Senior Bryce Delano tossed a complete-game, two-hit gem and Copperas Cove defeated host Shoemaker 5-1 Tuesday night.
“He did a good job keeping us off balance,” said Shoemaker head coach Harry Zambrana of Delano. “His off-speed stuff was really working.”
“Bryce pitched a big, big game for us,” said Cove head coach Dusty Brittain. “He came through.”
Delano struck out six and yielded no earned runs. Both hits he gave up were infield singles.
“I threw my curveball a lot tonight,” said Delano, a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder. “I threw a few changeups, too. And my fastballs seemed to be hitting their spots today.”
The Bulldawgs (4-5 District 8-5A) led 2-0 after three innings and 5-0 after the fifth.
“I felt confident in Bryce before we even stepped on this field,” said Cove senior catcher Michael Sizemore. “I could tell he had it going right from the start. His off-speed stuff was really working well. He stuck with his curveball. And when he needed that fastball, he used it well.”
Shoemaker (1-8 District 8-5A) also received a strong outing from its pitcher. Roberto Delgado threw all seven innings, yielded just four hits, two earned runs and struck out 11.
“We got some runners on base and then we did some small-ball stuff,” Brittain said.
For Cove, Tim Bechtold was 2 for 3 and scored two runs, Charlie Folger walked twice and scored two runs and Michael Hays had a double and RBI.
Hays also came through at the hot corner.
With Cove ahead 5-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Shoemaker had a runner on third with two outs. Shoemaker’s Wade Corn hit a rocket down the third-base line that had eyes for left field.
Third-baseman Hays made a 20-foot dive to his right, snatched the baseball, rose to his feet, rifled a missile over to Folger at first base and the side was retired.
“I was stunned when Michael made that play,” Delano said. “It gave us a huge boost to finish this game up right.”
“I didn’t think their batter was gonna hit it down the line, because Bryce was throwing so hard,” said Hays, a sophomore. “So when it happened, I just reacted and scooped it. At first, I didn’t even know I had it. I looked in my glove, saw it was there and then relayed it over to Charlie Folger.”
“Cove came out ready to play tonight and kept it going,” Zambrana said. “We were kind of flat. Hats off to Cove.”