CAPTION: The 2023 Marble Falls Mustangs beat Burnet in the third game to win the series and secure the District 24-4A title, the program’s first since the Ronnie Scearce era that ended almost two decades ago. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro
The Marble Falls High School baseball team defeated Burnet 21-7 April 21 to secure the District 24-4A championship.
The Mustangs (19-6, 11-2) jumped and yelled for joy when the final out was made — at home plate when junior catcher Isaias Roman caught the ball before the Bulldog, who had tagged from second base on a flyball, could touch the plate.
The final out set off a fun and jubilant celebration that had caps and gloves thrown high with Mustang fans giving a standing ovation.
Head coach Tyler Porter gathered his players, tossed game balls to his seniors — Bryce Atkinson, Jake Carter, Cale Cochran, Kyle Curtis, Brady Elwartowski and A.J. Scovil — and commended them for their unwavering belief that they could turn this program into what it is in 2023.
“There was a time when people didn’t stick around,” he said. “You did. This is the beginning, and it’s a great start. You’ve become the team you want to be. You put up a 21 spot — that’s three touchdowns — at what should have been a playoff atmosphere. I’m so proud of y’all and what you are.”
“It makes it more fun to beat them on their own field,” Scovil said. “I’m happy to be on the team and make an impact every day.”
The Mustangs came out on a mission from the start. Lead-off batter Evan Nickowski beat a throw to first for an infield single in the first inning then stole second. Roman hit a RBI single, while Atkinson reached on a single and Canon Carter was hit by a pitch to load the bases. With two outs, Davis Dreisbach hit a 2-RBI single to left-center field for a 3-0 lead.
But Burnet refused to go down without a fight.
Lead-off batter Jackson Crawford drew a walk, then Will Johnson hit a single, and Will Kassner drew a walk. Tanner O’Hair hit a 2-RBI single to left field. By the end of the inning, the Bulldogs led 4-3.
Marble Falls got two of the runs back in the second. Scovil drew a walk and Cale Cochran hit a double to left-center field. Roman hit a 2-RBI single to give his team a 4-3 lead.
From there the Mustangs never looked back.
They plated four runs in the third thanks in part to Nickowski’s three-run homer, one in the fourth, and two in the fifth for a 12-6 advantage before the cruelest inning of all.
The sixth inning is when Marble Falls sent 14 batters to the plate and the Mustangs produced nine runs off four hits. Burnet used three different pitchers during that inning.
Following the game, Burnet head coach Russell Houston noted the disappointment.
“It hurts because it’s a loss,” he said. “But you put your heads up and pull yourselves up by your bootstraps. I told our kids that after next Friday, teams that are still playing are 0-0 and it turns into a week-by-week series.”
Marble Falls pitcher Cale Cochran ((5-0, 1 save in district play) was his steady self, allowing three earned runs off seven hits.
He grinned when asked about the run support from his teammates.
“That’s pretty nice,” he said. “Everybody was swinging it pretty well.”
“I think that’s the most runs we’ve ever scored,” Carter added. “There are no holes in our line-up. We pass the bat to people, and we have faith in everyone.”
Elwartowski said he enjoys witnessing Cale Cochran’s pitching as much as fans.
“He throws strikes, and he gets the job done,” Elwartowski said.
Curtis called winning the district crown huge and was happy to be apart of a team that stopped the doubts.
“We were supposed to (finish) fourth in district,” he said. “And we came out on top.”
Marble Falls faces Jarrell in the final week of the regular season. The Mustangs will travel to Jarrell Tuesday, April 25, and will welcome the Cougars Friday, April 28. First pitch is at 7 p.m.
Burnet hosts Lago Vista Tuesday, April 25, then travels to play the Vikings Friday, April 28, First pitch is at 7 p.m.
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