senior Evan Pontley came on for the save in the seventh. Pontley, a Navarro College signee who pitched all five innings Friday, retired the three batters he faced.
At the plate, Pontley went 2-for-3 with a double and an intentional walk.
The Yellowjackets (24-6) scored two runs in the first inning off Krum sophomore starter Colton Knierim. Two errors in the second and two in the fourth allowed the Yellowjackets to plate a run in each inning.
In the fourth, Pontley hit a stinging line drive back toward Knierim. The ball hit Knierim’s thigh and forearm as the crowd sympathetically groaned. After a small gathering at the mound, Knierim (3-1) was relieved by junior Justan Bailey, who finished the contest.
Ferris coach Matt Wolfe said last year’s playoff loss to Krum stayed out of the conversation in the week leading up to the series.
“We didn’t talk about revenge or anything like that,” Wolfe said. “We just knew we were going to be up against a good baseball club.”
Wolfe’s squad was facing a much different team this time around — a team with only two starting seniors and two more starters who have been ineligible the last three weeks because of grades.
It was the final game for the four seniors listed on Krum’s roster, including Ellis, a three-sport athlete who played his final game in a Krum uniform.
“It definitely hit me,” Ellis said. “Last year was a lot more emotional for me because I played with a lot of the seniors from last year. This year, we weren’t as talented and we had two seniors leading this group. Next year there will be a lot more seniors.”
Ferris 4, Krum 1
WP — Lorenzo Garcia (4-0). LP — Colton Knierim (3-1). S — Evan Pontley (4). 2B — K: Brennan Ellis. F: Pontley. Records — Krum (15-15-2), Ferris (24-6).