Baseball High School 

Bulldogs come from behind to remain unbeaten in district play

The Burnet High School baseball team was one out away from earning a one-run win against Georgetown Gateway on March 15.

But the Gators scored four runs with two outs to take a 4-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh, and Burnet (5-4-1, 2-0 District 19-4A) was down its final three outs.

“(My players) were down a little bit,” Burnet head coach Russell Houston said. “You have to stay positive with them. It’s one pitch at a time, one bat at a time. You tell them ‘let’s get the lead-off runner on and see what happens.’ And you tell them to get the bat to the next batter.”

Houston elected to pinch hit Boden Savage at No. 9 in the lineup who drew a walk. That brought the top of the order to the plate. Lead-off hitter Jackson Crawford also walked. Will Johnson got on base with a hit up the middle to load the bases for Dash Denton.

Denton hit a two-run shot to trim the deficit to 4-3. A wild pitch allowed Tanner O’Hair to tie the game. And Ralston Vance hit the game-winning RBI on a grounder up the middle.

Houston said he’s never bored coaching the Bulldogs.

“That’s exactly what I told them,” he said with a grin. “‘Y’all love to make things interesting.’ To win 1-0 is pretty difficult to do to begin with. Not only did we give up the runs, we came back.”

The coach noted the deficit could have been worse. The Gators loaded the bases with no outs, but the Bulldogs recorded two outs to keep them from scoring.

“That was big for us,” he said.

Pitcher Ian Cantrell was credited the win thanks to pitching 1/3 inning and forcing an out to center field. Pitcher Clayton Zinz threw 6 2/3 innings for the Bulldogs and struck out six.

“Clayton pitched a great game,” Houston said. “The great thing about Clayton is he doesn’t care as long as the Bulldogs win — that’s all that matters. He was happy and excited we won.”

Houston’s team has athletes who played on the varsity in 2021, and that squad wouldn’t have found a way to come back for the victory, he said.

“This team has really grown up,” he said of the 2022 version. “The players have started to grow up and believe in each other, they trust each other more and believe in themselves.”

Burnet welcomes Salado at 7 p.m. Friday, March 18, to Bulldog Diamonds, 1000 The Green Mile, in a district contest.

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