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Bulldogs split games against Jarrell, take the series

The Burnet High School baseball team split the two games with Jarrell, which were played March 29 and April 1.

The Bulldogs (7-7-1, 4-3 District 19-4A) beat the Cougars (6-8-2, 2-5) 16-6 on March 29 but lost 2-1 on a walk-off sacrifice in the seventh inning April 1. Burnet had previously beaten Jarrell 2-1 March 8.

Unlike other sports where athletes can settle into a groove and rhythm, it’s not unusual for baseball teams to pound out multiple runs in an inning and not score much the rest of the game.

“It’s one of the difficult things to go through,” head coach Russell Houston said. “It’s the beautiful part of baseball. If we have success early swinging the bats, it’s contagious. That’s what happened (March 29).”

During that contest that ended after six innings, the Bulldogs generated 13 hits and took advantage of six Jarrell errors to score in every inning except the fifth. Both teams matched each other run for run to begin the game. After the Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the first, the Bulldogs put four runs on the board in their half of the inning. Then Jarrell scored four in the second, while Burnet added two in the same inning for a 6-5 advantage.

The Bulldogs took the lead for good in the third when they scored five runs for an 11-5 advantage then added four more in the fourth and the winning run in the sixth. What also helped is Burnet was able to score runs after two outs, which can be demoralizing mentally for pitchers, Houston said.

Dash Denton had 3 RBIs with two coming from a home run Will Johnson also had 3 RBIs.

“They threw a kid we saw before,” the coach said. “We took full advantage of seeing that guy. You see one guy have success early in the game, it tends to lead to other guys having success if you can get a good swing on the ball and hit it solid.”

Defensively, the Bulldogs were led by pitchers Ralston Vance, who had two strikeouts, and Kurt Kassner, a lefty who had four strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings of work.

“He got to throw for the first time this year,” Houston said. “Getting a left-handed starting pitcher is huge to any program. I think getting him back on the mound and getting him more innings is huge for us. It’s a boost in the arm to get him back.”

Jarrell won the contest April 1 by loading the bases in the seventh inning with no outs. After the ninth hitter in the order struck out, the lead-off batter hit a sacrifice flyball for the win.

The Cougars were led by pitcher Ramon Rodriguez, who struck out 14 of the 21 batters he faced and gave up two hits.

“Not a lot of hitting going on,” Houston said. “We didn’t hit the baseball well at all. We did not have success early.”

The Bulldogs had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth inning. But a groundout advanced the runner on second to third. The inning ended on a routine play,

Burnet turns its attention to a two-game series against Georgetown Gateway Tuesday, April 5, and Friday, April 8. The Tuesday contest is at Gateway, while the Friday match-up is at Bulldog Diamonds, 1000 The Green Mile. Both games start at 7 p.m.

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