PLANO — The noonday sun couldn’t outshine the Krum Bobcats on Saturday.
In fact, third baseman Zack Hughes was seeing the ball so clearly, he had one of his best hitting performances of the season in leading Krum to a Region II Class 3A area-round championship at John Paul II High School.
Hughes went 2-for-3 with a triple and a double and knocked in three of his team’s runs in a 4-3 victory that finished off a two-game series sweep of District 11-3A champion Ferris.
It also gave Krum’s Ray Miller his 1,100th career coaching win.
“Our first four batters have gotten on base really well for us, but lately I haven’t been able to come through,” said Hughes, who bats fifth for the Bobcats.
“Today, I was able to see the ball a lot better, and I was able to do what I could to help the team. It’s nice to come through.”
Krum, now 24-5 and facing Princeton in the next playoff round, scored two runs in the first and one each in the second and third to take command early.
Josh Reeves, Krum’s “other” pitcher behind Texas Tech signee Ty Damron, took a one-hitter into the sixth inning where he hit a two-out rough patch.
Back-to-back hit batsmen led to back-to-back run-scoring hits for the Yellowjackets and suddenly Krum’s 4-0 lead was 4-3.
Colten Lucas, who moved from left field to shortstop on Saturday to fill in for Brennan Styles, who was behind home plate because Reeves, the regular catcher, was on the mound, threw out Ferris’ Jr. Gutierrez to end that rally.
Reeves, who struck out four while allowing four hits and walking one, retired the Yellowjackets in order in the final inning.
“Their guy [Reeves] had good control and kept us off balance,” Ferris coach Matt Wolfe said, his team’s season over at 19-11. “We really struggled early. Then we finally started hitting the ball.”
Brendan Styles went 3-for-4 and sparked the eight-hit Krum attack with a game-opening single off Yellowjacket pitcher Evan Pontley.
With two outs, Reeves walked and Hughes made it 2-0 with his triple to left.
En route to a second two-hit outing against Ferris, Lucas tripled to lead off the second and scored on Trey Johnson’s RBI grounder.
Krum’s early lead might have been more, but Styles and Brennan Ellis were thrown out on back-to-back at-bats trying to stretch singles into doubles. The first ended the Bobcats’ second inning. The latter caused Krum to start the third with a quick out.
Hughes’ double to center field turned Justin Graham’s one-out walk into a 4-0 Krum lead with two gone in the third.
“We had a handful of big hits today and Zack Hughes had two of them,” Miller said. “He needed a breakout game today, and he had some good at-bats.”
Miller is in his 28th year coaching but has coached 44 baseball seasons, thanks to spending all but six years of his career in Oklahoma. There, schools too small for football programs can play both spring and fall baseball.
Princeton advanced Saturday with an 11-inning 7-6 win over Bridgeport, which won the District 9-3A title over Krum. Krum and Bridgeport each went 1-1 against the other in league play.
Krum 4, Ferris 3
WP — Josh Reeves. LP — Evan Pontley. 3B — K: Zack Hughes, Colten Lucas. 2B — K: Hughes.
Krum 4, Ferris 1
WP — Ty Damron. LP — Lorenzo Garcia. 2B — F: Nate Duran, Ferris; K: Colten Lucas.