COPPERAS COVE — Jayson Cole just does what’s asked of him. Whatever Copperas Cove baseball coach C.J. Wilk asks, the Bulldawgs junior pitcher seems to deliver.
On Friday night, Cole was asked to silence Harker Heights’ bats. He stepped up with a complete-game victory as the Bulldawgs upset Harker Heights 5-2 to win their second straight game after snapping a 15-game losing streak on Tuesday.
“I threw strikes low in the zone and my team did their jobs behind me,” said Cole, the Cove captain.
After giving up two runs in the first three innings, Cole breezed through the final four frames, only allowing one Knight to touch third base. He walked two batters and struck out two.
“He didn’t have the feel for his curve, but he is such a gamer that he competed with his fastball,” Wilk said. “He finally found his touch in the sixth and it helped close the game out.”
Cove (5-15, 2-5 8-5A) scored all five of its runs on five hits and five errors in the fourth inning.
Julian Doubleday started the fourth with a single but moved to second on an error and Riley Childers knocked him in with a double to cut the Knights (10-9, 4-3) lead to 2-1. But Cove’s next four batters reached and scored before relief pitcher Sheppard Mayo stopped the bleeding. By then the damaged was already done.
“One team came to play and the other just showed up,” said Heights’ coach Glenn Cunningham. “Cole pitched well — the man held us to weak hits and slow rollers — we couldn’t gain any traction.”
Heights got a big triple from Robbie Sluss, who scored on a Torres sacrifice bunt, but the Knights didn’t get any closer.
“You have to keep confident and throw it until it works,” Cole said. “We stepped up in the field and stopped making errors.”
Cove third baseman Brandon Smith made a big play in the game’s final inning to help preserve the Dawgs’ win.
Harker Heights’ Kyle Randall ripped a curve toward the gap between third base and short, but Smith dived to his left, knocked the ball down, and recovered in time to beat the speeding Randall down the line.
“It got me confident because it showed me that my defense was behind me and all I had to do was throw strikes,” Cole said.
The Dawgs travel to Killeen on Thursday while Heights faces Belton.