JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BURNET — Knowing it had the opportunity to move up in the District 8-3A rankings, the Burnet High School baseball team put together two extraordinary games less than 24 hours apart.
And the Bulldogs crushed Brownwood in both contests April 26-27.
Burnet defeated the Lions 8-2 on April 26 and then run-ruled them 12-1 in five innings April 27.
That final win means the Bulldogs enter the Class 3A playoffs as the second seed out of the district. They’ll host Stephenville at 7 p.m. May 2 at Bulldog Diamonds, 1000 The Green Mile. The series shifts to Stephenville on May 4 with Game 2 starting at 1 p.m. and a third game, if necessary, following 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second contest.
Head coach Tim Perkins said the Bulldogs have returned to the form they displayed when they started the season and added he has enjoyed their brand of baseball in the past three weeks.
“Hopefully, we’re peaking at the right time,” he said.
Perkins challenged his players in the middle of district play, he said.
“‘Guys,'” he recalled saying. “‘It’s time to put up or shut up. We can work hard, we can get better or we can sit back and relax.’ We have a lot of senior leaders. We can do things correctly.”
The Bulldogs chose to get better. As a result, they’ve won four of their past five games, and those four wins were in district play.
“We’re hoping to keep it rolling,” the coach said.
The most recent loss was to Salado 11-8 in 11 innings April 20. Perkins purposely scheduled that game on the weekend to get his players used to playing in back-to-back days knowing they had already secured a playoff berth.
Stephenville is the third-place team out of District 7-3A.
“They’re good,” Perkins said. “That district is all kind of the same. They’ll be as good as anyone in that district.”
The reason for the possible double-header May 4 is because of travel concerns, Perkins said.
This way, the Bulldogs and fans will only have to drive to Stephenville one time, he added.
The last time Burnet played in Region I, the Bulldogs were one series away from advancing to the Class 3A state tournament in 2011.
“You hear (the players) talking about it,” Perkins said. “I think we’re confident and ready to play.”