Bulldawgs take sole possession of fourth place with shutout of Killeen
By TJ MAXWELL
After three-consecutive losses, the Copperas Cove Bulldawgs’ baseball team needed a win and they got that win in an 8-0 shutout win over the Killeen Kangaroos Friday night at Bulldawg Field.
Senior Chris Lingo and sophomore Russel Cochran combined for a four-hit shutout with Lingo picking up the win with no runs on three hits while striking out nine and walking two in six innings of action.
The duo received plenty of run support as well with the Dawgs combining for 14 hits by nine different players, including 3 for 3 hitting by senior Josh Ropple and junior Cam Petet.
After a scoreless first inning for both squads, the Dawgs slowly began to pull away with a run in the bottom the second inning and another in the bottom of the third for a 2-0 lead.
The Roos threatened in the top of the second inning with Carlos Roman drawing a lead-off walk and Jose Ayala connecting on a single to put two runners on, but consecutive strikeouts by Cove’s Lingo shut down the threat.
A single and a stolen base by Ropple put a runner in position and Petet took advantage with an RBI single to centerfield for the 1-0 Copperas Cove lead in the bottom half of the inning.
Lingo then made quick work of the Killeen lineup with his fourth and fifth strikeouts before a ground out ended the side.
The Dawgs added another run in the bottom half of the third inning when senior Michael Goudeau lined a double to centerfield to put another runner in scoring position. Senior Colby Jost then followed with an RBI double to centerfield for the 2-0 Cove lead.
Ropple allowed two one-out singles in the top of the fourth inning as the Roos threatened again, but a 7-4 double-play ended the Roos opportunity.
The Dawgs then took control with a four-run bottom half of the inning.
A single by Ropple and a double by senior Nick Izquierdo put runners on before another RBI single by Petet drove home the two runners for a 4-0 score.
A single by senior Jacob Wagner and a walk by senior Justin Velesky then loaded the bases for Cochran, who knocked a two RBI double that scored courtesy runner Steele Straley and Wagner for the 6-0 Cove lead.
The Kangaroos got another batter on board when Alex Vega was hit by a pitch, but Lingo responded with two more strikeouts and a ground out to keep the Roos scoreless.
Another single by Petet added another run when Ropple, who singled to reach, advanced home on the throw for the 7-0 Cove lead.
A lead-off single by Matthew Santiago and a double by Michael Amaya again put runners on for the Bulldawgs and Straley added the final run for the Dawgs on an RBI ground out that scored Santiago.
A single by Killeen’s Jackson Taylor against Cove reliever Cochran gave the Roos one last chance to break the shutout but consecutive strikeouts by Cochran ended the threat for good.
Ropple was 3 for 3 with three runs while Petet as 3 for 3 with four RBIs and a walk to lead the Cove bats. Wagner (2 for 4, R), Cochran (1 for 3, 2B), Izquierdo (1 for 4, R, 2B), Jost (1 for 3, 2B, RBI), Amaya (1 for 1, 2B), Goudeau (1 for 3, 2B, R) and Santiago (1 for 1, R) accounted for the rest of Cove’s 14 hits.
Taylor (2 for 3), Ayala (1 for 3) and Roman (1 for 2) accounted for Killeen’s four hits.
Senior Josh Weaver suffered the loss on the mound for the Roos.
The Bulldawgs (10-10-1, 5-3 in District 12-6A) currently sit in the fourth-place spot behind the undefeated Tigers (7-0), Waco Midway (6-1) and the Ellison Eagles (5-2). The Temple Wildcats (4-3), Harker Heights Knights (3-4), Killeen Kangaroos (2-6), Waco Lions (1-7) and Shoemaker Grey Wolves (0-7) round out the 12-6A standings.
The Dawgs return to action tonight against the Grey Wolves in the second of four consecutive home games for the Dawgs. The Roos host the Knights. First pitch for both games is set for 7 p.m.