Dawgs stumble against Tigers 8-3

Cove Leader-Press
The Copperas Cove defense made some early miscues and an opportunistic Belton Tigers’ team took full advantage on their way to an 8-3 victory in Cove on Tuesday. A hard ground ball by Belton’s Nathan Vail hopped over the glove of second baseman Jeremi Hawkins for the first of three quick scores by Belton. A routine fly ball to right field off the bat of Jacob Alexander clipped the glove of Brandon Willams and dropped to the ground for the second run. Chase Sorter then connected for a single to score Alexander to give Belton and early 3-0 advantage. “You can’t make routine plays in the first inning and you get behind 3-0, it changes the whole game,” said Copperas Cove head coach Dusty Brittain. “It changes their pitching and it changes when you’re playing from behind the whole time. We’ve got to be able to make those plays to win a big game and we didn’t.” The Tigers (12-7, 8-0 in District 12- 6A) added another two runs in the top of the second inning when Coby Potvin and Miguel Quinones pounded a pair of doubles to the outfield and cruised to the 8-3 and cement their place atop the District 12-6A standings. The Bulldawg bats were having success except at the times most needed. Cove left 11 runners stranded on the night, including six in the first three at bats. “We hit the ball exceptionally well, I thought,” said Brittain. “We got a lot of base runners on, we just couldn’t come through with that big hit to score the runs. We left a lot of people stranded. To win a big game, you have to come through with big hits and big plays.” After the five-run sting subsided, the Bulldawgs regrouped and made it a competition. The Dawgs (12-8, 4-4) got on the board in the bottom of the second inning when Neeko Kirk, who reached on a fielder’s choice, was knocked home by Brandon Williams. With renewed vigor, and a new arm on the bump, the Bulldawgs exchanged blows with the Tigers over the remaining innings. Cove only allowed three runs over the final five innings. Josh Carbajal, who is a recent addition to the varsity lineup for Cove, held Belton to just one earned run on four hits while fanning five and walking two in a 4 2/3 relief effort for the Dawgs. “Definitely something to take from this is he pitched really well,” said Brittain. “He showed me he can definitely help us on the mound and he hit the ball well, too. That’s a bright spot we can take from this. He’s somebody to look at as a future starter for us – we’ll see.” A solo home run by Storter in the top of the third pushed Belton’s lead to 6-1 but a fielder’s choice off the bat of Tristan Marez allowed Terrance Chamberlin to score to get the run back for Cove. The Dawgs threatened with the bases loaded after Michael Hays singled, Chamberlin walked and Carbajal singled to juice the bases. The Marez fielder’s choice put Carbajal out at second, leaving runners on the corners. After a walk by Kirk again put two on for Cove, a strike out of Tyler Ingram by Belton relief pitcher, Dustin Tish, ended the threat. Belton added a run in each of the next two innings to push their lead to 8-2. A pair of Stafford’s combined for the run in the fifth inning when Trent knocked brother Shane home with a double to centerfield. Another Cove defensive miscue allowed the final Belton run to score. A hard-hit ball by Hobey Hiland scooted pats the glove of Chamberlin in left field to allow Potvin to stroll home. Potvin singled to right field to reach. Cove scored the final run of the night in the bottom of the sixth. A double by Tim Bechtold put a runner in scoring position for Hawkins and he lazered one to left field for the score. Chamberlin was a perfect 2-for-2 with a run and two walks to lead the Dawgs from the plate. Clay Fisher (1-for-1), Carbajal (2-for-3), Bechtold (2-for-4, R), Hawkins (2-for-4, RBI), Williams (1-for-3, RBI), Hays (1-for-4), Marez (0-for-3, RBI, BB) and Kirk (0-for-2, R, BB) also contributed offensively for Cove. Belton was led by Potvin (3-for-4, 3R), Storter (2-for-4, R, 2RBI) and Quinones (2-for-3, 2RBI). Cameron Whitman picks up the win from the bump for Belton. He surrendered one earned run on six hits in 2 2/3 innings. Kirk suffered the loss for Cove. He surrendered six runs, three earned, on six hits in 2 1/3 innings. The Dawgs now find themselves in a fur-way jumble for the final three playoff spots. They currently hold a game lead over Shoemaker for the fourth and final spot. Midway (5-2) and Harker Heights (5-3) are second and third, respectively. Cove hosts Ellison (1-7) tonight with revenge on the mind. Ellison one tick in the win column came against Cove in their first matchup on March 24th. Ellison edged out a 7-6 win. “Short memory,” Brittain simply said about getting ready for Ellison. “Friday’s a big one. We can’t afford to lose to those guys again and they flat out beat us last time, so we’ve got to be able to go execute those runners in scoring position and those things it takes to win a game.” -------- Lady Dawgs pound Heights 15-3 The Lady Dawg beat Heights on Tuesday 15-3 in six innings. Cove scored six runs in the fifth and six more in the sixth on their way to the run-rule victory. Singles by Veronica Marshall, Raelynn Morris-Utu and Mia Gonzales began the onslaught in the fifth. Free bases by Peyton Choate and Duran paired with a RBI single by Angel Mullen and a two RBI double by Autumn Hughes. Mullen stole home to cap the scoring and give Cove a 9-3 lead. Cove scored in the sixth on a two-run double by Peyton Choate, an RBI single by Carlee Duran, and a three-run blast to right field by Autumn Hughes. In the top of the first, Cove grabbed the early lead, 1-0. Mullen got things going for the Lady Dawgs with a single. A single by Hughes then moved Mullen from first to second before she scored on an error. Cove stayed on top until the final out after taking the lead in the fifth, scoring six runs on a two-run double by Hughes and two singles. Birthday girl Mullen went a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with three runs and two RBIs for Cove. She doubled in the second and fourth innings and singled in the first, fifth, and sixth innings. Hughes (3-for-5, HR, R, 5RBI) Duran (3-for-4, 3R, RBI, BB), Gonzales (3-for-4, 3R, RBI), Marshall (2-for-4, R, BB), Rachel Jost (2-for-4), Choate (1 for-3, 2RBI) and Morris-Utu (1-for-3, R) contributed offensively for Cove. Duran picked up the win from the circle. She surrendered three earned runs on six hits while fanning five in six innings.

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