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Bulldogs qualify for the postseason after crucial game two win over the Ducks in battle that included Mother Nature

The Burnet High School baseball team earned another big win in District 19-4A play April 19 when the Bulldogs beat Taylor 13-6 and ensures their season continues beyond the regular season. The victory also sets up a key contest at Taylor at the end of this week.

“That win right there puts us in the playoffs for the first time in a long time,” Burnet head coach Russell Houston said. “(My players are) going to compete against whoever is out there. Last night was a different night with the weather and wetness. It was drizzling and wet and nasty and dirty and filthy and muddy. It started about the second inning with a hazy mist the whole night. It never stopped.”

The Ducks (8-4) struck first, taking a 2-0 lead in the second and adding two more runs in the third. But the Bulldogs (10-10-1, 7-5) plated five runs in the third, the first of three consecutive scoring innings for them. It might have been more, but two Bulldogs were thrown out on base paths.

“Taylor threw the same pitcher we faced the last time we played (a 10-2 loss March 22),” Houston said. “We tried to be super aggressive in the third. We were able to manufacture some runs.”

The Ducks tied the game in the fourth, but Burnet scored three more runs in its half of the inning and kept Taylor off the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth innings. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs scored five more runs in the fifth for a 13-5 lead. Taylor added a meaningless run in the seventh.

By the end of the contest, the Bulldogs recorded 10 hits to Taylor’s eight.

Burnet got run production throughout the lineup, which put pressure on the Taylor pitchers. Dash Denton had three hits, while Kurt Kassner had 3 RBIs and Jesse Bachmayer had two.

“Jesse came up big with a two-out hit,” Houston said. “Kurt had a big two-out double that scored three runs that was big.”

Ralston Vance pitched five innings for Burnet and had four strikeouts.

“He pitches with no fear,” the coach said. “He is not a strikeout pitcher, he just says ‘here it is.’ He pitches with no fear and a bunch of confidence. He pitched to contact and made them hit it. He pitched well.”

Taylor had nine errors, while Burnet had two.

“We say to control the things you can control,” Houston said. “You can’t control the weather. It made things slippery. I said, ‘They’re playing in the same conditions, keep putting it in play and make outs and good things will happen.”

The winner of the third game, which will be played at 7 p.m. Friday, April 22, in Taylor, will decide which team finishes no worse than second in the district standings. That’s because the winner will take the crucial head-to-head match-up that will decide seedings if Burnet and Taylor finish with the same district record. Burnet ends the regular season against Lake Belton next week.

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