Sep 01 2015
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BURNET—Battering the baseball Bulldogs! Four days after a win over Liberty Hill! A Region championship in golf squeezed in! It's an athletic mecca in Llano. I apologize for all my rude criticism. When can soccer be introduced?
"The kids did a good job meeting the challenge," head coach Stephen Campbell said of the 10-4 punishment the playoff-contending Jackets authored on a cool April 14 night.
Tommy Yelvington singled in Kyle Tarter, who had singled, for a 1-0 lead in the third inning.
With runners at second and third in the fifth and no one out, Burnet's Todd Doucet had Hunter Reagor walk Brett Sorensen. Mistake. Clancy Durham singled in Logan Bauer. Luke Snitkin followed with his biggest hit of the year: a three-run double to right center field.
"I saw the ball {the pitch} really well," Luke told me. "I was looking for a fast ball," and "he gave it to me." An error handed Llano its fifth run of the inning.
Holden Simpson did yield three runs in the Burnet fifth, but, "Holden had a good outing," declared Campbell. "He got them out of rhythm, did a good job."
Now let's talk about the ubiquitous Mr. Simpson. "Very long day, had to switch gears," he mentioned. "Got my mind focused on baseball." What all of that means is he had played a major role in the Jackets' Region IV golf championship, April 13-14 in Corpus Christi. His dad, John, and John's wife, drove him home—about a four-hour trip—in time for the game. The second day of golf had been rained out, but no one left Corpus before noon.
Holden went five-and-two-thirds innings, struck out six, and allowed four runs on five hits.
In the sixth, with one down, Bauer singled and Simpson doubled—two of the Jackets' 12 hits. Yelvington was walked intentionally. Uh oh. Sorensen doubled in two runs. "That's the risk you take," noted Campbell. "{You} go with your gut; sometimes it doesn't work."
Durham singled in a run, as Llano scored four times.
Tarter relieved with two outs in the sixth and retired four men of the five he faced; the other one walked.
Sorensen had three hits and was on base four times.
The 10 runs for a team that had scored six in five previous district games? "We're capable of that," insisted Campbell. "Stuck to our plan and executed it. Not many mistakes. {We} did great things."
****
All is not well. In a makeup game, April 20, Llano was thoroughly tamed by Lampasas, 5-1. The defining problem was the Jackets (2-5 in district) stranded 10 men the first five innings and 11 on the night, and they made four errors.
With three games remaining—Taylor played in Llano, April 21—the playoff picture has gone from looking like a waterfall in Yosemite to what we used to call, abstract art.