After cutting Krum’s lead in half in the top of the sixth inning, the Bridgeport Bulls appeared set to push across the tying runs with runners at second and third and one out.
But Krum pitcher Mason Lucas got Bridgeport’s Mason Baker to pop up his squeeze bunt back to the mound. Lucas snared it and fired the ball back to third for an inning-ending double play that secured the Bobcats’ 4-2 victory Friday in the 9-3A tiebreaker for the league’s third seed.
“We had the guy from second also going but we couldn’t execute the squeeze,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “Your seven, eight and nine hitters have got to be able to bunt.”
With the win, Krum earned the league’s third playoff seed. The Bulls fell to the fourth seed with their second loss in two days and will open the Class 3A playoffs with a bi-district series against fourth-ranked Argyle at Northwest High School.
The series begins at 7 p.m. Thursday. Game two is at 7 p.m. Friday. The third game, if necessary, will be at 2 p.m. Saturday.
“We’ve played them before and know what they are about,” Leps said. “We’ll have to play our best game ever to beat them.”
After being shutout Thursday, the Bulls’ offense couldn’t get going against Krum starter Colton Knierim, managing just two hits over five innings. In the sixth, Bridgeport’s Alex Samples and Daniel Garcia worked walks to start the inning. Jared Huff then plated both of them with a double to left.
After failing to tie the game in the top of the sixth, the Bulls got two on in the seventh with a pair of singles by Travis Fuentes and Erik Delgadillo. But Lucas got a strikeout and infield fly to end the game.
James Gray took the loss for the Bulls, allowing four runs – one earned – on three hits in three innings. Two of the runs off Gray were set up by back-to-back doubles to start the second.
Huff took over in the bottom of the fourth and worked three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out two.
“We kept it close,” Leps said. “That’s what we ask of our pitchers.”