Three 2023 Burnet and Marble Falls high school graduates did more than hold their own during the all-star game of the Austin Area Baseball Coaches Association June 11 at Dell Diamond.
They are Braden Ellett-Clark and Tanner O’Hair of Burnet and Cale Cochran of Marble Falls. The trio helped the North team defeat the South team 4-2.
O’Hair, who was the starting catcher for the Bulldogs, was behind the plate for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings. In his second at-bat during the fourth inning, he hit the ball over the second baseman’s head for the game’s first run.
He was named the game’s Offensive Most Valuable Player.
Ellett-Clark was one of nine pitchers. The first batter he faced flew out to center field, he struck out the next one, and the third batter hit a single over the shortstop’s head. The last out came on a routine 4-3 out in the eighth inning.
In two at-bats, Cochran reached base when he was hit by a pitch.
“I knew they were good enough to be there,” Burnet head coach Russell Houston said. “It wasn’t a mistake. They got to go play.”
Houston said he spoke to both of his players before they arrived in Round Rock and asked about their game preparations.
“They hadn’t done anything as far as swinging or pitching since early May,” he said. “Tanner said, ‘I’m going to swing at the first thing I can see. I’m going to have fun.’ He was successful. He didn’t strike out very much all season.”
Ellett-Clark “threw a little bit” but hadn’t faced a batter since the Burnet High School season ended, Houston said.
“I’m going to throw the ball over the plate,” the coach recalled hearing. “If they hit it, hopefully they hit it to somebody. I’m not going to mow down people.”
Houston said he liked the approach the players took in representing the county one final time before they start the next chapter.
“There’s no pressure,” he said. “Everybody is having a whole lot of fun. They were going to have fun and play one last game of baseball together. They were playing with a bunch of good baseball kids in a neat setting. How often will they have a chance to play at Dell Diamond? It’s a neat experience.”
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