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Burnet baseball completes sweep of Lago Vista to finish second in district race

CAPTION: Burnet junior pitcher Kade Shaw demonstrated plenty of positives in helping the Bulldogs win the third and final regular season game of the 2023 season. Photo by Stennis Shotts

The Burnet High School baseball team beat Lago Vista 6-1 April 29 in a game that was played a day later because of rain.

With the win, the Bulldogs complete the season sweep of the Vikings.

“I think it was pretty important to get back on the winning track and get positive vibes going,” Burnet head coach Russell Houston said.

The Bulldogs will enter the Class 4A playoffs as District 24-4A’s runners-up and will face Salado in a bi-district championship series. Game one is in Salado Thursday, May 4, while game two is at Bulldog Diamonds Friday, May 5. Both contests will start at 7 p.m. A coin flip will be conducted Thursday to determine the site of game three if needed. Coaches have already agreed to a 1 p.m. first pitch.

Burnet is showing it is hitting on all cylinders by manufacturing a run almost every inning against Lago Vista and allowing only one run in seven innings.

The Bulldogs got “big hits” from Tanner O’Hair, Kurt Kassner and Trey Morrow. O’Hair hit a two-out double.

“Will Johnson had a good night,” Houston said. “Lots of kids contributed.”

Junior pitcher Kade Shaw threw a complete game. He wasn’t told he was getting the start until 30 minutes before the contest.

“He’s been working really hard,” Houston said. “We talked early on in the week. We said, ‘You’re going to get a chance to get going in the playoffs. Let’s give you another shot.’ It gives him confidence and gives us confidence that we have a kid who can go seven innings. He had only one walk.”

Houston said many times, the runs that hurt are the result of opponents taking bases on walks or being hit by a pitch and then scoring on a hit.

“We’re going to give up hits,” he said. “As long as there’s not a lot of base runners. I do think the mental aspect is a big deal.”

And that can cover a number of elements. Top of the list for the Bulldogs is having pitchers who demonstrate they believe in their teammates. Shaw showed that during the win.

“I’m going to trust my guys to make plays,” Houston said. “I told them, ‘Let’s relax and let’s play baseball.’ It was big mentally for him to pitch well.”

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