COPPERAS COVE — Tyler Bark felt good about his changeup while warming up.
His fellow Ellison Eagles must have sensed his self-assurance because they gave Bark a lead before he had to throw a pitch Friday night in Ellison’s 6-2 victory over Copperas Cove.
“Tyler is a senior and he is confident right now,” Ellison coach Kyle Allred said. “He doesn’t throw all that hard — his fastball sits in the low-80’s — but his changeup is so good that it makes his fastball look a lot faster.”
Bark’s change kept the Cove batters off balance all night.
He struck out eight, walked four and allowed two runs. The senior didn’t run into any serious trouble until the final inning when Cove put two runners on but weren’t able to capitalize.
“I felt good in warm-ups and threw strikes,” Bark said. “Once we got some runs I felt even more confident and stared really attacking the hitters.”
Ellison (5-14, 2-3 8-5A) got on the board in the first inning on a Bark RBI single that plated Angelo Rodriguez. In the third inning, the Eagles got the first of three bases-loaded opportunities and scored two runs off a Caleb Moses double that scored Ethan Schaefnocker and Chris Ackels.
The Eagles didn’t score on the other two chances in the fourth and sixth innings.
“We like the score today, but there might come a time in the future that we lose a game because we didn’t capitalize on those types if things,” Allred said. “We have to come through and get hits and get runs.”
After Cove (3-16, 0-4) scraped two runs in the third, the Eagles added two of their own on Ackels’s two-run double.
Cove has now lost 15 games in a row. The Dawgs started just three seniors along with a sophomore and a freshman but Bulldawgs coach C.J. Wilk doesn’t buy into youth as a reason for the struggles.
“I don’t care about age, we are varsity — we are expected to win,” Wilk said. “We are working very hard to that.”