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Burnet baseball’s hot bats, timely defense leads to win against Marble Falls

CAPTION: The Burnet Bulldogs celebrate Jesse Bachmayer’s (17) three-run homer that proved pivotal in ensuring they beat the Marble Falls Mustangs. Photo by Martelle Luedecke/Luedecke Photography

The Burnet High School baseball team defeated Marble Falls 8-7 March 21 to move to 4-0 in District 24-4A play. The loss is the Mustangs’ (11-4, 3-1) first in district play.

“With those rivalry games, you never know what’s going to happen,” Burnet head coach Russell Houston said. “Our kids played really well, and that was good to see.”

Marble Falls scored a run in the first and two in the the second for a 3-0 lead before Burnet plated a run in the third. After Marble Falls got the run back in the fourth, the Bulldogs scored six runs for a 7-4 advantage headed into the fifth.

The Bulldogs scored again in the fifth for an 8-4 lead before Marble Falls tried to rally. And though the Mustangs scored three runs in the sixth, they stranded three runners.

Burnet junior pitcher Dash Denton (1 save in district) entered the contest in the seventh and didn’t allow a Mustang on base.

The Bulldogs used three other pitchers. Senior Kurt Kassner started before senior Braden Ellett-Clark (2-0 in district) came in and threw four innings. Cooper Faris also pitched.

Houston said the formula to knowing which pitcher to use in the rotation comes down to conversations and trust.

“Part of it is a gut feeling with your kids,” he said. “Every kid wants to be out there and wants to compete. You have to talk to your kids after every inning. They have to learn to trust you and be honest. Braden said, ‘I’m getting close. I think I can go one more.’ Then we decided to make a change. It felt right. And we have to be able to play good defense.”

Which is what happened in the sixth.

Offensively, the Bulldogs continued their hot hitting thanks to big hits by Will Johnson, Ellett-Clark and “a huge” three-run homer by Jesse Bachmayer.

The Bulldogs stranded five runners to Marble Falls’ eight during the game.

“It depends on when those walks occur and when they’re able to capitalize,” Houston said. “We had big two-out hits. Braden had 2 RBIs.”

While getting the win, especially at your home field is important, it doesn’t ensure anything, Houston said.

“We talked about it before the game,” he said. “A win doesn’t win the district and losing the game doesn’t lose the district. It’s definitely a step up and a big one. And the next one is just as big.”

Burnet travels to Lago Vista, while Marble Falls welcomes Jarrell Friday, March 24. The junior varsities play at 5 p.m. and the varsities take the field at 7 p.m.

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