Raven Sauceda knew he hit the ball hard enough and deep enough — but he ran hard anyway. Afterward, the Shoemaker sophomore was glad he did.
The ball got caught in the gusty wind during the second inning and instead of a grand slam, the ball died in deep left field.
Thanks to his hustle, though, Sauceda got a bases-clearing triple and lifted the Grey Wolves to a 13-1 win over Copperas Cove on Tuesday at Shoemaker.
“I knew I had to get us some runs so I needed to get a hit,” said Sauceda, who finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and two runs. “I thought it was gone, but then the wind caught it and it hit the bottom of the fence — I knew I was going to get the triple before I got to second base.”
The Grey Wolves (9-6, 1-1 8-5A) run-ruled Cove in the sixth inning behind a patient offense and received a stellar performance on the mound from Roberto Delgado, who struck out six and only walked two Cove batters.
“I threw strikes — that was my concern,” Delgado said. “After I walked that batter and he scored, I focused myself and started to pitch better.”
The game was decided by the second inning. The Dawgs had bases loaded with two outs, but Delgado refused to bend or break. He struck out Cove’s Brandon Smith to end the threat.
In the bottom half of the inning, Shoemaker right fielder John Ibarra scored the first of his three runs on a Jamie Funk single followed by Sauceda’s triple.
“I didn’t see where Sauceda hit the ball — I was focused on the left fielder and saw the ball hit the bottom of the fence,” said Wolves coach Harry Zambrana.
The Dawgs (3-13, 0-2) got their lone run in the first inning on a Julian Doubleday RBI single that scored Christian Thomas, who walked. Cove only got three more hits the rest of the game. The Dawgs committed seven errors behind losing pitcher Charlie Fulger.
Cove coach C.J. Wilk declined to comment after the tough loss. Delgado closed the game out in the sixth on a three-RBI double that pushed the score to 13-1 and ended the game.
“I wanted to end the game and knew that I needed to get the hit,” Delgado said. “I stayed focused and waited for my pitch.”