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Burnet baseball beats Lampasas to win first district series

The Burnet High School baseball team came from behind to beat Lampasas 3-2 April 4 in the second game of the three-game series in District 24-4A.

“It didn’t go perfect by any shape,” head coach Russell Houston said. “It was a good night for the Bulldogs. It was a tight ball game. Lampasas played really well, and we were fortunate to find one more run than they did.”

The win means the Bulldogs have won the series with the third game to be played at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, April 6, in Lampasas.

The Badgers scored two runs in the second inning. The Bulldogs took the lead in third thanks to an RBI from Dash Denton. Tanner O’Hair got a two-out hit to score Denton, which proved to be the difference in the contest.

Pitcher Kurt Kassner was credited with the win after giving up a run on two hits and striking out three in five innings.

“Kassner had his best outing of the year,” Houston said. “He threw a lot of strikes (10 first-pitch strikes). Last night was huge. Kurt has been struggling throwing strikes. We’ve been doing a lot of mental training. It started to click. It was a big lift for all of us. He threw really well.”

Pitcher Braden Ellett-Clark picked up the save.

“He only had to throw 22 pitches,” the coach said. “For him to go two innings means he’s available Thursday.”

Lampasas starter Jonas Andersen struck out 10 in five innings.

Houston commended both starting pitchers.

“A lot of strikeouts were thrown by both starting pitchers,” he said.

Both teams had five hits. Burnet had been averaging more hits before the second round of district play started. Houston noted that during the pre-district and tournament season, batters may not always see an opponent’s best pitcher. That’s not the case in district play.

“We’re facing everyone’s No. 1 and No. 2,” Houston said. “Hitting comes and goes. Some kids see baseballs like they’re beach balls. You let them live in the trees. For the ones who are struggling, you tweak things here and there to help them find confidence with bunts and hit-and-runs. Once you get them not thinking, they tend to figure it out.”

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