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Miscues don’t derail Bulldogs from road win at Gateway

A calm, cool and collected demeanor by Burnet senior pitcher Ralston Vance resulted in the Bulldogs beating Georgetown Gateway 3-1 April 5.

Vance had 8 strikeouts and didn’t issue a walk, which meant the five errors committed by the Bulldogs (8-7-1, 5-3 District 19-4A) didn’t affect the outcome.

“This win doesn’t mathematically put us in the playoffs,” head coach Russell Houston said. “It’s a win that it would have been difficult to get in the playoffs without it.”

The Gators may have had their best scoring opportunities early. Burnet committed two errors in the first inning, which allowed Gateway to get runners to first and third with no outs. The next batter hit a pop-up for the first out. After a line drive to left field, the next batter hit to centerfield for the second out. The ball was quickly thrown home to keep the runner at third. The last out came on a strikeout.

In the top of the second, Burnet plated two runs thanks to a Braden Ellett-Clark RBI and Trenton Park stealing home.

“If we have success early, we tend to be more successful,” Houston said. “We scored two runs on one hit. When you do that in high school baseball, it makes things difficult. We found a way to get the bat to the next guy.”

The loss may be especially brutal for Gateway, which gave up two hits and couldn’t capitalize on Burnet’s errors. Still, watching the Bulldogs record three double plays to end the Gators’ rallies and force them to strand about six runners didn’t help either.

Houston credited Vance for ensuring mistakes didn’t turn into runs. Vance letting coaches know he “was good” and was intent on throwing strikes may have helped everyone in the dugout.

“He’s been on varsity for a long time,” Houston said. “He started as a freshman and he knows. He knows what it’s all about. And we have a bunch of kids who compete. We pitch to contact, and we go make plays.”

The win moves Burnet to third in the district standings behind Taylor (7-1) and Lake Belton (6-2). Salado (4-4) is fourth.

Burnet welcomes Gateway for a 7 p.m. first pitch Friday, April 8, at Bulldog Diamonds, 1000 The Green Mile. A win means the Bulldogs will sweep the series.

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