Burnet Juniors pitcher Frankie Gutierrez throws a strike against Hill Country. Coaches did not allow pitchers to throw more than 20 pitches each without making a change in order to keep them fresh and available for the championship series.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
BURNET — The Little League District 26 Minors and Juniors baseball tournaments have been extended for another night.
That’s because Llano defeated Burnet Green 11-8 in Game 1 of the championship series of the Minors (ages 9-10) tournament, while Burnet Juniors eliminated Hill Country 14-1 in a game that was called after the fifth inning because of the mercy rule. Both contests were played June 30.
Since Llano and Burnet Green each have a loss, the two squads square off at 7 p.m. July 1 for the championship and a chance to advance to the playoffs.
Burnet Juniors (age 14) face Fredericksburg in Game 1 of their championship series at 7 p.m. July 1. Burnet needs to win to force a second game July 2.
All contests are at the YMCA of the Highland Lakes at Galloway-Hammond, 1600 U.S. 281 South.
Burnet Juniors quickly took command of the contest against Hill Country, building a 9-0 lead by the second inning.
Meanwhile, Burnet Green seemed to be in control against Llano, racing to a 4-0 lead after the second inning. Heads-up base running, a double and a single scored the runs.
But Llano responded, tying the contest and then taking an 11-5 lead by the end of the fifth inning.
Tournament director Aaron James said the margin was a combination of timely hitting, walks and pass balls.
Burnet Green used four pitchers. Because of Little League rules based on the number of pitches thrown, two of those pitchers will not be available for the July 1 contest.
Still, Burnet Green had a chance in the final inning. Llano countered by using three different pitchers.
In the end, however, Llano got the final out that forced Burnet Green to leave the bases loaded to end the game.