SAGU lands All-State pitcher
Westlake's Tucker Burt commits to Lions
Faith, joining the Sooner Athletic Conference draws recruit
WAXAHACHIE, Texas -- The Southwestern Assemblies of God University baseball team has signed their second recruit this year.
A two-time All-State selection at pitcher, Tucker Burt, a 6-foot-3, 195-pounder from North Richland Hills (pop. 63,343), Texas will enroll this fall and study Business Administration.
Burt, a right-handed pitcher, played the past two seasons at Westlake Academy.
While on the mound for the Blacksmiths, he twice earned First Team All-District and All-State at a charter school that began in 2003.
He went 5-1 as junior with an 0.78 earned run average. In 27 innings he struck out 53 batters and walked just 10. Opponents managed to bat only .136 against him.
Burt’s encore this year was equally impressive. He was 7-0 and posted an 0.85 ERA. The native of Goshen (GO-shin), Indiana rang up 69 batters in 33 innings and allowed 17 base on balls.
The strong-armed Thor hammered four no-hitters at Westlake, the only high school in the nation with Blacksmiths for a mascot.
He permitted opponents to hit a combined .055 when he was on the hill. Understandably, Burt was the team MVP as a senior.
Burt joins infielder Josh Terry (Lone Star, Tx / Daingerfield HS), who recently penned his National Letter of Intent.
Westlake won their district championship the past two seasons and finished as state runner-up both years in the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship. TCAF lists 40 schools as current members.
The town of Westlake (pop. 702 in 2010), located north of Fort Worth near Grapevine Lake and Southlake, is known for its country setting and some upscale residents; Josh Hamilton, the Jonas Brothers, Sean Payton, Terry Bradshaw, Vernon Wells, Mark Teixeira and commentator Glenn Beck.
“The two things I was looking for,” Burt said last week, “were an opportunity to continue in baseball and to study at a Christian college, preferably close to home.”
“I knew the first time I stepped on campus this was where God wanted me,” he added. He spoke highly of then-coach Jon Shockley, who observed the strong-armed hurler first-hand.
“Each recruiting visit it became even more evident this is where I am supposed to be,” he continued.
He also said that a contributing factor was the school’s move to the Sooner Athletic Conference. “The tougher competition means a bigger stage. That translates to more dedication to developing your game.”
While sporting Westlake’s burgundy and navy colors, Burt was a dual sport standout. He led the team to the state finals in basketball while garnering First Team All-State honors.
His baseball experience has included three local club teams, counting the Texas Blackhawks since 2009. He was on the 17U showcase team under Coach Brad McIntire for two years.
This summer he is playing for the 18U Blackhawks and Coach Eddie Aguiar.
Tucker is the youngest of four children to parents Alan and Linda Burt. He has three sisters in Lindsay (27), Stacey (26) and Holly (24).
His dad was an NAIA All-American shortstop in 1983 at Dallas Baptist University, where he met his future wife.
He played under legendary Head Coach Jim Harp. The Patriots had 10 appearances at the NAIA nationals during his tenure, which included 17 40-win seasons.
Burt starred at the front end of that winning surge. DBU baseball is now playing at the NCAA Division I level.
Alan is the Athletic Director at Westlake, where he serves as the head coach in football and baseball.
Speaking of his son, he said “Tucker has the mentality of a competitor. He wants the ball in his hands.”
Additionally, he pointed out that Tucker “…has shown to be the ultimate team player. His mantra at Westlake Academy was about the 'outcome.' As long as the team was successful he was as well.”
“We at the Academy,” where Alan is the Assistant Principal as well, “are proud of his contributions and pray for much success at the collegiate level.”
Tucker has been very active in the youth group at North Richland Hills Baptist Church. There, he has participated in several community service projects to those in need.
Burt has also taken part in AWANA (derived from the first letters of Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15) discipleship program for children and teens at NRHBC over the past nine years.
SAGU had a bumpy 13-24 season in the spring, partly due to 'going green.' The Lions had 17 freshmen and eight sophomores on their 29-man roster.
Next year they will play in the 11-team Sooner Athletic Conference, which has four teams in Texas, six from Oklahoma and one in Arkansas.
The Lions will begin a seven-week fall camp in September. Their season starts in late January 2014.