The Burnet High School baseball team finished its own tournament with a 3-0-1 record March 9-11.
The Bulldogs beat Comal Pieper 7-6, Geronimo Navarro 7-5 and Pieper 6-3 and tied Llano 6-6.
Jesse Bachmayer’s squeeze bunt scored the winning runs against Pieper in the rematch.
The Bulldogs faced 5-0 deficits against Pieper and against Llano in games played on the last day of the tournament. Head coach Russell Houston said his pitchers struggled at the beginning of each contest. And he credited his pitchers for coming back and being effective the rest of the way and their teammates for making routine outs and for being offensive in coming back.
“It’s a long game, and we can go score whatever we have to to get the job done,” he said. “We have hitters all throughout the lineup. (Our pitchers) are going to pitch the ball and give us a chance.”
Cooper Faris and Dash Denton were the pitchers against Llano, while Matthew Valdez, Will Johnson and Denton pitched against Pieper.
Houston said he liked many elements from his players during the three-day event.
Top of the list is the batting line-up and the starting defense.
“Our line-up I think is stable with what we have,” he said.
About the only position he wants to see more consistency is pitching.
“We’re still not throwing enough strikes,” he said. “But they’re competing on the mound.”
The Bulldogs return to District 24-4A play this week beginning with a road trip to Lampasas Tuesday, March 14, and to Georgetown Gateway Thursday, March 16. Both games begin at 7 p.m.
One trait coaches don’t have to emphasis is motivation because the players are taking upon themselves to hold each other accountable.
“They have to play with an attitude,” Houston said. “They have to play with a purpose. They have to play with moxie. That comes with confidence, that you’ve been there and done that before. It’s part of the work.”
He also noted they have taken advantage of opportunities when they’ve been presented.
“It’s a process of those kids being in those situations over and over again,” Houston said. “They’ve done it in practices; it’s nothing new. You have to do it in practices. It’s a combination. The beautiful thing is I have a group of kids who’ve been through a bunch of games. You put kids in those situations, it’s nothing new, and it helps down the road. And they’ve taken control of things. They’ve taken ownership of it, and it makes life easier.”
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