Belton at Copperas Cove Baseball

Copperas Cove’s Cameron Johnson (2) slides safely into third base against Belton’s Hunter Teplansky on Tuesday night in Copperas Cove.

The Bulldawgs are going back to the playoffs.

After narrowly missing out last season thanks to losing a postseason play-in game to Belton, Copperas Cove gained a measure of revenge Tuesday, defeating the Tigers 5-2 to clinch a playoff berth.

Belton scored two runs in the top of the first inning, but the Bulldawgs dominated the remained of the contest.

Behind a three-hit, nine-strikeout showing from starting pitcher Cameron Johnson, Copperas Cove rebounded from the slow start and scored at least one run in all but two innings.

Along with collecting the victory on the mound, Johnson was 1 for 1 at the plate with a triple, a run scored and a RBI. Nick Izquierdo had two hits, including a double, for the Bulldawgs.

Copperas Cove (23-4-2, 9-4 District 8-6A) can secure the district’s second seed with a win tonight, when the Bulldawgs travel to Belton to for their regular season finale.

“The guys were just executing,” Copperas Cove head coach Dusty Brittain said. “I told them that I though we looked like a playoff team.

“Tons of guys were producing, and everyone has to be on board and be involved from here on out to be successful.”

The performance came on the heels of a series-sweeping 6-3 victory against Killeen last week.

In the win, Josh Ropple led the Bulldawgs’ offense, going 3 for 4 at the plate, while teammates Colby Jost and Izquierdo finished with two hits apiece.

SOFTBALL

The Lady Bulldawgs open their first-round playoff series tonight against No. 7 Duncanville.

Game 1 is set to begin at 7 p.m. today with Game 2 being played Saturday atnoon. Game 3, if necessary, will follow.

All games are at Hillsboro High School.

Duncanville (21-1-1) swept its District 7-6A schedule to capture the program’s first district championship.

TRACK & FIELD

Copperas Cove athletes are competing today at the Region I-6A meet hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington, looking to secure a spot for the upcoming state meet.

Results were not available, but the top two finishers in each event advance.

Neyland Block (high jump) Tim Doyle (pole vault), Daveon Thomas (shot put), Quinton Ford, Darious Fuselier (pole vault) and Lady Bulldawgs high jumper Aidan Chace are competing.

The state meet is May 11-12 at Austin.

Contact Clay Whittington at clayw@kdhnews.com

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