JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
BROWNWOOD — The Burnet High School baseball team lost 9-8 to Brownwood in eight innings April 22 to end its regular season.
That means the Bulldogs (13-11-3 overall, 6-4 district) are third in District 8-3A, and Llano is the runner-up after a 4-3 loss to Liberty Hill in eight innings April 22.
“Eight runs was enough,” Burnet head coach Steven Shipley said. “We did everything right except make a play or two that could have decided the game.”
Burnet scored a run in the eighth inning when senior catcher Joshua Thompson hit a sacrifice fly ball that brought senior outfielder Jeremy Ayers home for an 8-7 advantage.
But the Lions (9-18 overall, 3-7 district) loaded the bases in their half of the inning. With one out, they squeezed in a run on a sacrifice bunt and then won the game on walk.
Burnet led 7-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning.
But the Lions took advantage of an error and scored two runs.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brownwood scored two more runs. Burnet committed a throwing error in the inning to trim the deficit to 7-6.
The Bulldogs retired the first two Lions in the bottom of the seventh inning. But the third batter was walked, and the next batter hit a one-run double to tie the game.
In all, Burnet stranded 11 runners and committed seven errors that gave the Lions six unearned runs.
With the victory, Brownwood will play Gatesville in a play-in game for the final postseason spot at a later date.
The Bulldogs won’t play until after April 28 because District 7-3A, which is matched up against District 8-3A in the first round of the playoffs, won’t finish the regular season until April 28.
“I think with this team, the break can be good,” Shipley said. “We have to do a good job of staying focused and sharp for next week.”
Coaches will be emphasizing being better at the basics during the next few days, he said, noting no one group benefits more than another from not playing in a contest.
“Our focus on these things individually will be the difference,” the coach said. “If someone relaxes and doesn’t work like they need to, then it can hurt. But if they go into each day fine tuning what they do, trying to be their best for the playoffs, then we will all benefit.”
ON OFFENSE: (Burnet) RBIs – Joshua Thompson 2, Ben Rundzheir 1; hits – Jeremy Ayers 4, Taylor Barksdale 3
ON DEFENSE: (Burnet) losing pitcher – Shae Edmonds
RECORDS: Burnet is 13-11-3 overall and 6-4 in District 8-3A; Brownwood is 9-18 overall and 3-7 in district.
UP NEXT: bi-district championship with opponent, date and time to be determined
DISTRICT 8-3A BASEBALL STANDINGS
Liberty Hill 9-1 (def. Llano 4-3 in 8 innings)
Gatesville 3-7, 10-18 (def. Lampasas 4-3)
Brownwood 3-7, 9-18
Lampasas 2-8, 4-16