Dawgs run-rule Grey Wolves to snag third place in District 12-6A
By TJ MAXWELL
KILLEEN – A big night at the plate by Cove senior Colby Jost and a strong performance on the bump by sophomore Rusty Cochran helped the Bulldawgs to an 11-1 mercy-rule win over the Shoemaker Grey Wolves and the third seed in the 2019 UIL State Baseball Champions and a first-round matchup against 11-6A no. 2 seed Rockwall.
Jost was 2 for 3 on the night with a double, a three-run home run and five runs batted in to lead the Bulldawgs at the plate while freshman Travis Sanders was the only other batter to record multiple hits with a 2 for 4 for two runs.
Leading 6-1 in the top of the third inning, Jost turned on pitch from Benjamin Hamilton with two outs and drove it over the left-field fence for a 10-1 lead.
Senior Justin Velesky scored the first run of the inning on a single to right field that scored Jacob Wagner after he doubled to left to lead off the inning.
A double play by Shoemaker took away two of the Cove baserunners by a walk by senior Michael Goudeau put two runners on and the second swing by Jost cleared the bases.
Cochran worked his way out of trouble in the bottom half of the inning. After Hamilton was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning and Daniel Villareal singled to put two runners on, Cochran induced a ground out to end the threat before adding the final run in the bottom of the fourth on a solo home run.
Walks by junior Chris Lingo, junior Cam Petet and Wagner put runners on the paths again but a strikeout ended the chance at mire runs.
Three more strikeouts by Cochran ended the game in the bottom of the fifth.
Cochran finished the night allowing just one unearned run on five hits while striking out eight and walking none in five innings of work.
The Bulldawgs took control early with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning.
A single by Sanders and a walk by Goudeau put runners on before Sanders scored on a passed ball and a line drive double to left field by Jost scored Goudeau for the 2-0 Cove lead.
Jost then scored after a hard-hit ground ball by Petet was mishandled by Daniel Rivas Cruceta at second base.
The Bulldawgs added three more runs in the top of the second inning.
A walk by cochran and a pair of singles by Sanders and Goudeau put three runners on before a sacrifice fly to left field by Jost scored Cochran.
A single by senior Josh Ropple knocked Sanders to third before a single by senior Nick Izquierdo scored Goudeau and an error by Shoemaker shortstop Thurman Thomas allowed Sanders to score for the 6-0 Cove lead.
The Wolves scored their lone run of the night in the bottom half of the inning.
A Bulldawg error allowed Rivas Cruceta before singles by James Bowyer and Sean Paul Speidel juiced the bases for the Wolves.
A pick-off throw from senior Steele Straley punched Bowyer out at second before a pair of strikeouts by Cochran ended the threat.
Cochran (1 for 1, HR, 2R, RBI, 2BB), Lingo (1 for 1, BB), Velesky (1 for 3, R, RBI, BB), Wagner (1 for 3, 2B, R, BB), Izquierdo (1 for 3, RBI, BB), Ropple (1 for 2) and Goudeau (1 for 2, 3R, 2BB) accounted for the rest of Cove’s 11 hits on the night.
Hamilton (2 for 2), Bowyer (1 for 2), Speidel (1 for 2) and Villareal (1 for 3) accounted for the Wolves’ five hits.
Hamilton suffered the loss on the mound. He allowed eight earned runs on nine hits while striking out one and walking five in three innings.
The Bulldawgs earned the no. 3 seed from District 12-6A with the win, paired with a 2-1 loss by Ellison at Belton.
The Dawgs will open up post-season action with the first game of a best-of-three series on the road at Rockwall on Thursday with a 7 p.m. first pitch before returning to Bulldawg Field for game two Friday at 8 p.m. Game three, if necessary, will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Waco ISD Complex in Waco.